Online – Forget exercise videos and DVDs, there’s a wealth of resources available online and completely free, to guide you through your home workouts. From aerobics and HIIT to Pilates or yoga, there are loads of videos and top tips to get you started.
Bodyweight training – Press-ups, sit-ups, lunges and squats. All super simple exercise and easy to do in your own home. You don’t need any expensive equipment either, just a little bit of space and some determination.
Chair exercises – There are lots of ways that you can use a sturdy dining chair to enhance your home workout. Arm dips, push ups and leg raises will all help improve your strength and flexibility, plus you can add easy weights as you get stronger. Beginners should aim to do 8-10 reps of eight different exercises and repeat for two to three rounds.
Resistance bands – Also called fitness bands or exercise loops, these can help you build strength by providing constant tension while doing small, controlled movements. You can do simple exercises using just your arms and legs for resistance, or you can anchor your band around a static object.
Walking – Perhaps the simplest workout that there is and you’re already a pro, so why not pick up the pace and make it count? Walk fast enough to raise your heartrate and keep going for at least 30 minutes. Make it more fun with a friend or walk to work to make it part of your daily routine.
Running – If you enjoy walking and want to step things up a bit, why not try intermittent jogging? Walk a little, then run a little until you can run for the full 30 minutes. See Couch to 5k for a nine-week plan for beginners.
Cycling – Okay, so this one does require some equipment but buying a bike can be a great investment, especially if it saves you paying for petrol or a bus ticket. You can turn your commute into your daily workout and beat the traffic while you’re at it.
Park gyms – They’re popping up everywhere and there’s a good reason for it. Park gyms are free, easily accessible (as long as there’s one near you!) and can be extremely effective if used properly. Plus, they’re great for beginners as you’re working with your own bodyweight and you’re outside too, so you’re getting the added benefit of all that fresh air.
Swimming – So, technically this isn’t a workout you can do outdoors or at home – unless you own your own pool – but swimming is a gentle, low-impact exercise that’s great for weight loss. There are classes for adults if you’re a complete beginner, or, if you already know the basics, why not just jump straight in!
The trick is to find a workout that you really enjoy and one that fits into your daily routine. Start small and set yourself some realistic goals. And remember, if your goal is to lose weight, being more active is only half the battle; you should also be looking at your diet to see what changes you can make as part of your new healthier lifestyle.
Always remember to warm up and cool down properly to help stretch out and loosen your muscles. This will reduce the risk of injury and keep your body feeling good for your next workout. If you’re worried about your fitness, have a heart condition or feel any pain or discomfort when you start to exercise, speak to a medical professional to get the all-clear to carry on.