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Get fit at home

Updated: 04/02/2020

Woman exercisingEven though the gyms and fitness centers are closed right now, you can still be fit and healthy at home. Wherever you are, an effective fitness program has five basic components: 

  • Warm-up
  • Cardiovascular exercise (aerobic)
  • Muscle-strengthening
  • Flexibility moves
  • Cool-down 

Here are some tips for working out at home: 

  • Search and collect various workouts from the internet, social media and YouTube so you have good choices readily available. PopSugar Fitness has an impressive collection of free workout videos. Also, Shakopee Parks and Recreation has been posting workouts on its Facebook page. Or if you want more of a personal connection, many fitness instructors are offering free or cheap livestreaming fitness classes right now through Facebook or video platforms like Zoom. 
  • Do exercises you enjoy doing so you are more likely to stick to it. If you don’t like burpees, then don’t do burpees. There are unlimited exercise choices. Maybe Zumba® or Kickboxing workouts are more your style.
  • Get an exercise partner or group to stay motivated. 
  • Schedule your workouts for the week in your calendar so that you stick to them. 
  • Use the equipment you have on hand. A few hand weights (5-15 pounds), a resistance band and a mat are great investments if you want to workout at home. Another option is to use cans or milk jugs as weights, and a towel can be used as a mat. However, body weight exercises, like squats, push-ups, and tricep dips can be very effective and don't require any equipment. 
  • Keep track of your workouts and your progress. Visually seeing your progress is motivating.
  • Most importantly, be active throughout the day! Stand while you are working at home, clean the house, go for walks, do yard work, play Frisbee, etc. Every bit of activity adds up to big results! 
 Recommendations

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults do:

  • 150-300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity
  • 75-150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
  • or a combination of the two intensities

In addition, adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups at least twice a week. Perform 8-10 strengthening activities for three sets of about 8-12 repetitions. Be sure to start slowly and gradually increase time and/or intensity. Compound exercises, like squats and push-ups, are a great use of time because they work more than one muscle group at a time.

 

Overall, it is important to listen to your body. Make a mind-body connection by closing your eyes and focusing on the muscles that you are supposed to be working. Focus on your breathing: breath out through the mouth on the challenging part of the strength exercise.