Virtual exercise classes are a fun way to get fit from home.

Staying Away from the Gym? Try this Home Workout

If, like many people, you are staying close to home, you may be wondering how to keep up a fitness routine. Luckily, there are plenty of body weight exercises that – combined with some cardio – can give you just as good a workout as going to the gym.

For Cardio: Jump Rope!

Whether you knew how to jump rope as a child or not, it’s easy to learn and provides a great cardio workout. And finding a jump rope isn’t hard, either – look at both sports stores and toy stores.

  • Tip 1: It’s all about rhythm and timing. Start slowly, working on stepping over the rope as it circles under your feet.
  • Tip 2: Don’t try to jump too high – one or two inches off the floor gives the rope enough space to slip under your feet without risk of tripping.
  • Tip 3: Keep elbows close to sides as you turn the rope, letting the movement come from the wrists and forearms, not the shoulders.
  • Tip 4: Press from the balls of your feet, keeping heels off the floor.

As you get more comfortable, up the intensity of your workout with:

  1. High knees: Raise  each leg high towards your chest as you step over the rope.
  2. Jumping jacks: Jumps your legs wide apart and then close together as if you are doing jumping jacks.
  3. Shuffle: Start with with one foot forward and the other behind in split stance then alternate sides.

For Core, Legs and Hips: Chair Squats and Dips

These exercises turn a simple household chair into a piece of gym equipment.

1. Chair Squat

Perch right on the edge of that chair and sit up very straight with your eyes and chest lifted, holding your arms up and out in front of you for balance. Keeping your knees straight over your toes, stand up, dropping your arms to your side as you rise. Reach your bottom back toward the chair, touching it gently before standing again.

2. Chair Dip

Place both hands next to your hips on the chair seat and slowly llower yourself off of the front of the seat with your chest lifted up. Push back up as though you were going to sit in the chair again, but continue going up and down. You can also use a chair with two firm armrests and push your body weight up and out of the chair, which causes less shoulder extension.

Note that these chair exercises can be done at work, along with the additional exercises in this workstation workout.

Melanie Haiken writes about health, wellness and fitness for national magazines and websites. She specializes in discovering and reporting the latest research on diet, nutrition, fitness, weight loss and other health-related topics. Her award-winning stories have appeared in Fitness, Shape, Health, Forbes, and other respected magazines. She also contributes health stories to numerous Kaiser Permanente newsletters and other publications.