Remember the era of Jazzercise? Bright colors, funky music and high-waist leotards were the secret to getting fit and healthy without ever leaving the living room. Luckily for us, we live in 2019 and there are dozens of alternatives to this funky fitness fab.
For those who don’t have the access or desire to attend a gym, there are other options for exercising regularly. At-home workout programs have the benefit of convenience and price, and they are part of a fast-growing industry of healthy living. There are workout programs suited for nearly every level of experience and preference: cardio, weights, plyometrics, you name it! If there are goals you want to achieve, there is probably a workout program out there that is suited just for you.
Essentially, living in an apartment doesn’t have to totally restrict your workout options. Use these tips and resources to help you kick-start a healthy lifestyle that’s right for you in your apartment life.
Why apartment workouts are different
Home workouts can vary depending on what the home is like. For example, a home garage might be a great place for burpees and ball slams, but a third floor apartment might not. A garage might be ideal for deadlifts and pounding out a run on a treadmill, but the three floors of neighbors below you might be a little more unhappy with those situations.
Generally, at-home workout programs for apartments tend to be low-impact. That means that there isn’t a lot of jumping around all over the place, and it is usually a better activity for those with joint problems. These low-impact exercises generally use bodyweight or smaller weights to strengthen muscles instead of large equipment.
The most important part of apartment workouts is to keep your neighbors in mind as you exercise. If you have a workout playlist, try using some wireless headphones or play music at a low volume. Be especially considerate of your neighbors living below you, if you have any. They can usually hear every step and hop you make, so it can become quite distracting if it becomes a daily occurrence.
Apartment-friendly workout equipment
There are a few kinds of resistance bands, such as therapy bands, mini bands, figure eight and tube bands. Each of these band types have a variety of thicknesses and resistances suited to different levels of experience. YouTube has a wealth of great at-home workout videos with resistance bands, so check it out to see what might interest you.
Therapy bands are generally used for physical therapy as they are the lightest and gentlest of all the bands. The long strip of rubber can be tied to create a variety of loops and handles, making this versatile band great for beginners and those just starting their fitness journey.
Mini bands are great for lower-body workouts as they add resistance to glute and thigh exercises.
Figure eight resistance bands are fairly self-explanatory. Grabbing each end of the “eight” shape adds resistance to many upper-body exercises and therapies by making muscles pull and push against each other.
Tube bands can engage both the upper and the lower body. The long, stretchy tube has a hook on each end that can be attached to a variety of attachments, making this band one of the most versatile of workout bands.
Total resistance exercises (TRX) are suspension-based exercises using two long, adjustable bands. The bands can be anchored to anything from a door to a tree, which makes this piece of equipment suitable for nearly every environment.
TRX workouts are generally core-centered workouts using body weight and gravity to engage muscles. These bands can be used by those of nearly all experience levels, so it’s a great piece of equipment to have in your workout repertoire.
Dumbbells are generally for upper-body workouts, but can be incorporated into core and cardio workouts as well. Heavier weights are not recommended for apartments as they can cause some serious damage to floors and surfaces if dropped, but there are plenty of lighter weights that can still be highly effective if used properly.
In addition to dumbbells, wrist and ankle weights can quickly add an extra challenge to nearly every at-home workout.
Fitness balls are lightweight and can be used for strengthening the lower-back and core. These exercise balls come in different sizes, but the same workouts can be used no matter the shape. Plus, they can be repurposed as great desk-chairs to continually strengthen your core and improve posture, even while working! These are great for at-home workout programs focused on building balance.
Stretching and rolling out muscles releases the lactic acid buildup from exercise, preventing delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Foam rollers are one of the most common pieces of recovery equipment, as you can use them to roll out nearly every part of the body. Foam rollers can vary based on construction and material, but all work in the same way. Some rollers are made from a smooth, solid tube of foam, and some are made from a hollow pipe of plastic with a covering of bumpy foam.
In the same way a massage makes your skin and muscles feel more relaxed, foam rollers “massage” your muscles after a workout to keep you from feeling too sore. The amount of concentrated pressure (smooth rollers have less, bumpy rollers have more) is entirely up to you.
At-home workout programs
You can see that there are boatloads of apartment-friendly workouts that you can do with the right equipment. If you’re looking to get a little more serious and try a workout program, here are a few that thousands of people have already tried and tested.
Having a healthy, active lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard if you live in an apartment. The internet is a treasure trove of videos and resources for whatever kind of fitness style you like, and ordering equipment online is as easy as pressing a button.
Don’t let an at-home workout intimidate you, but instead let it inspire you! Try something new, and you might find that you like it.
Feature photo courtesy Pixabay/stevepb