By Jonathon Stavres MS, ACSM-EP-C
The benefits of regular exercise are well understood. However, adherence to a regular exercise program can be very challenging. Whether for general health, rehabilitation, or weight loss, many individuals still don’t meet the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity.
Common barriers to exercise include a lack of time and expendable income. According to Desveaux et. al (2015), older adults perceived cost, time, and physical symptoms as the most significant reasons for not participating in community-based exercise programs. Home-based exercise may be a method for reducing the impacts of cost and time to make your fitness goals more achievable.
Home-based exercise is often linked to audio-visual (i.e. D.V.D.) work out programs, such as P90x, Insanity, or Pilates-based workouts. However, these represent only a portion of home-based exercise. Home-based exercise programs can also use balance balls, resistance bands, body weight exercise, and calisthenics as exercise modalities.
There are also other programs that use low-cost aerobic exercise equipment, such as an indoor-cycle trainer. These indoor cycle-trainers support your own personal bicycle and can cost between $50 for a cheaper model to $350 for a high-end brand-name model. With these methods, the effects of cost and time can be minimized and exercise can be added to your daily routine.
Home-based exercise therapy have been shown to be effective
Research by Dadgostar et al. (2016) found that home-based exercise therapy over 12 weeks significantly improved HbA1c (marker of long-term glycemic control), body composition, and blood lipid profile in type II diabetic women.
Another study by Safiyari-Hafizi, et al.(2016) found that a 12-week supervised at-home exercise program focused on interval training significantly improved aerobic fitness and quality of life in heart failure patients. Both of these studies indicate that not only is home-based exercise effective at improving fitness, but it also improves clinical measures in individuals with chronic diseases.
To begin an at-home exercise program, you should first consult a fitness professional. A fitness professional will be able to sit down with you and analyze your goals, needs, and determine which exercises are safe and will be effective in helping you achieve those goals. You should also discuss a process for measuring progression, and modifying your exercise program based on your progression.
In summary, when performed appropriately, home-based exercise can help you interject exercise into your weekly routine at a minimal cost.
*For more examples of other variations/exercises look under Multimedia-VDF Exercise Tips
**Consult with a physician and/or medical healthcare provider before starting any exercise regimen
Dadgoster, H., Firouzinezhad, S., Ansari, M., Younespour, S., Mahmoudpour, A., & Khamseh, M. E. (2016). Supervised group-exercise therapy versus home-based exercise therapy: Their effects on quality of life and cardiovascular risk factors in women with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome, 15(30077-1), S1871-S4021. doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2016.01.016
Desveaux, L., Goldstein, R., Mathur, S., & Brooks, D. (2015). Barriers to physical activity following rebailitation: Perspectives of older adults with chronic disease. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, Epub
Safiyari-Hafizi, H., Taunton, J., Ignaszewski, A., & Warburton, D. E. (2016). The health benefits of a 12-week home-based interval training cardiac rehabilitation program in patients with heart failure. The Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 16(92), S0828-282X. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2016.01.031