How to Exercise for Weight Loss During a Pandemic

How to Exercise During a Pandemic

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Beginning a new weight-loss workout plan for beginners can be intimidating. First, you need to choose from the seemingly countless ways exercise scientists (not to mention fitness magazines, physicians, wellness professionals, and the internet at large) suggest to lose weight. Then, you need to find a way—and a means—to do it. When you’re faced with the increasing number of gyms, novelty workout equipment, specialized diet, and fitness plans, semi-awkward exercise classes, and outright hype surrounding the fitness industry today, it can be tempting to throw in the proverbial towel.

Your Best Workout Could Be at Home

Fortunately, at its roots, weight loss is a relatively simple prospect—eat less unhealthy food, focus on quality snacks, and get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes five times a week. When you think about it that way, it’s easy to see why all the hype surrounding the latest gyms and the newest equipment is just that—hype. In reality, you don’t need a gym, a class, or expensive equipment dedicated to the latest craze; instead, you can build an at-home weight loss and workout routine that’s inexpensive, easily accessible, and best of all, effective.

While it’s true that home workouts are great for those without access to a fully-outfitted fitness center as well as those who don’t wish to be exposed to potential germs and other health concerns at the gym, home workouts offer benefits to other groups as well. Beginners benefit from the relatively minimal equipment and easier intensity ramp-up provided by most exercises for beginners to lose weight at home. Meanwhile, more experienced fitness enthusiasts can benefit from the endless customization options afforded to them by home workouts.


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What You’ll Need

What You Need to Exercise at Home

If you’ve worked out at home before, chances are, you’ll have everything you need for the home workouts on our list. If not, there’s no need to panic—most of the workouts here include exercises to lose weight fast at home without equipment. For the others, a good-quality set of hand weights and an optional soft yoga mat is all you’ll need.

If you don’t have hand weights at home already—and even if you plan to begin your at-home workout plan without equipment—take a moment to add a selection of hand weights or dumbbells for future use. For men, we recommend beginning with a set of 10- to 20-pound weights for maintenance and stability moves and a set 10 pounds heavier for muscle building. Women should start with 5- to 10-pound weights and add 10 pounds for muscle building. If you’re more experienced—or you don’t want to have to purchase weights in the future—consider purchasing a varied set so you can increase your weight as you get stronger.

Top Three Workout Routines You Can Do at Home

Once you have a few different hand weights to choose from, a soft yoga mat, and a good pair of tennis shoes, you’re ready to choose your workout. To help, we’ve compiled several of the most popular at home weight loss workouts for beginners. These workouts are well planned and contain a variety of simple moves perfect for those finding their way within a new routine, or settling back into the habit of working out.

Best of all, you can perfect most weight loss exercises at home in 1 week, and increase the intensity or weight of your dumbbells as you go. Start with one of these three simple at-home weight-loss workout routines, arranged by increasing difficulty.

Working out at Home

#1 – The Ultimate Beginner’s At-Home Workout

This 4-week workout plan for weight loss is our favorite for newcomers to fitness, because not only does it not require any of the equipment mentioned above (you won’t need weights or a yoga mat for this one), it also doesn’t require you to learn any complicated moves. All you’ll need is your body weight, a wall, and about five to 10 minutes per workout to start.

The exercises:

  • Stationary March — self-explanatory, you can achieve the Stationary March by marching in place. Get your knees up so that your thighs are parallel with the floor, and be sure to get your arms in on the action.
  • Bodyweight Squats — first, set your feet shoulder-width apart and hold your arms in front of you for a counterweight. Pull in your abs, slowly bend at the knees, and lower your hips toward the floor; stop for a moment when your thighs are parallel to the floor, then return to the starting position.
  • Stationary March (Repeated)
  • Wall Push-ups — with legs and feet together, stand about two feet from a wall with your arms extended in front of you. Slowly bend your arms and lean towards the wall until your nose is nearly touching it; pause and return to the starting position.

The routine: To begin, complete each exercise for 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds in between. Complete the full cycle once every day, three to four days per week. Then, add a daily cycle each week for four weeks.

Wall Squats

#2 – Weight Loss Bodyweight Workout

This bodyweight workout features more than one ideal exercise for weight loss at home for females and males alike—and none of them require hand weights or additional equipment. While you might want to consider using a soft yoga mat if you have hard floors, the only other thing you’ll need is about 30 minutes of your time. These moves are a bit more challenging than our beginner moves, so take a moment to perfect each before moving on.

The exercises:

  • Jumping Jacks — this common calisthenic exercise gets your blood pumping and your arms involved in your cardio routine.
  • Pushups — complete pushups by beginning from your knees or toes, and keeping your body level. Slowly bend your elbows until your chest nearly touches the floor, then return to the starting position.
  • Lunges (30 seconds per leg) — with feet hip-width apart, step forward with one leg, engaging the heel with the floor first. Lower your body until the thigh is parallel with the floor and the shin is vertical. Press into your heel to push back up into the starting position.
  • Sit-ups — keeping your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent, slowly lift your torso to a sitting position while engaging your abs. Return to the starting position by rolling back one vertebra at a time.
  • Bodyweight Squats (30 seconds each leg) — see beginner’s workout.
  • Mountain Climbers — from a plank position and keeping your palms flat on the floor, draw one knee to your chest with your abs engaged. Switch quickly and pull the opposite leg to the chest. Continue alternating legs, building speed as you go.
  • Burpees — from a squat position (see above), lean forward into a plank position. Do a full pushup, then jump your feet toward your hands and drive yourself towards a standing position. Reach your arms over your head, jump into the air, and upon landing, resume a squat position, prepared for another repetition.

alt tag: Weight Loss Bodyweight Workout

The routine: Complete four circuits of one minute of each exercise, resting for 30 seconds after each circuit. If needed, begin with fewer circuits before building up to the full 30-minute session.

#3 – Comprehensive At-Home Weight Loss Workout Plan

We call this plan comprehensive because that’s precisely what it is—a plan that utilizes hand weights, bodyweight exercises, and cardio all wrapped into one. It’s a weight loss gym routine female and male participants can do outside of the gym—and it’s an effective one.

The exercises:

  • Bodyweight Squats — (See above) 15 repetitions.
  • Hand weight Bench Press — Position your back, head, and glutes on a bench or the floor, and keep your feet flat as well. Take a hand weight in each hand with your hands facing forward and press them up until your arms extend fully. Slowly lower to the starting position. 12 repetitions.
  • Hand weight Row — Begin on one knee with a hand weight in the opposite hand and resting on the floor. Slowly pull the hand weight toward your side and pause before lowering it to the starting position — 12 repetitions on each side.
  • Isometric Y — Begin by lying with your front flat on the floor, arms extended overhead in a Y shape. Slowly lift your chest and arms off the floor, keeping your legs flat, and hold for 30 seconds.
  • Box Step Ups — Place one foot firmly on a sturdy box or step, then drive through your heel, so you’re atop the box with your legs completely straight. Slowly bring your other foot to the box before lowering to the starting position—15 repetitions for each leg.
  • Plank — Hold your body in a plank position for 30 seconds, keeping your core engaged and tight.

Exercising with hand weights

The routine: Complete the strength training workout above three times, resting for one minute between each round. Complete strength training on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. On Tuesdays and Fridays, complete at least 30 minutes of your choice of cardio cross-training—running, jogging, biking, or swimming. On Wednesdays, take a long walk in your neighborhood. On Sundays, rest!

Supplement your Diet and Exercise for Quicker Weight Loss

There are many diet pills, detox drinks and other supplements that claim to help you lose weight. Of course, you should always consult your doctor before starting any new weight loss routine and discuss the right path for you. However, our team of certified pharmacists feels confident in suggesting incorporating apple cider vinegar into your diet.

Apple cider vinegar has been used as a health supplement for literally thousands of years. Scientific research shows it has many health benefits, such as lowering blood sugar levels. But, can adding apple cider vinegar to your diet also help you lose weight?

Acetic acid is the main active ingredient in apple cider vinegar. And, acetic acid has various benefits for fat loss. Besides lowering blood sugar levels, in these ways it may promote weight loss:

  • Improves your metabolism
  • Decreases insulin levels
  • Reduces fat storage and burns fat
  • Helps suppress the appetite

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Choose the Right Workout for You

Woman working out at home

The great thing about at-home workouts is that you can adjust them to your skill level, to compensate for any injuries or limitations, and increase the intensity as you become accustomed to working out. Then, you can purchase additional equipment and add new moves to extend your repertoire and target problem areas. With proper attention to fitness, nutrition, and the ideal supplements for weight loss, you’ll soon be on the road to weight loss success.


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About Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.

Chief Operating Officer, The Compounding Pharmacy of America Matthew Poteet, Pharm.D. graduated with Honors from Lee University with a Bachelors of Science in Biological Science. After his undergraduate training, he completed the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, graduating in 2004. Dr. Poteet has spent much of his pharmacy career on staff at two of the most prestigious academic teaching hospitals in the Southeast; Emory University in Atlanta and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. At these institutions he received extensive experience and training in sterile products compounding. He returned home to East Tennessee in 2010, where he has held the position of Pharmacy Director at two sterile products pharmacies in Knoxville. Matthew lives in Knoxville with his wife, Chris. Dr. Poteet is Tennessee’s first Board Certified Anti-Aging Pharmacist by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Read More About Matthew Poteet, PharmD