WellnessChoosing the right exercise routine at home

Whether you want to strengthen and tone or simply improve your overall fitness, the key to exercise success lies in finding a routine that works for you and your body

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As people around the world look for ways to adapt their workout to a home environment, we have been looking at ways in which you can achieve your personal goals from the comfort of your own living room. We spoke to Nikesh Naik, general manager of Dubai’s The Aviation Club, and asked him to share a selection of exercises that can have a real impact without having to leave the house – so you can #StayHomeWithJumeirah.

 

Fitness goal: increase core strength

When it comes to exercises that will build muscle and increase core strength that don’t require any equipment, think of squats, lunges, push-ups and planks. Known as ‘bodyweight movements’, all you need to do is strike the right pose and your body – and gravity – will do the rest.

“The ‘burpee’ is the gold standard of bodyweight movement and is perfect if you don’t have much space,” says Nikesh. “Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat and place your palms on the floor. Keeping your hands on the floor, immediately kick your legs behind you so that you end up in the top of a push-up position. Do a push-up and return to the top position. Still keeping your hands on the floor, quickly draw up your legs so your feet land back between your hands. Now, jump vertically with your hands reaching overhead above your ears. That's one rep.”

Aim to increase the number of reps as you get stronger to help build that core strength. If you want to go one step further then look online for more non-equipment based workouts.

 

Fitness goal: improve flexibility

Bodyweight exercise will also help improve your flexibility, but to really focus on lengthening and strengthening your muscles, you might want to give yoga a try. “I’m a big believer in simplicity and, when it comes to a simple tried-and-tested method, it has to be yoga, which has been around for hundreds of years,” says Nikesh, who recommends starting your practice through an online tutorial with an instructor.

The Sanskrit word ‘yoga’ signifies union – between your body, mind and soul – and to help you get started, it’s worth exploring different types of yoga to find the style that’s most suited to you. Hatha offers a gentle introduction to the most basic yoga postures, Vinyasa is a more dynamic practice in which participants smoothly transition from pose to pose, while Iyengar is focused on alignment and strengthening the muscles that can improve posture.

A woman stretching on a yoga mat at home

 

Fitness goal: boost fitness

Variety is important here, but overall you are looking to get your heart rate up and your body burning calories. Nikesh prescribes a 30-minute keep fit workout that features five rounds of the following:

  • 1-minute squats
  • 1-minute press-ups
  • 1-minute burpees
  • 1-minute lunges
  • 1-minute break

Use the last five minutes to cool down and stretch out tired muscles. Every time you commit to the workout, see if you can improve on the number of squats, press-ups, burpees and lunges you do each minute.

 

Fitness goal: find inner peace

When devising a personal training programme for guests at The Aviation Club, Nikesh says he and the other instructors he works with try to focus on various areas of wellbeing – from physical and nutritional wellbeing to emotional wellbeing.

When thinking about the latter, it’s meditative practices like yoga and tai chi that can really promote calm. “I always look at the science,” says Nikesh, “and the science says that meditative exercises provide a host of benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety, enhancing self-awareness, lowering blood pressure and lengthening attention span.”

Emotional wellbeing exercises with Jumeirah

Another benefit of meditation is that it can be done almost anywhere – especially in a quiet space in your own home. To get into a positive mental state and make mindfulness a routine you can commit to, Nikesh recommends tuning into a guided meditation session with Headspace.

 

Time to achieve your fitness goals

Now that you’ve thought about what you want to achieve with your workout, there’s nothing stopping you. Nikesh recommends grabbing some comfortable clothes, a healthy attitude and remembering that any exercise is better than no exercise. If you need some extra motivation, get moving with the help of your family. If you have children who love to dance, turn their passion into a fun activity for everyone. “Kids love to mimic their parents, so if they see you exercising they will join in and this helps form good habits. The key, of course, is to make it fun!”

Exercising with children at home