Do you want to start getting into a healthy and fit lifestyle but don’t know where to start? Not being able to go to a gym is no excuse for not working out. Whether you’re looking for a beginner’s workout routine at home or a more advanced home-based full-body workout, you’re in the right place.
Many people fall victim to sedentary lifestyles that can have terrible long-term effects on their bodies and overall health. If you’re an avid online casino games player, it can also be easy to fall into the bad habit of sitting around, with your fingers doing the majority of your day’s exercise… as you spin the reels on your favorite online slot. But fret not.
Below are some excellent workout tips on how to start a workout routine, get fit, strengthen and tone up in the comfort of your home. Obviously, some people might have more demanding workout requirements than others, so there are three workouts – core strength, cardio and toning – which should give you a good balance. But first things first…
Remember to Warm Up
Before you dive straight into a workout Cristiano Ronaldo might do at home, it’s important that you warm up at the start of any gym workout routine because you’re essentially preparing your body for aerobic activity. Warming up gradually primes your cardiovascular system for action by raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles. And when your muscles are warm, you’re less likely to get injured during a workout, whether you’re at home or at a gym.
Warm-Up Exercise Suggestions
Here are some gentle warm-up exercises which will help to prevent injury. If you’re at home, turn on some energizing beats (or whatever works) to get you into the groove.
- March on the spot while swinging your arms backward and forth.
- Jumping jacks (also known as “star jumps.”)
- Walking jacks (step from side to side, with your arms raising and lowering.)
- Arm circles and shoulder shrugs (do them in both directions.)
- Leg swings (forward and side-to-side; don’t forget to swap legs.)
- Hip rotations (like stepping over a fence.)
- Hip circles (as though you’re hula-hooping – do it in both directions.)
- Body-weight squats.
- Push-ups (keep your back straight.)
- Lunges (keep your hips square.)
- Hip extensions (opening your hip out to the side; repeat on the other side.)
…and Cool Down
You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Yes, cooling down after a workout is equally as important as warming up. This way, you can have a gradual recovery to your pre-exercise heart rate and blood pressure. Cooling down can also facilitate the change of blood flow, rather than going from one extreme bodily state to another, and can help remove lactic acid from your muscles. Try to plan your workout to allow for this important wrap-up to your session – you’ll feel the benefit afterward.
Cooling-Down Exercise Suggestions
Remember to take long, slow and deep breaths during the cooldown. This helps you get your breathing back into its normal cycle.
- Side-arm circles
- Lying-down stretches of the upper body
- Leg stretches
Workout 1: Beginner Body Weight
So, what is a good workout routine? The body weight workout is a great way for beginners to find their rhythm and flow with an at-home routine. It’s a good workout that can ease the body into training and start a bit of core work while minimizing the chance of injury. Again, if you’ve got some beats playing, it can help you count the repetitions of each “set” or exercise that you do. Here goes:
- Body weight squats: 20 reps per set
- Push-ups: 10 reps per set
- Walking lunges: 10 on each leg
- Dumbbell rows (using a gallon milk jug or another weight that works for you): 10 on each arm
- Plank: Hold for 15 seconds
- Jumping jacks: 30 reps per set
If you’re in doubt about how to do any of the above exercises, do your research first, either online or at your local gym. And don’t forget to cool down when you’re done.
Workout 2: Cardiovascular Intermediate Exercises
If you’re looking for calorie-burning exercises that you can do in between, before or after playing casino games, you can opt for some cardiovascular exercises.
An intermediate cardio workout ramps up the intensity of your at-home workout routine and is a great way to get the heart pumping.
This 20-minute cardio mashup can lead to great results because it helps you target different muscle groups. What’s more, there’s no chance you’ll get bored – thanks to the variety of activities you’ll be doing. Aim to do approximately four minutes of each exercise below. Are you ready? Let’s go.
- Shuffle step and march: Quickly shuffle to the right three times. March in place for four counts, reaching the opposite arm up with each step. Shuffle back the other way and repeat your marching on the other side.
- Side step: Take a wide step out at a 45-degree angle with your left leg, slightly bending your knees. Step your right foot to meet it. Repeat on the other side and keep going.
- Squat jumps: Bend the knees to a squat. From this position, jump in the air and extend the hips and knees until the body is straight. Land softly on the balls of the feet, rolling backward to absorb the shock in the heels. And repeat.
- Jump rope: If you have a skipping rope, alternate between jumping with both feet as you skip and jumping from one foot to the other.
- Trunk rotation: Stand holding a heavy object at chest height, with your elbows against the sides of your chest. Twist from the torso, turning to one side then the other. You can also hold the arms at shoulder height and twist side to side.
Don’t forget to cool down when you’re done. And give yourself a big thumbs up for completing your circuit training.
Workout 3: Toning Exercises
Let’s look at a toning exercise program. What’s it all about?
Toning basically means that you’re developing firmer, more defined, stronger muscles. A variety of exercises can help you achieve the body that you’re aiming for, within reasonable expectations, of course. If you’re looking to tone your buttocks, abs, legs and arms, you should do the following workout:
- Press up: You can do three-quarters or full press ups, depending on what you’re comfortable with. Do two sets of 12 to 15 reps. Remember to keep your back straight as you push up (breathe out as you do so,) and don’t lock out your elbows.
- Tricep dip: You’ll need to sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor, hands on the floor behind you with fingers pointing towards your body. Next, lift your hips off the floor. Now, slowly bend your elbows and lower your body close to the floor and slowly push back up. Do two sets of 12 to 15 reps. (You can also use a low bench as an alternative to this exercise.)
- Shoulder press: Take a resistance band (or improvise at home with something that’s got some elasticity in it) and stand in the middle of it with both feet, while holding either end of the band. Stand tall with your arms bent and by your sides, fists raised to shoulder level. Slowly extend your arms above your head until they come together, and then widen the handgrip as you return your arms to their starting position. Do a set of 20-30 reps.
- Squat: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands down by your sides or stretched out in front for extra balance. Lower yourself gently by bending your knees until they’re nearly at a 90° angle, with your thighs ideally parallel to the floor. Do two sets of 15 to 25 reps.
- Lunge: Stand in a split stance, with your right leg forward and left leg back. Slowly bend the knees, lowering into a lunge, until both legs are nearly at a 90° angle. Keeping the weight on your heels, push back up to the starting position. Do one set of 15 reps, then another set on the opposite leg.
- Stomach crunch: Lie down on your back, knees bent and hands behind your ears. Keeping your lower back pressed into the floor, raise your shoulder blades no more than three inches off the floor and slowly lower down. Do two sets of 15 to 20 reps.
Once again, remember that you must cool down after your toning workout for best results. And you know what? One of the great benefits of exercise is that it’s known to have mental health and cognitive benefits as well as physical ones. So, if you love your casino games, you’ll find that after a good workout, you’ll hit the tables (real or virtual) with a sharper mind – all of which makes you a better gamer!
Top Stretches For When You Can’t Do a Full Workout
Workouts are both fun and productive. But it’s also important to break your seated day up with stretches to keep your muscles supple and avoid injury when you start your workout. Here are some stretches you can do while at the office or when you’re on a long stint in front of your screen. Remember to hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds and breathe deeply.
- Neck Stretch: Gently tilt your head to each side, holding for 15-30 seconds.
- Shoulder Rolls: Roll your shoulders backward and forward in a circular motion.
- Upper Back Stretch: Clasp your hands in front, round your back and reach forward, feeling a stretch between your shoulder blades.
- Chest Stretch: Place your hands behind your back, interlace your fingers, and lift your arms to stretch your chest muscles.
- Spinal Twist: Sit upright, twist your torso to one side, placing your opposite hand on your knee for a deeper stretch.
- Hip Flexor Stretch: Step one leg forward into a lunge position, keeping your back straight, and gently push your hips forward.
- Seated Forward Bend: Extend your legs in front, reach forward, and aim to touch your toes, feeling a stretch in your hamstrings and lower back.
- Seated Figure 4 Stretch: Cross one ankle over the opposite knee, gently press down on the raised knee to stretch your hip and glutes.
- Wrist and Finger Stretches: Extend your arm in front, flex and extend your wrist, then stretch your fingers by pulling them back gently.
- Ankle Circles: Lift one foot off the floor, rotate your ankle in circular motions in both directions to increase ankle mobility.
No More Excuses; Add Exercise to Your Online Casino Fun
BetMGM isn’t just about playing real online casino games but also making sure you’re fit and healthy as you step into its world of casino game titles. The above at-home workout routines can be done any time – while playing against the dealer at an online blackjack table or even at an online poker tournament.
You could make it more fun by tying the physical activities you do to what’s happening on your screen (don’t forget to give your eyes a break as well) – for example, every time you finish a round of poker, do five burpees; or every time you fold, you have to hold “plank” for a minute.
Register at BetMGM, where you’ll get to play some of the most thrilling online casino games in the comfort of your home or on the go.