Working on Working Out: Getting Started with Home Workouts
After working at a fitness center I realized the two most common excuses for not exercising were lack of time and the price of a gym membership . I understand that memberships are a bit pricey, but a lack of time is hardly an excuse when experts recommend a short 30 minutes a day for optimal benefits of exercise. If you have time for 30 minutes of television each day, you have time for fitness. Exercising at home is just one way to make time for exercise. Here are a few exercises that will give you a full body workout at home.
Fast and Easy Cardio Workouts
Burpees: Squat down to the ground with your feet under your bottom and hands on the floor directly under your shoulders. Jump into the push-up position by propelling your feet backwards then quickly pull your feet forward returning into the squatted position, keeping your hands on the ground. Finally jump straight up with your hands reaching above your head. Squat back down with your hands on the ground and repeat. Begin with 3 sets of 12 repetitions. (Trust me, this will be tough.)
Mountain Climbers: Lower yourself into the push-up position. At first, slowly bring your right knee to your chest. (You should look like you are climbing a steep mountain.) Now in one motion alternate your legs, bringing your left knee to your chest and straightening your right knee. Count each motion as one and begin with 3 sets of 20 repetitions.
High Knees: Just like the Mountain Climbers above, while standing, alternate knee-raises to your chest. Add arms going over head and back down to sides for more cardio workout. (You might look silly, but the benefit of being home is no one sees your sweaty, awkward, uncoordinated attempts at exercise.)
Jog or March in Place
Split Squats: Start in a lunge position with one leg in front of the other. Squat straight down and feel the burn.
Single Leg Deadlifts: Keep one leg straight, without locking your knee. Bend down from the hip, straight towards the ground. Your other leg should go backwards to counterbalance your forward leaning torso.
Single Leg Bridges: Lay flat on your back with knees bent up. (Like you are going to do sit-ups.) Raise one leg straight up in the air. Now lift your core off the ground, (like you are thrusting up) onto your shoulder blades while keeping one foot on the ground.
In all the lower body exercises make sure your knees do not bend over your toes while you look down. Keep your back straight and try to look directly forward for good balance. Make sure to do equal amount of repetitions on each leg.
Upper Body and Core
Shoulder or Lateral Raises
Don’t Forget Your Core
Keep In Mind
American College of Sports Medicine would suggest exercise on MOST days of the week for at least 30 minutes for good health. Do not work muscle groups two consecutive days in a row. Don’t be afraid to incorporate some of that fitness equipment you have sitting around your house collecting dust and if you don’t have any weights to add to your home exercise program, be creative… my thoughts are that you probably have cans of soup, heavy books, or a gallon of milk in your refrigerator. For the stay at home mothers out there, try incorporating your baby or small child by slowly lifting them with the exercises above or holding them at your core while squatting or lunging; they will love it too!
Why Should I Exercise?
The question of whether you need to exercise is old news. The questions should be, "How much should I exercise?"
When you consider all the benefits of an active lifestyle, you should simply exercise as much as you can. Whether that is 20 minutes of lunges, jumping jacks, or push-ups, anything is better than nothing!
The workouts above are helpful for a beginner looking for a guide or an experiences weightlifter looking for a routine. Don't be afraid to push yourself, you can go much farther than you ever imagined. That is why you should ask a partner to help you with exercising and routine. It will be easier to hold each other accountable than just yourself.
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