I want to get fit and make exercise a part of my daily routine, but I don’t seem to find the time to go to a health club or gym. Besides, gym memberships can be expensive. To help balance my budget, I want to work out at home.
Can you get a great workout without leaving your house? The experts say, “Absolutely!” Fitness experts recommend that even if you exercise at a gym, you should workout the same amount at home. You are more likely to get into a routine and turn fitness into a habit.
You can build muscles and burn calories – even without workout equipment or machines. Here are 9 effective exercises you can do at home:
Running is one of the best ways to workout your full body. The only equipment you need is a good pair of running shoes. Running a few miles a day will give you a cardiovascular (or aerobic) workout, amp up your metabolic rate and increase your fitness levels. Running can be hard on your knees, so make sure you work your way up by slowly increasing your speed and distance.
Walking is the easiest exercise you can do. We do it every day anyway. You can walk anywhere, anytime. You can use a treadmill or walk outdoors. When you start walking for fitness, be sure to pace yourself. Start off walking for 5 to 10 minutes and then build up to at least 30 minutes per walk.
Interval training refers to any type of exercise done at a variable pace. If you are walking, you can vary your pace several times throughout your walk. If you are doing squats, you can do some squats slowly and then a few at a quicker pace. This type of training helps you burn more calories to lose weight and strengthen your muscles more effectively.
Push-ups strengthen your upper body, including our chest, shoulders, triceps and stomach muscles. You can add more difficulty to your push-ups by putting your feet on a chair, bench or couch and continuing to do push-ups. You can also do planks, which is holding your body in the pushed up position for as long as a minute or more.
Squats use the largest muscle groups in the body, including the thigh muscles and buttocks, at the same time. Keep your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart. With both arms extended, bend your knees and lower your butt like you’re sitting down on the edge of a chair. Keep your knees over the top of your ankles, and then return to a standing position.
Like squats, lunges also work the major muscles of your lower body. In addition, lunges can work your lower leg muscles and help you improve your balance. Keep your spine in a neutral position and take a big step forward. Lower your knee almost to the ground at a 90-degree angle. Return to the standing position and repeat with the other leg. You can also vary the lunges by stepping back when you lunge or lunging side to side.
Crunches help strengthen your abdominal muscles, back and core. Unlike a sit-up, crunches are typically a smaller, more controlled motion. Lie on the floor on your back with your palms cradling your head and your legs bent at the knee with your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abs and raise your head, then shoulders and upper back off the floor. Lower slowly back to the floor and repeat.
This exercise gives your back and biceps a good workout. To start out, stand with your feet shoulder width apart, bend your knees, and bend forward at the hips. Tighten your abs while keeping your back straight. Hold weights with your arms extended toward the floor. Bend your elbows and lift the weights up beside your waist and then slowly lower your hands back to the starting position.
You may remember doing burpees in gym class during school. While they may look a little silly, they work. Start in a standing position, squat down and place your hands on the floor. Kick your feet out behind you into a push-up position. Do a push-up and then tuck your feet back under you. Jump out of your crouch and stand up with a leap. You’re actually doing a combination of a squat and push-up, and even adding in a jump.
Be sure to warm up slowly with stretching exercises before you begin your workout. You should also cool down by walking or doing floor stretching. While you may feel that stretching is a waste of time, it can help you avoid an injury and can improve your flexibility.
Do you have favorite exercises when you workout at home? What exercises do you find to be the most effective?