You already know the benefits of working out. It’s good for your heart, lungs, your waistline, and its mental therapy too. Even a brief exercise session can melt away the cares of the day and make work and family-related problems easier to deal with. But not everyone has the time or finances to join a gym.
Fortunately, there are ways to work exercise into your day without lugging your sneakers and exercise clothes to a crowded gym. You can get a good workout right at home at times when it’s most convenient for you. Here are some ways to get more exercise without joining a gym.
Get a Pedometer
A pedometer will challenge you to take more steps throughout the day. Wear one on your hip to remind you to take the stairs, walk the dog a little longer, and park further away in the parking lot. Those extra steps add up, and if you hit 10,000 in a day you’ll have walked the equivalent of 8 Kilometers. Don’t count on reaching this goal, but when you do, give yourself a small reward – as long as its calorie-free.
Spin with a Hula Hoop
You probably had one as a child, but now there are hula hoops for grown-ups – and they burn serious calories. Hula hooping not only gets your heart rate up, it burns over 200 calories in 30 minutes. It takes practice to get the hang of it, but once you do, turn on some music and twist away. It’s a fun way to get more exercise.
If you’re a bit challenged in the hula hooping department, there are DVDs that can help. Whatever you do, don’t steal one from your child. A small –sized, light-weight hula hoop will spin too quickly. Get one that weighs 1 – 2 kilos that is as tall as your waistline when you turn it on its side. It’ll be more manageable.
Keep a Stash of DVDs Handy
Invest in a few exercise DVDs, and keep them on hand. When you have the time, squeeze in a short workout. Challenge yourself to do at least one DVD workout a day. Choose a variety of workout DVDs with different instructors to keep things interesting. One day do a boot camp workout and the next a cardio kickboxing one. Check your local library to see what fitness DVDs they have to offer.
Find It with a Jump Rope
Jump your way to fitness and relief stress without leaving home. Jumping rope for 30 minutes burns more than 400-calories, and it gives your cardiovascular system a workout too. Best of all you can do it whenever you have a free moment. Spend 15 minutes jumping rope in the morning to help you “get going” and another 15 minutes after work to help relieve stress. You’ll burn calories while boosting your coordination. Don’t forget to turn on some music for motivation.
Quick Ways to Strength Train
Once you’ve conditioned your heart and burned calories with cardiovascular exercise, it’s time to work your muscles. You don’t need gym equipment to do that. Invest in a few pairs of resistance bands to use at home. With these inexpensive bands, you can get an effective upper and lower body workout that will firm and tone. You can also strength train your upper body using only your body weight by doing push-ups and dips with your hands on a chair. To firm and tone your lower body, do lunges and squats. When it starts to seem too easy, do them holding a pair of hand weights.
The Bottom Line
You don’t need a gym to get a great workout. Home exercise works well because you can do it anytime, and you need minimal equipment. Now there’s no excuse not to get moving.