Exercising at home is an excellent alternative to the gym because you can fit it into your day, it's affordable, convenient and cost-effective. You also need minimal equipment or no equipment for those who are very creative. Think you need a gym to stay in shape? Think again.
It doesn’t matter what form of exercise you decide on: what matters most when you exercise at home is that the exercise video you choose keeps you motivated and interested enough to exercise three to five times a week. There are hundreds if not thousands of videos you can choose. Some add equipment which may include steps, an exercise ball, stretchy bands (also called Dyna-bands), bikes, treadmills, or weight machines. You may even decide to add hand weights to your original weight-free workout. Others add no equipment at all and simply rely on your own body weight to increase your endurance and strength.
Here are 10 great exercises that you can do at home, without the need for any equipment:
- Walking – If the weather is nice, it’s wonderful to get outside and enjoy the scenery around you while you exercise. However, if the weather has other ideas, you can just as easily get an effective walking workout at home. If you have a flight of stairs, go up and down them a few times. (You could even grab a load of laundry as you’re going that way anyway!) This will help to tone up your legs, while getting some low impact aerobic exercise as well. If you don’t have any stairs available, just walk around the house a few times – it may not be very exciting, but it will do the job!
- Jumping Jacks – These are always fun, as they bring back memories of being a kid! Who hasn’t done jumping jacks for fun as a child? Well, surprise – they are also great cardio exercises, and good for warming up, too.
- Pushups – These are probably not the most favorite exercise of many people, but while they can be hard to do, you can find easier ways to do them. You don’t need to pretend you’re “Rocky”, and do them with one hand; just do what works for you. Do them on your knees, instead of keeping your legs straight. Or, do them standing up against a wall. You will be building up arm strength and working out muscles in your chest area.
- Leg Lifts – These are great for building up strength and muscles in your legs. If you find it hard to do the exercises with your legs straight, try bending them slightly.
- Crunches – The best exercise for building up and strengthening abdominal muscles. When you’re just getting started, don’t worry about getting your head all the way up. So long as you’re going up until you feel the stretching of the muscles, you will see some benefit.
- Jogging In Place – Jogging is a great exercise for your heart. You can jog in place at home while watching TV or listening to music. The only equipment you will require is a good pair of shoes, to eliminate any stress to your legs.
- Squats – These are wonderful exercises for your legs and buttocks. You can even just try these by sitting and standing up again from a regular chair, if you’re finding them to be too difficult. As long as you’re able to do a few repetitions, you will be providing some benefit to your body.
- Light Weight Lifting – No, you don’t need to go out and buy expensive weights for this! Just use whatever you can find in your house. Start out with something lighter, such as a can of peas, and work yourself up to heavier items. You can use milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles or even water jugs.
- Step Exercises – Using the steps in your home, you can do repetitions which will tone your leg muscles. Why not use your staircase? To start, step up onto the first stair, and then back down. Repeat this move on the first stair ten times. Then walk up the first two stairs, and then back down. Repeat this ten times. You will definitely feel the burn by the end of this step routine. If you feel winded or dizzy, start slow. Stick with the first three stairs, and gradually build up your endurance over the weeks and months to come.
A laundry basket full of clothes can be more than a household chore .It can also serve as an arm exercise apparatus. Hold the basket above your head, and lift upwards and back down. Do this at least three times. If it is too heavy for you, all you have to do is take out some clothes. This exercise will work your shoulders, upper arms and upper back muscles. Vary this workout by lying flat on your back, and lifting the basket up and down from your chest.
Commercial break exercise
If you are a couch potato, then commercial break exercise bursts are right for you. When a commercial comes on, get up for a burst of intense exercise. Do some sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, or crunches. Get your heart rate up. When the show comes back, you can go back to it. Continue the cycle throughout your shows.
Rolling chair presses
If you have an office chair with wheels then you can do some arm workouts right at your desk. Just hold onto the edge of your desk while you are seated in the chair, and use your arm muscles to pull yourself close to the desk, and then push yourself back away. This will work your biceps.
Life is busy, so try to multi-task if you don’t have time to fit in a proper workout. When you are stuck in front of the sink doing dishes, march in place. You should try to incorporate exercise into your daily tasks whenever possible.
Getting some exercise is important, but you don’t need to go out and join a gym, paying a large amount in membership fees each month. You don’t even need the expensive equipment in order to give your body an effective workout. Use what you have in your house, and work out in the comfort of your home. You will be more likely to keep up with the exercises when you’re comfortable, so just get up and start exercising!