Some people are motivated by the social aspects of working out at the gym. Others worry about parking, gym fees or what may feel like critical glances from other people. If you're the latter, consider these exercises you can do from home.
Before You Begin
Warm up for at least three to five minutes before you start, and cool down at the end. Engage your abdominal muscles as you exercise to build up your core strength. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid sitting down. If you need to take a break, rest by walking until your heart rate returns to normal.
Before you begin a new workout routine, check with your primary care physician to make sure it's safe to do so, and follow any guidelines he or she provides.
Full-body exercises build muscle and cardiovascular strength.
- The plank – Lay face down on the ground. With your arms and legs extended, lift your body up, so your weight is rested on your hands and tiptoes. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat, working your way up to a full minute.
- Squats – Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees until they're in line with the tips of your toes at a 90-degree angle. Hold for a moment, then stand. Repeat for 15 repetitions.
- Push-ups/sit-ups – Push-ups (starting on the knees or in a plank position) build bicep- and tricep-muscle strength, while sit-ups build your abdominal strength.
- Jumping jacks/jumping rope – These traditional moves will get your heart rate going. No jump rope? Mimic the motion and get the same results!
- Mountain climbers – Start in a plank position. Draw your right knee up toward your right arm, then back to starting position. Do the same with your left knee. Repeat quickly for 15 repetitions.
- Stair-climbing – Climbing up and down stairs in your home will strengthen your thigh and calf muscles, in addition to your heart. No stairs? Simply jog or march in place.
TIP: Take it up a notch by trying short intervals of cardio exercises, mixed with strength-training exercises.
By Franciscan Health Weight Loss Center