Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
1. STAIR CLIMBING
You can get the same benefits at home as you would in a step aerobics class at the gym. If you have a staircase in your home, you can get a great workout by simply climbing the stairs. To start, stand at the bottom of the stairs and walk in place for about one minute to get your leg muscles warmed up. Next, step up onto the first stair, and then back down. Repeat this move on the first stair only ten times. Walk in place for fifteen seconds. Next, walk up the first two stairs, and then back down, then walk up one stair and back down. Repeat ten times. Then go up three stairs, come down, walk up two stairs, come down, and walk up one stair and come down. Repeat ten times. Continue the pattern up ten stairs. You will definitely feel the burn by the end of this step routine. I don’t recommend going up more than ten stairs because it will get tricky to walk back down after that point. 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.
2. COUCH KICKS
You can work out your thigh and gluteus muscles by using your couch as a piece of exercise equipment. Stand up facing the couch, with one of the couch arms in front of you. Bend forward, supporting your weight on the arm of the couch. Keep your head down so that you do not put stress on your neck muscles. Kick your right leg back, so that the bottom of your foot is parallel to the ceiling, and then bring it back down. When you are doing the exercise properly, you should feel it in your thigh and butt. Do fifteen repetitions on your right leg, and then repeat with your left leg. Continue switching back and forth between your legs until you feel like you have to stop. You will get results after a few weeks of this “uplifting” workout.
3. LAUNDRY LIFTS
A laundry basket full of clothes can be more than a household chore – it can be an arm sculpting piece of exercise apparatus! Hold the basket above you head, and lift upwards and back down. Do at least three repetitions of fifteen lifts each. 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 laying flat on your back, and lifting the basket up and down from your chest.
4. WORKOUT VIDEOS
There are some excellent workout videos on the market today that can get you into tip top shape. The 8-minute video series has editions for the arms, back, butt, thighs, and more. Tae Bo, which features the fat-blasting and energizing moves of host Billy Blanks, is a great home workout option, and there are many videos in his series to choose from, including a beginner’s video. Visit your local video rental store, and check out their collection of exercise video rentals. This way, you can try out workouts before you buy a video, and you can get a diversified workout.
5. COMMERCIAL BREAKS
If you are a devout couch potato, and you love vegging-out in front of the television, then commercial break exercise bursts are right for you. While you are watching, do some curls with five or ten pound weights. 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 on, you can go back to the light exercise. Continue the cycle throughout your shows”¦ every little bit counts! You will hardly realize that you are getting a workout.
6. CRUNCHES COMBO
You don’t need an expensive membership to a fitness club or a personal trainer to get some killer abdominal muscles. Crunch routines can easily be done from the comfort of your own living room. If you have problems with neck pain when you do crunches, you might opt to invest in an “ab roller” machine because they cushion your head and neck. If you are doing crunches correctly, your neck should not be strained, but many people have a hard time getting them right, so the head cushion is helpful. Start with some isometrics. Take a five-second count to come up, and five seconds back down. Do five reps. You will feel the burn. Next, do three reps of fifteen crunches at a normal pace. Next, you will turn onto your side, with your upper back and shoulders still facing upward. Do the same workout that you did for the standard crunches (isometric, then at a regular pace) on both of your sides. This will work your oblique muscles, also known as love handles.
7. ROLLING CHAIR PRESSES
If you have an office chair with wheels (a swivel chair), 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.
8. MARCHING DISHES
Life is busy, so try to multi-task if you don’t have time to fit in a proper work out. When you are stuck in front of the sink doing dishes, march in place. You can also try some calf exercises: just lift yourself up and down on your tiptoes. You should try to incorporate exercise into your daily tasks whenever possible.
9. TREADMILL TIME
If you can afford to get just one piece of workout equipment for your home gym, it should be a treadmill. Walking and jogging on a treadmill will give you an excellent cardiovascular workout. Try to get in a minimum of thirty minutes a day. Experiment with different speeds and inclines.
10. BUST A MOVE
Dancing is a great way to burn off pounds, and it also great fun. Turn on some off your favorites tunes with a fast and energetic beat, and break it down. It doesn’t matter what you look like – all that matters is that you are burning calories, and loving every minute of it.