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No Time for the Gym

On Saturday, October 4, 2008 by Wendy Batts, MS, NASM-CPT, PES, CES

 

With our busy lifestyles, how do we find the time to make it to the gym? In today’s world, this is a big problem. Finding that extra hour out of our day for a workout does not seem feasible when the kids need to be cared for, bills need to be paid, the dog needs a bath, the dinner needs to be cooked and the best TV shows start at 7. Honestly, is there ever enough time?

So, if it seems impossible to leave the house, why not do a workout at home? You do not necessarily need to go to a gym to reach your health-related goals. You can do a full body workout in the privacy in your own home by adding a few little exercises that will benefit you and give you the energy you need to make it through those stressful times. The only one who will take care of you is you; so why not get started now?

During the course of a day, you can add resistance training to your daily agenda. Below are some helpful exercising tips that can get to your goals without going to the gym or buying expensive machines.

LOWER BODY

Lunges (view exercise)
Start by taking a step in front of you and then lowering your back knee towards the ground while your front knee bends as well. Make sure that both feet are pointed straight ahead and squeeze your glutes on the way up. Repeat this up to 15 times and then switch legs. As you begin to feel comfortable with this exercise, try to do them walking. This is a great exercise for the quadriceps and glute region.

Body Weight Squats (view exercise)
Start by putting a chair behind you and then act as if you were going to sit down. You will then tap your glutes on the chair (do not sit all the way down) and then stand back up. You want to make sure that your feet are approximately hip width apart and they are pointed straight ahead. While you are rising back up from the squat, focus on squeezing the glutes and standing completely upright between each one that you perform. Begin doing approximately 15 of these and then add more reps and/or hold on to a gallon of milk or water (approximately 8 pounds) for extra resistance.

Isometric Body Weight Squats

Put your back up against the wall and lower yourself to a chair height position. Try to remain in this position for up to 25 seconds and then add more time as this gets easier (push yourself to hold this exercise for one complete minute). You can also add a gallon of milk or water in each hand for extra resistance. Repeat up to 5 times throughout your day.

If you want to include some “cardio” type exercises to burn more calories, try these:

Mountain Climbers
Start in a push-up position. Feet should be hip width apart and hand should ideally be placed directly underneath your shoulders. Run in place for approximately 30 seconds, making sure your feet stay pointed straight forward and that your head does not drop down. As this gets easier, push yourself to a minute for each round. Repeat up to 3 times.

Squat Jumps (view exercise)
Start in a squat position and then jump up and down. Try to realign yourself every time you hit the ground before going into the next jump. Make sure that your feet stay approximately hip width apart and that the feet stay pointed forward. Each landing should be silent. If you hear yourself land, try to focus on tightening your stomach and landing directly behind the ball of your foot. Repeat 15 times each.

Stairs
If you have stairs in your home, walk or run them! Try to walk/run the stairs 3 times (single step) and then immediately skip a step for three rounds. Always run down the stairs without skipping a step just to make sure that you do not fall. The total should be performed 6 times, counting this as one “set.” Repeat each set up to three times throughout your day. Once this gets easier, you can add resistance (such as a laundry basket, gallon of water, or weights if you have them).


UPPER BODY


Arm Raises (view exercise - seen with weights, not necessary to begin)
Start by lifting your arms out to the side (with no bend in the elbow) and then slowly lower them back down to your body. You can also do this exercise with your arms straight in front of you. As you get comfortable with these exercises, you can then begin to combine them. Do approximately 15 repetitions and then repeat. For extra resistance, hold onto a soup can in each hand (approximately 1 pound each) and add more weight as needed.

Push-ups (view exercise)
Start face down on the ground with your arms out to the side of your shoulders. Push yourself up and then slowly lower yourself towards the ground. Remain looking at the ground and keep your chin neutral at all times so you do not irritate your neck and keep your glutes squeezed throughout the exercise. Repeat approximately 15 times. If you cannot do this exercise on your feet, drop to your knees and perform the exercise. If you do decide that the knee position is better for you, keep feet in contact with the ground at all times.

One Arm Row (view exercise - seen without external stabilization; couch or low table)
Start by putting your left knee and left hand on a firm surface (such as a couch or low table), making sure you keep your back in a leveled position. Hold on to a gallon of milk or water in your right hand and bring this arm up by the right side of your body (around your right ribcage area). Repeat 15 times and then switch sides.

While there are numerous exercises you can do at home, these are some ideas for you to try for a full body workout routine. If you do not have time to perform all of these daily, switch them up and incorporate one or two from the list above. Remember the key here is to get moving! Good luck and happy exercising!

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