Sometimes it’s tough to fit a good workout into your day, especially in the winter when it’s too cold to go outside. Gym memberships seem like a great idea, until you have to find the energy to put on clothes and go out to the cold car and drive all the way to the gym. You know you feel better and look better when you exercise regularly, but sometimes that’s not enough motivation. With these ten exercises you can stay fit without even putting on a pair of shoes – and they’re easy to fit into your daily routine, too.
- Use the Stairs
If you have a staircase you are probably already aware that it is like a built in piece of gym equipment. Schedule yourself to take a few trips up and down the stairs daily. Go slowly at first, then when you get more fit you can pick up the pace. Increase the number of times you travel up and down as you get more used to the exercise.
Even if you live in a one story house, there’s a good chance you have a step or two somewhere. Use the steps on your porch or the step between split level rooms as a workout tool. Simply stepping up and down, alternating legs, is a wonderful workout for your leg muscles. Go slow at first and then get faster as you get better.
- Jog or Walk in Place
You don’t have to go outside to get a good run or walk in. Turn on the television and start walking in place. Keep track of how fast you’re walking and try to maintain a moderate pace for about half an hour. If you need more of a challenge, jog in place instead of walking. Pick up your knees as high as you can to get the maximum effect. You’ll strengthen all of the muscles you would if you were logging miles on a treadmill, and you won’t even have to wear any socks.
- Common Items as Weights
You’re surrounded by two or three pound weights all over your home. You can use water bottles, paperweights, or even a small bag of sugar to add resistance to your workouts. Carry something with you as you walk around the house. Do traditional bicep curls while holding something heavy. Place a bag of sugar on your feet and do lifts to strengthen your upper leg muscles. Get creative and you will find that your home has all the weights you need to get in a good workout.
- Deep Cleaning
House cleaning is a great way to gain tangible results in your environment as well as in your overall health. Concentrate on tasks that require a great deal of movement to get the best exercise. Sweep, mop, vacuum, and scrub surfaces. Anything that might cause you to break into a sweat is something that is providing you with exercise. Home improvement tasks like painting are also great cardiovascular workouts.
Put on your favorite music and give yourself a fun workout in the middle of your living room. Just make sure you keep moving. Dancing can exercise almost every muscle of your body while also providing a good cardiovascular workout. Incorporate jumps, running in place, and twists to get the maximum benefits. Just make sure the music is upbeat so you keep moving at a steady pace. You might forget you’re exercising and just keep dancing all afternoon.
- Online or Television Workouts
If you prefer something a little more formal you can find exercise programs on network and cable television. YouTube and other streaming services will give you access to workouts on demand, so you can choose your exercise regimen and repeat it regularly as often as you like. These programs are usually run by fitness experts who can tell you exactly what benefit you will gain from each of the exercises.
- Push Ups and Sit Ups
Some of the most old fashioned exercises are still the cheapest and the most effective. Move the furniture out of your way and do a few push ups in the middle of the floor. Follow those with some sit ups or crunches. You can also do leg lifts and other calisthenics that don’t require any additional equipment. Target specific muscle groups and slowly increase the number of sets you do as you become stronger.
Planking is a great exercise for your stomach and back muscles. All you need is a stable surface to place your feet on, then hold yourself up on your arms in a face down push up position. You will start to feel the effort your back and stomach muscles are making to keep you stretched out horizontally after just a few seconds. Try to start with holding yourself up for 30 seconds at a time. Add 10 more seconds each day and challenge yourself to stay up as long as possible.
- Roughhouse with Kids or Animals
Kids and animals are balls of energy. You can use that to your advantage when you need a little exercise at home. Pick a room with plenty of floor space and nothing breakable and wrestle with your kids. If you don’t have kids, play with your pet instead. Throw things, run in circles, do all the energetic stuff you would do in the backyard if the weather were nicer. You will get some exercise and your kids (or pets) will enjoy spending good quality time with you.
- Stand Rather Than Sit
Think of all of the things you do at home that involve sitting. Now think about how much exercise you would get if you simply stood up instead of sitting down. Watch TV from behind the couch. Read your e-mail standing rather than sitting at your desk. Play video games standing up. You could even do a little walking in place if you want to move your feet around. Just by standing around you will work muscles that would have been dormant if you were lounging on the couch or in a chair.
Jordan is the beauty and brains behind Beautifully Alive! She loves eating healthy and trying new recipes.The self-proclaimed Zumba Queen has a passion for beauty products and loves reading new books. She’s always down for a DIY project!