By Emma Campbell |
There are plenty of reasons why we put ourselves off going to the gym. They can range from not having a regular gym partner, the fear of working out in front of others, or simply just the cost of monthly fees or being tied into a lengthy gym membership!
The nights are darker and the temperatures are getting close to freezing and you’re finding any excuse to stay indoors. The idea of getting up at the crack of dawn to squeeze in a pre-work gym workout gets quickly dismissed without much of a second thought.
So if December and January are possibly the worst couple of months to drag ourselves to the gym, how else do we keep fit?
Try these following tips for ways of staying fit and keeping active from the comfort of your own home!
#1: Ten Minute Workouts
The best thing about at-home workouts if that it’s acceptable to set yourself ten minute challenges. These can be slotted in before work in the morning, or ten minutes in the evening before bed.
Focus on an area you wish to work out – legs, abs or arms – and carry out a dedicated ten minute workout concentrating on that body part.
For example: to carry out an intense ten minute ab sessions, do 60 seconds of leg kicks, followed by 60 seconds of sit ups, Russian twists, knee tuck crunches… you can tailor the workouts to what you wish to do! Stick on three of your favourite current songs and don’t stop until the music does!
#2: High Knee Work Out
Staying indoors means we miss the joys of going for a long outdoor run, having free reign of the route and pace we wish to choose.
Running is a great exercise for the body and mind, so it’s important to incorporate the movement from home. A high knee work out can take just ten minutes, but deliver the same endorphin release and fitness kick you require.
✓ Bend each elbow to a 90-degree angle. Stand on your right foot as you lift your left knee to hip height and bring your right arm forward.
✓ Swing your right arm backward and bring your left arm forward as you hop to your left foot and lift your right knee to hip height.
It’s an intense workout which will burn those calories!
#3: Squatting and Jumping
Who says you need to be in a gym to start an effective squat session?
Sumo squat jumps are a great mix of cardio and toning for your bum, hamstrings and calves, which can easily be done at home!
Idea: stand in front of a mirror so you can keep an eye on your stance first!
✓ Stand with your feet wider than shoulders-width apart and point your toes outward. Keep your shoulders stacked over your hips and reach both hands down toward the floor as you bend your knees, nearly parallel to the floor.
✓ From this position, press up through the soles of your feet as you extend your legs and jump straight up. Land lightly with soft knees.
✓ Repeat this for as long as you like for an intense workout!
#4: Invest in free weights
Again, just because you are missing out on the weight machines the gym usually provides, it doesn’t mean you have to skip any weight lifting exercises that you usually carry out.
Invest in a pair of free-weight dumbbells – even if they are only light ones, like 2kg!
Use these for 15-minute workout sessions from your bedroom where you can mix up your routine.
✓ Combine a mix-up of biceps and triceps curls with various other arm workouts, including ones you can do on the floor so you are covering a wide range.
Resistance bands are also convenient for on-the-go exercises and can be taken anywhere!
#5: At-home lunges
If you are missing your outdoor runs and still want to keep your legs in top shape, then consider lunges.
Lunges are a great leg work out which don’t mean you have to go outside to put them into practice.
The beauty of lunges is that you can do front lunges, backward lunges, side lunges, lunges with weights – whatever you wish to do.
The sliding side lunge is a good one for glutes, thighs, back and abs:
✓ Stand with your weight on your right leg. Bend your right knee and push your hips back behind you, sliding your left leg out to the side. Keep your left leg straight. Bend your elbows about 90 degrees and swing your left arm in front, right arm back.
✓ Quickly bend your left knee and slide your foot into your right, swinging your right arm forward and your left arm back. That’s one rep – but try 15 reps with the left leg, and then 15 times with the right.
Take Home Message
There’s no point in letting the stay-at-home season get you out of the fitness routine, especially if you’ve spent an entire Summer of regularly going combined with running outside.
Try some of these quick-fix workouts to get in that calorie-burn!