Fitness on a Budget: How to Exercise at Home
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) Let's be honest: whether it's the never-ending "polar vortex," or merely just not wanting to commute more than 20 feet, most people find reasons as to why they can't make it to the gym as often as they'd like. Busy schedules, kids, and other commitments also hinder our workouts, because personal time is usually one of the last things on the list for which we make time.
Now that we're at the close of winter and heading into the cusp of spring, our bodies are internally telling us to quit being so lazy. For those of you who require a proper "workout environment" equipped with legitimate fitness tools in order to have what you consider to be a successful workout, have no fear. Slap on the spandex, lace up the sneakers and head out...to your living room.
Create a workout space. Alycia Darby, a certified fitness trainer and the creator of the Get a Better Body home workout program, recommends that you first create a space in the house that is the designated "fitness area." Whether it's a corner, a wall, or an entire room, be sure to leave all of your fitness gearsneakers, equipment and even your iPod in that spot. That way, when you're motivated to start, everything is already in one place, making it easier to get you going.
According to Darby, a home gym can easily consist of any of the following: a few dumbbells, a step, a chair, a jump rope and a resistance band. There are many exercises that can be done with these items, and they are not so large that they'd take up all the extra room in your workout area.
Make a plan, or don't! Stay motivated, but give yourself a bit of wiggle room as far as times of the day and time allotment. If daily obligations make it difficult for you to plan even just one consecutive 20- or 30-minute workout, don't get down on yourself if it's 8 p.m. and you haven't had your chance yet. Len Saunders, the author of Keeping Kids Fit , recommends "commercial-cizing" as a way to get your exercise in while still getting to enjoy your weekly episodes of "Scandal" and "Revenge." Exercise during the commercials! Whether you decide to jump rope, run in place, or do jumping jacks, Saunders explains that this could add up to a lot of exercise each night. Other options include multi-tasking throughout the day: do some stretches in bed, use the wall or the countertop for standing push-ups while cooking dinner, or carry heavy items up and down your stairs while doing laundry.
Make it fun. While exercising, do things that you enjoy, so that you view it mentally as a fun activity rather than an obligation. Karen R. Koenig , a licensed psychotherapist and expert on eating disorders and healthy weight management, shares her own view on exercise: "I so value my time on my aerobic exercise machines as a way to take a break in my busy schedule to read. The time is fun and goes by quickly, because I'm picking up a story from the day before and am much more focused on reading than on the effort I exert on the treadmill, elliptical or bike." If you are lucky enough to be able to invest in a cardio machine, then go for it. If, however, you aren't, there are still alternative options when it comes to equipment that can enable you to flip through a magazine or zone out to your favorite music. You'll soon begin to look forward to your exercise time as an enjoyable experience rather than just a time to sweat.