Tip of the Week
We have all been dealing with added financial stress over the past year, so it's not surprising that some of us have been watching our expenses more carefully even when it comes to exercising.
Gym memberships are declining because fitness related expenses are often perceived as a luxury. While we should always incorporate healthy fitness activities in our daily lives to help improve our quality of life, we don’t need to join a gym to accomplish just that. In-home workouts using more affordable fitness equipment, or just our own body weight, are indeed time-effective, they can fit in everyone’s busy schedule and can help us reach our healthy goals. Remember, where there is a will there is a way…
On the positive side, it is very easy to get a great workout at home with minimal fitness gear. Here are some ideas for your inexpensive at home workouts:
1. The Step Aerobic Step
A step can be used for more than one activity. It can be used for cardio activities, such as step aerobics, but also as a weight bench. Just get enough risers and you can change your step to become an incline, decline or flat bench, to vary your weight training.
Step-ups with dumbbells:
Butt/Hips, Legs – Thigh muscles
Start by standing with your feet parallel to each other, at about hip width apart while holding dumbbells in your hands with palms facing inwards. Pull your shoulders down and back. Do not shrug your shoulders upwards. Slowly step up to place your right foot on the Step placing your foot firmly on top of it while keeping your torso upright and aligning your knee over your second toe. Push off with the left leg to raise your body onto the Step placing that foot alongside your right foot. During this transition, try to avoid excessive forward movement. Slowly load the weight of your body into your right foot, step backwards to place the left foot on the floor in its starting position. Allow your body to lean slightly forward during the step-down movement. Load your weight into your left foot and step off the Step with your right foot, returning to your starting position. Repeat the exercise with the other leg. Perform 20 steps on each leg before switching to the other side. Repeat 3 times. Initially hold 2lbs dumbbells and successively increase the weight as you become stronger.
2. Dumbbell sets
2lbs, 3lbs and 5lbs they can be used alone or in combination with the equipment listed below.
Chest press on the Step:
Upper Chest muscles
Lie down on your inclined step and begin by holding your weights (initially use 2lbs dumbbells and successively increase the weight when comfortable) in each hand straight up over your chest, with your palms facing out. Bend your elbows and lower your arms down until your elbows are just below your chest (elbows bent at 90 degrees). Press the weights back up without locking your elbows and bring them close together. Repeat for 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions. Keep your abs contracted throughout the movement to protect your back. Move slowly and in a controlled way without using momentum.
3. Resistance Bands and Tubes
By using bands you can get a full body workout, no matter where you go. They are small enough to fit in your suitcase and versatile enough to use in any room. They also provide an increased negative resistance so that your muscles get a more engaging and more challenging workout.
Walking side squats with Bands:
Strengthens all lower body muscles; spine extensors and abs stabilizers.
Loop a medium resistance band around your ankles or around your thighs, then stand with hands in front of your chest, feet wider than shoulder width apart, torso and chest up, feet parallel to each other. Legs are bent at the knee at 90 degrees. Step to your right with your right foot, toes forward and feet wider than hip-width apart. Bend your knees into a squat position, keep your body weight towards your heels while pressing out against the band. Keep your legs in a squat position, bringing your left foot in towards the right. Continue stepping to the right with your right foot for 25 times. Perform 3 sets of 25 steps on the right side. Repeat the sequence, stepping to the left. Take a wide enough step to ensure that both your outer and inner thighs muscles control the tension of the band.