Your Home Gym
As spring looms, it’s as important as ever to stay consistent with your workouts. As ideal as it may sound, you simply are not going to be able to hit the gym every single day that you set out time to do so. Life will get in the way, appointments will be stacked against you, and friends and family will need your attention.
However, a busy schedule is no excuse for complacency, and a day of errands doesn’t necessarily create a missed opportunity. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of limited time and physical space:
While you are home:
Try some Yoga. Youtube is full of quick, instructive yoga sessions you can complete in a small amount of both space and time. Yoga is great for your core strength, flexibility, and recovery from life’s stressors. More advanced sessions will even give you a nice bit of a workout, so you can also count these sessions towards a light cardio requirement for your week.
Pushups and sit-ups are classic and effective. Whether you prefer 4 sets of 20 or 3 sets of maximum effort until exhaustion, pushups are tried and true ways of working out most of your upper body muscles over a very short amount of time. Add in some sit-ups for your abdominals and you can find yourself using just your body to achieve real quality results outside of the gym in a space large enough for just your body to lie flat.
Your high school coach’s favorite torture: Wall-sits.Waiting 5 minutes in-between conference calls? Have coffee brewing in the kitchen? Steal an effective leg workout by sitting perpendicular to the ground, pressing through your heels against the wall for a wall sit. Aim for 2 sets of 1:30-2 minutes a rep to start and continue to beat your personal records from there.
Throughout the Day:
Walk. The weather is getting warmer day by day, go out and literally smell the roses you miss every day cooped up inside because of the cold. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel after a nice walk you might choose instead of a drive or metro ride.
Climb every stair. In the same vein, pretend every elevator is broken for the day and travel to your destination the ol’ fashioned way.
Defer to standing over sitting if you take public transit. Remember the key to recouping the day is to steal calorie burners. Even the slightest move you make to burn more calories throughout the day will make large differences in the end.
Thought you were done with push-ups? Think again. Which did you perform in the beginning of the day, 4 sets of 20? Well then time to max-out three times in a row, or vice-versa applies. You might be sore the next morning, but I guarantee you’ll be glad and pleasantly surprised how much you can recover in the same 24-hour day.
Stretch. If you stretch on a daily basis, well then you are light years ahead of the pack. For the rest of us, rarely in our busy schedules do we have time or the energy to properly stretch out our limbs and muscles after a workout. If you were too busy to get in the workout you planned earlier in the week, carve out 20 minutes before you head to bed to properly stretch. Stretching has been proven to lead to faster muscle recovery, better digestion, more fat burned, and the releasing of hormones that both put you in a better mood and allow you to sleep easier. Your heart rate will actually rise enough to briefly keep you in a fat burning state, and you will be much better prepared physically and mentally for the activities of the week ahead.
Do it for yourself. Steal a workout whenever you can, and be sure to hitch back onto your regular week’s workout schedule as soon as possible.