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Is it, really, possible to get the exercise we need, without going to the gym? I have nothing against gyms, it’s just that I am looking for convenience and quick wins in my busy days. I want easy ways to exercise at home, where I can squeeze it into my already full schedule. So if I can give a few minutes here and a few more there and feel like I’ve accomplished something, I’m pretty happy.
We all know that exercise is good for us, and most of us (myself included) still don’t get enough. Out of all the myriad things we do in a day, it seems like exercise is the one we love to push aside when things get hectic. We have our excuses! It’s cold and rainy outside. I’m too tired to go to the gym. I don’t want to change my clothes, or sweat, or….been there, done that. So I’ve collected some easy ways to exercise at home, no gym, no cold, no sweat, no excuses!
These methods are particularly helpful if you are just getting started, or restarted, on your exercise. Small, consistent changes are what create the biggest results. If you exercise consistently at home, you will begin to build a fitness habit that can lead you anywhere you want to go.
Quick and Effective Exercise at Home
Exercise at Home to YouTube Videos
Everyone watches YouTube – but have you ever seen the amazing quantity of exercise videos? So much goodness, right there on your screen.
Try searching “3 minute stretch” or “10 minute yoga” or whatever it is you are willing to do, and the amount of time you are willing to give it. YouTube gives you instant access to the exact exercise program you want at that moment. You can even save the ones you like best.
Some of my favorite YouTube Exercise Channels:
Pilates and Yoga
The Balanced Life with Robin Long. Robin Long is the Pilates instructor you’ve dreamed of – challenging yet supportive, understanding yet somehow able to sense when you are out of alignment or struggling to complete a sequence. She’s REAL. And she’s mastered the art of creating quick (10-15 minutes!), incredibly effective Pilates workouts that are never routine or boring. You’ll love her, and the workouts, I promise. Did I mention that she works out on the beach? Bonus for the scenery.
Yoga With Adriene. Want to target particular body parts? Focus on specific intentions, or optimize the time of day for your yoga practice? Or are you working under a time limit? You can search Adriene’s videos in any of these ways, to choose the one that is right for you in that moment.
Cardio and Strength Training
Sweat with Lauren Hefez. Lauren Hefez has so much energy and enthusiasm, you want to work out just to hang out with her. Start a video, and it will be over before you know it and you will realize – you worked HARD.
POPSugar Fitness. Lots of variety here, most videos coming in around 30 minutes. There’s a whole series of beginner videos for anyone just starting out (or concerned about form)
Bowflex Stories. Scroll through the videos on this site, and you will find everything from kettlebell instruction to HIIT workouts to focus on trouble spots – all of them short. My favorites are the excellent videos on stretching and instructional “how to” videos.
Try an At-Home Workout Challenge
Exercise challenges can be a great way to build a habit while focusing on one specific exercise. You can always set up a challenge for yourself, but it’s much easier to go onto Pinterest and search for whatever type of challenge you are looking for. Plank, push-up, and squat challenges are especially popular, and 30 days seems to be the most common amount of time for a challenge (remember, it takes about 21 days to set a habit).
You can expect to start slow on any given challenge, and increase whatever it is you are doing gradually over the course of the month. For example, a plank challenge may start day one at a 15-second plank, and build to a two-minute plank by the end. Often, there is a printable included so you can check off each day as you complete it.
My Pinterest account has a Challenge Board in which I collect many different challenges (not exclusively exercise). Browse the board and experiment with one of the many challenges I have pinned.
Easy Ways to Sneak in Some Quick Exercise Even When You Think You Don’t Have Time
- Dance – even if it’s just for one song
- Focus on your posture for one minute by standing against a wall
- Balance on each foot for as long as you can. Close your eyes for more challenge.
- Do leg lifts or squats at the kitchen counter while you are waiting for your food to cook, water to boil, coffee to perk
- Pace while you are on a conference call
- Set an alarm for once each hour, and spend thirty seconds doing jumping jacks or running in place
- Watching TV? Exercise through the commercials, instead of fast-forwarding
Whatever You Do, Do Something
We all know exercise is good for us. We tend to forget just how easy it is to work into our schedules. There’s no need for an hour a day at the gym (if that doesn’t work for you). You don’t need fancy equipment, and often, you don’t even need to change your clothes.
There are plenty of easy ways to exercise at home.
Your body will benefit with every effort you make, so try two minutes here and five minutes there throughout your busy day and see what happens. You might surprise yourself!
- This yoga mat is extra thick, non-slip, has 12 color choices, and comes with a carry strap
- And this eco-friendly one has alignment guides, which are super helpful for proper alignment for beginners
- This wobble board will do wonders for your balance
- Wear this posture corrector as you go about your daily activities – it’s invisible under clothes
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