If the thought of going to crowded gyms with equipment hoarders makes you cringe, there's a simpler (and cheaper) way to stay fit right about now.
With New Year's just around the corner, there will be plenty of focus on fitness, with losing weight and setting health goals the second most popular resolution for most people. Gyms can not only get crowded, but finding time to work out becomes difficult.
"It doesn’t matter where you work out, it’s what you’re doing, how often you’re exercising and ensuring that it’s effective that makes it most beneficial," says exercise physiologist Andrea Doepker-Gavidia of Train For Life Fitness & Lifestyle Consulting in Saskatoon.
Doepker-Gavidia argues that you can easily get fit in the comfort of your own home — as long as you're up to the challenge.
If you can avoid the phone calls, the television and chatty kids or family members in the background, Doepker-Gavidia says you can set a schedule to reach your health and weight goals without spending any money on memberships or stability balls.
"Choose exercises that are full body movements that mimic everyday patterns. These will use more energy and incorporate more muscle groups and will teach your body how to move as a whole more efficiently," she tells The Huffington Post Canada.
Working out with weights has proven to both intensify and speed up your metabolism, according to Women's Health magazine, but sometimes using just your bodyweight or sticking to cardio can combat stress better than strength training.
To make things a little easier on you, Doepker-Gavidia suggests turning off your phone during your routine, invite a friend or another family member over as a fitness buddy and turn up your favourite music (like one of these awesome workout tunes from 2012) to tune out everything around you.
Ready to get motivated? Here are Doepker-Gavidia's 10 exercises you can do on your hardwood floor — we recommend starting out with 15 to 20 sets and only adding weights when you're ready:
10 Exercises To Do At Home
Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower your hips (almost like you're sitting in a chair). As you bend your knees, your thighs will be parallel with the floor, says exercise physiologist Andrea Doepker-Gavidia of Train For Life Fitness & Lifestyle Consulting in Saskatoon. Ensure your knees don’t go beyond your toes and keep your chest up and look straight ahead. Stand back up to start position and repeat.
Place your hands on the floor and keep them under your shoulders. Holding your body straight, bend your elbows close to you body. Lower your chest between your hands and push back up into the starting position. If you're having trouble completing a push-up, place your knees on the floor to make things easier. For intensity, raise your feet up onto stairs or an elevated surface to increase the difficulty.
To start, get into a semi-squat position and leap sideways to land on your right foot. Immediately push off in the opposite direction and land on your left foot. Make sure you perform these skaters continuously.
Pace yourself for this one. We recommend giving yourself a goal of 15 to 20 crawls. Begin this move in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Lower yourself down one arm at a time into a plank position on your forearms, while keeping your elbows directly under your shoulders. Push back up one arm at a time into your starting push-up position. Alternate the arm you lead with and maintain a straight body throughout the movement. Lower your knees to the floor to decrease the difficulty level.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and place your arms to the side. Step forward with your right foot and lower your left knee towards the floor. Your knees should bend about 90 degrees. Ensure your right knee stays over your right ankle and don't let your knee go past your toes. Step up to balance on your right foot and switch feet.
Single Leg Balance Stick:
Balance on your right foot with your left foot behind you. Lean forward, keeping a straight body position and lift your left heel towards the ceiling. Maintain a slight bend in your standing knee so you don’t lock your knee. If you're having trouble balancing, focus on something in front of you or hold your back leg for initial support (pictured here).
Begin on all fours (downward dog), ensuring your hands are directly under your shoulders and your knees are directly under your hips. Slowly extend your right leg behind you and reach your right arm forward into a straight line. Hold your balance without arching your back. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
Side Plank Hip Drops:
Begin by lying on your right side with your right elbow directly lined under your shoulder. Keeping your feet on the floor, lift your hips off the floor and support your body with your forearm. Hold for three seconds and slowly lower your right hip onto the floor and repeat.
Lay on your back with your arms by your sides. Bend your knees while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Maintaining a straight back, raise your hips up to a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for three seconds and lower your hips slowly back to the floor and repeat.
Superman Back Extension:
Lay on your stomach and reach your arms forward (like you're flying). Gently raise your legs and upper body off the floor while keeping your head straight. Pause for three seconds and repeat.
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