Is your New Year’s resolution to get fit? If so, you’re in luck! This week we’re sharing tips for getting in shape. Today we’ll start with exercises that you can even do at home. So if you don’t want to splurge on a gym membership, are pressed for time, or can’t leave the kids at home alone, try these exercises!
Here are five of our favorites:
- Walking – We recently had a few unseasonably nice days here in New York, and on those days it’s great to get outside and take advantage of the weather. Go for a brisk walk around the neighborhood or head over to your local park. Walk the dog. Anything to get yourself moving. And on those days when it’s not so nice, walk around the house! It may seem funny, but you can get a great workout. Purposely bring laundry from the laundry room back to the bedroom a few pieces at a time. Walk up and down the stairs as many times as you can in 10 minutes—and if you live in an apartment building like we do, the staircases can be a great place to get your exercise in. Get moving around the house when the weather outside keeps you inside.
- Jump rope – Jumping is a great aerobic exercise that helps to blasts calories and fat . It’s also inexpensive and portable, and once you get used to it, easy to do! If you haven’t jumped rope since grade school, don’t be discouraged if you can’t do it right away. It takes some practice to get the coordination down. For some, it helps to start by just swinging the rope, then just jumping, then putting the two movements together. If you have too much trouble jumping rope, try jumping jacks. It’s a similar exercise and you’ll experience the same benefits.
- Pushups – You can do them anywhere and all you need is yourself! The most important thing to remember is to keep your back straight from your neck to your rearend and then down to your feet; don’t let your stomach sag. If you find the normal push up (on your toes) too hard, modify at first by leaning on your knees. Once you build up some strength, you can progress to your toes. You can also play with arm positions to work different muscles. The normal push up position has your arms squared underneath your shoulders. Try moving both hands together in the center of your chest to work your triceps! And remember – make your movements slow and controlled to get the best results! Don’t cheat yourself by going too quickly and relying on momentum instead of muscle strength.
- Lunges – Again, all you need to do these is your body! If you don’t have enough room to do walking lunges, you can do them in place. If you have about 20 yards, you can do walking lunges. Either way, the motion is the same. Have one leg ahead of you and one leg behind you. Slowly lower yourself to the ground until your back knee is about an inch from the floor. Slowly raise yourself back up. When you are down, your front knee should make a 90-degree angle with the ground – you don’t want your knee to be ahead of your toes. If you are walking, step forward into the next lunge. If not, lower yourself down on the same side a few more times and then switch sides.
- Planks – These are a great way to work your abs! And once again your body is the only equipment you’ll need! Set yourself up in a push up position with your arms underneath your shoulders and your back straight from your neck to your feet. Hold this position for as long as you can, focusing on pushing your head towards the wall in front of you and your heels towards the wall behind you to elongate your body. Take a brief rest when you need it and do a few more reps. You’ll have a strong core in no time!