Routine exercise is a crucial part of any healthy lifestyle, especially following a weight loss procedure or during a weight loss program. If you don’t have access to a fitness centre, not to worry! There are a wide variety of exercises that can be incorporated into your exercise regimen that don’t require a gym. These exercises can be performed at home, in your backyard, or even outside at a local park.
While working out at home, a beneficial technique is to incorporate several exercises into a circuit. A basic circuit might include three different exercises and would be completed several times. Your personal workout regimen completely depends on your health, and comfort and fitness levels.
1. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are great if you are looking for a cardiovascular exercise that uses your entire body. Begin by standing straight, with your legs together, and arms by your sides. As you jump into the air, spread your legs and lift your arms just above shoulder height. Continue to do so at an intense level for one to two minutes at a time, depending on your fitness level. For every two minutes of jumping jacks, you should burn roughly 15-20 calories.[i] This means that incorporating ten minutes of jumping jacks into your workout could potentially burn 75-100 calories.
Looking for a challenge? Why not try modified burpees. After you complete one jumping jack, take it to the floor and do a push-up. Keep reading to learn more about push-ups!
Push-ups are an oldie, but a goodie. This compound exercise works your chest, shoulders and triceps, by using the force of your own body weight. Simply lay on the floor face down, and place your hands on the floor, at shoulder width apart. Push-up using your arms until they are straight and you are an arm’s-length above the floor. Lower yourself downward and exhale, until your chest just grazes the floor, and then push yourself back up. Trial and error will help you to determine how many repetitions you are comfortable with. For a beginner, you should aim for anywhere from eight to ten pushups in one set. If you are looking for some variety with your push-ups, there are a few variations you can try:
- Wall push-ups
- Chair/bench push-ups
- Stability ball push-ups
- Bosu ball balance trainer push-ups
Looking for a challenge? Tricep dips have proven to be an effective triceps, chest and shoulder exercise, that can be done using a chair, park bench or workout bench.
Sit-ups, or crunches, have been proven time and time again to be a highly-effective abdominal exercise. Begin by laying down flat on your back, with your knees bent at a 90° angle. Place your hands on either side of your head, with your palms facing up. Now, in a slow and controlled motion, lift your shoulders off the ground by about 4-6 inches. Hold the position for a moment, and lower your shoulders back down to the floor. It’s important to keep your lower back flat against the floor, and use your abdominal muscles to do all the work. For beginners, start with roughly three sets of ten crunches and increase that amount as you progress.[ii] One minute of sit-ups can burn roughly 8 calories.[iii] To spice things up, try completing your crunches with a stability ball.
Looking for a challenge? Instead of placing your hands on the sides of your head, hold a medicine ball at chest level. As you completely rise from the ground, throw the medicine ball to a partner, and catch it before you lower yourself back down.
If you are looking to strengthen the muscles in your legs and glutes, squats are the way to go! Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, and feet facing slightly outwards. Bend your knees to a 90° angle, while extending your rear outwards, as though you were trying to take a seat in a chair that is too far away. Hold the position for a moment, and then stand straight again. The most important thing to remember with squats is having proper posture and positioning. If you are unsure of how successful your technique is, stand beside a mirror and watch your movements. To calculate how many calories you burn while doing squats, multiply your weight by .096 and then multiply that amount by how many minutes you spend doing squats.[iv]
Looking for a challenge? Try jumping squats. As you finish each squat and begin to rise into a standing position, jump into the air.
5. Yoga and Stretching
There are many different yoga positions and routines, ranging from beginner to advanced. There are a wide variety of yoga DVDs, books and online tutorials that can show you step-by-step instructions for different yoga positions.
Stretching is very important for every workout. After your initial warm-up, you should take ten minutes to stretch all the muscles in your body slowly and carefully.
[ii] Body Building | Crunches” [Online]. Available: http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/crunches. [Accessed: 11-18-2016].
[iv] “LIVESTRONG | Calories Burned During Squats” [Online]. Available: http://www.livestrong.com/article/313995-calories-burned-during-squats/. [Accessed: 11-18-2016].