The cooler temperatures and limited daylight hours that come with winter can make it difficult to fit exercise into your schedule.
If you are anything like me, snuggling up with a blanket seems a lot more appealing than heading to the gym in your coat, gloves and boots. At the same time, many of us set resolutions to be more active this year. This means it is important to carve out some time in your day for exercise ? even if it is not at the gym. Below are some tips to help you achieve a good workout, at home!
1. Body weight exercises:
Body weight exercises can be done anywhere without any equipment, all you need is yourself! Squats and planks are great options for body weight exercises. These exercises can be modified based on skill level making them great exercises for all levels of fitness.
For step-by-step instructions on how to perform these exercises, read our ?Exercises that Stand the Test of Time? blog.
You can skip using a stop watch or timer by incorporating some of your exercises into your daily activities and using these activities to ?time? your exercises. For example, if you are watching a show you can perform an exercise, like a plank or squats, during the commercial break or every time a specific character appears. Performing an exercise or two each hour would be an easy way to get in a home workout.
3. No weights, no problem:
If you have built up some strength from body weight exercises and are ready to add some extra weight to your exercises, you can try utilizing objects/items in your house as weights. For example, cans, water bottles or books could be used as weight training equipment. Use the cans or water bottles to perform bicep curls, tricep kickbacks or overhead presses. Or, try using a book to perform weighted squats, lunges, overhead presses or abdominal exercises.
4. Abdominal exercises:
Core strength is very important, and exercises to build up core strength can easily be performed without equipment. In addition to planks, you can also try side planks or TA Isometric exercises. The most important thing to remember with abdominal exercises is form and keeping your core muscles engaged.
Lie on your side with your elbow bent on the ground underneath your shoulder and your other arm supported along the top side. Keep your feet stacked. Engage your abdominal muscles and lift your hips off the floor until your body is in a straight line. Ensure your hips and shoulders remain facing forward, your body does not rotate and your hips don?t drop toward the floor. Hold for 20-60 seconds.
Lie on your back and bend you knees, bringing your hips toward your chest until they are slightly above parallel. Rest your hands on your thighs. Gently push your thighs into your hands, meeting the resistance by pushing your hands into your thighs until you feel your abdominal muscles engage. The activation should be felt in your lower abdominal region without feeling excessive use of your arm muscles. Continue breathing normally during the exercise to ensure your back remains flat against the floor.
5. Walking and stair climbing:
The easiest home workout is walking and stair climbing. Take a few laps around your house each hour or during a commercial break. If you feel safe on the stairs, going up and down a few times each hour or commercial break can help get your heart rate up. Challenge yourself on the stairs by not using the railing. You can also try carrying a book while walking or stair climbing to increase difficulty.
Helping You Reach Your Goals
As you can see from these tips, it is easy to get in a workout at home. However, if pain or injury are preventing you from being active, schedule a free assessment to be seen by one of our experts online or at one of our clinics. Our team will take a look at your condition and provide recommendations for treatment to help you heal so you can stay active all winter long.
By Malvika Sampath, PT, DPT for Athletico Physical Therapy
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