Why pay money for expensive gym memberships, or go for yet another run in the rain or cold, when you can engage in an effective and intense workout in your own home? If you’re ready to burn calories and build muscle, check out these exercise routines you can try without leaving the comfort and safety of your own home.
If your home has stairs, you don’t need a stair stepper at the gym! You should always be very careful when walking up and down real flights of stairs, but it is a great, very intense form of exercise that can be done at home. You don’t even need to walk quickly to firm and tone your backside, your hips, and your thighs, and to burn serious calories. Just going up and down stairs at a normal pace will give you a great workout.
Stair steppers usually have timers to boost motivation, but an egg timer can be a good substitute at home. Set it for five or ten minutes or your average time on the stair machine at the gym, and then increase the time by a full minute every week. You’ll lose weight and firm up in no time.
Short sprints are a great interval workout; anytime you add a short burst of speed to a workout, you are working your heart to the max and instantly increasing your metabolism. Football players and other professional athletes use sprints to build endurance and boost muscle tone in the legs and backside.
Note that you don’t need to go far for sprints to be effective. Clear a path in your basement or across your living room and dining room, and be sure you wear shoes with a good grip. Sprint quickly from one side to the other, then back again. You can even do this up and down your driveway or backyard for a very effective workout.
Lifting (or resistance training) will build muscle and raise your metabolism, and you don’t need to invest in expensive or unsightly weights to enjoy this workout at home. Water itself weighs just over 8 pounds per gallon, so two gallon jugs of water can be all you need to tone and firm your arms.
While 8 pounds may not sound like much, lifting jugs of water can actually be a more intense workout than working with weights. This is because water shifts in the jug as you lift it, which in turn challenges your muscles to adjust. Ensure the jugs are closed tightly, and lift them over your head to working out the triceps and shoulders, or do simple arm curls for a powerful and challenging workout.
4. Jumping Rope
Jumping rope is a very challenging exercise because you’re actually fighting gravity each time you leap up off the ground. This takes a tremendous amount of effort, and you can burn several hundred calories every hour just by jumping rope. Make sure you clear a wide enough space to jump, and wear shoes with thick soles to cushion the impact. Jump rope every day for at least 15 minutes, you should see the pounds start to melt away.
5. Running in Place
How much money do you pay for the privilege of walking on a treadmill at the gym when you can walk, run, and march right at home in front of your own television? Running at home can allow you to mix up your routine and circumvents the need to wait in line for an available machine.
To make this home workout effective, be sure you change up the movements and challenge yourself. Start with a light walk, then run in place as fast as you can for several minute. Next, walk again, then march, then walk. By mixing up your movements, you challenge your body and keep it burning the maximum amount of calories. You can try timing walking and jogging according to TV shows; for example, you might walk through the program, jog during the first commercial, and so on.
Dancing is a great aerobic activity that anyone can do, and it makes exercising fun! If you think you don’t know how to dance, now is the time to learn. You can invest in a DVD collection or even take lessons near your home. Once you know a few basic moves, you can then get up and dance every time you need to exercise (instead of hitting another boring, stuffy, and downright expensive gym).
Remember that home workouts, just like gym workouts, produce results in proportion to your efforts, so keep your routines intense and challenging while still staying safe at home.