It’s true you don’t have to own your own gym to work out, there are some very cost-effective alternatives which include little or no investment at all. Remember before commencing in any fitness regime such as the at home workout routines it is advisable to speak to your doctor first. Make sure before taking part in any physical activity that you warm up and cool down afterwards. Working on your fitness without a gym doesn't have to be difficult, read on to find out more.
Working on your biceps, using tinned food
Tins of vegetables or soup can make for effective dumbbells and i’m sure that most of us have those to hand in our home. Dumbbells can also be purchased from sports shops and are available in various weights, choose carefully dependent on your fitness and strength level. You will get stronger in time so it’s best to get interchangeable dumbbells as they can be made heavier as your physical fitness improves. The great thing about dumbbells is that they are quite inexpensive to buy and don’t take much space up around home. The exercises to try with these are bicep curls, start with one weight in each hand down by your side and slowly raise your hands towards your shoulders then slowly return to the starting position. Try to do about three sets of twelve repetitions with a rest of a few minutes between each set.
Improving your grip strength, using tennis balls
Something as simple as tennis balls are great for this exercise. Try holding one in each hand and squeezing them momentarily before relaxing your grip. Repeat this exercise as many times as you can. This is a great exercise which will improve your grip and strengthen your forearm muscles. If you don't have any tennis balls to hand then try using a pair of tightly rolled up socks as an alternative.
Stretching Your Calves
Whilst sitting on the floor (preferably with you back up against a firm surface such as a door or wall) position your legs so that they are straight out in front of making sure that your toes are pointed towards the ceiling. Roll up a large towel and loop it around the sole of your feet, just below your toes. Pull the towel so that it is taught and then with one foot at a time push away with your feet. This exercise is really simple yet effective and can be done with items that are available to you without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Work on your thighs, using socks!
Simple ankle weights can be made by filling socks with medium such as sand or rice. Only half fill the socks and leave enough loose material so you can tie them to your ankles. An exercise to try with the ankle weights is to lie on your back with one knee bent and the other straight and flat against the floor. Slowly straighten the bent knee then return to your starting position, repeat this several times with both legs. Ankle weights can be purchased from good sports and fitness stores in various weights and sizes.
Sit ups can be performed with no gym equipment at all. Start by laying flat on your back with your legs stretched out straight in front of you. Slowly raise both knees until they are bent to roughly ninety degrees (keep your feet flat to the floor). You can now begin to perform sit ups, slowly raise your upper body towards your knees with your hands on the back of your head, continue to raise until you feel your stomach muscle start to tense up. There is no need to lean too far forward, slow and controlled movements is all that is necessary in order for this exercise to work.
In order to get into the starting position you should be kneeling down, lean forward until you can position your hand palms down on the floor in front of you and approximately at shoulder width apart. Stretch your legs out behind you, the only points of contact with the ground should now be your toes and the palms of your hands. Bare in mind that you are aiming to raise your entire body by using only your arms. You should imagine that you are trying to push the floor away from you. Slowly lower you body towards the floor until your elbows are at a ninety degree angle, once they are you can push your body back up into the starting position, you should aim to complete three sets of twelve repetitions with a two to three minute rest between sets.
Rather than purchasing an expensive gym mat consider using a thick beach towel or thick woolen blanket folded and placed in the area you are going to work out. Depending on the exercises you are going to undertake during your workout a firm mattress may be all you need. Be careful not to use a soft mattress as this will make for poor posture ultimately resulting in injury.
Exercising out and about
With just some small changes to your daily routine you can exercise all day long without even trying that hard. Here’s some handy little hints and tips to get you more active when you are out and about.
1.Walk, Jog or maybe you could even cycle to and from work? If you are worried about arriving at work in your exercise gear then why not carry a change of clothes in a small back pack?
2.Many of us work where there are no facilities to get a shower so why not get a colleague to give you a lift to work then at the end of the day you could jog home. Now what better way is there to relieve the days stresses than a nice steady jog home.
3.Do you use public transport to get to work? If so try getting off the bus, train or tram a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way.
4.Here’s a simple one, rather than taking the escalator or lift why not try using the stairs? You will be surprised how many calories can be burnt while climbing an average amount of stairs each day.