Finding the time to fit exercise into your schedule can be a challenge. If you're having trouble getting those workouts in, a great alternative is to exercise at home.
Whilst many people may be using exercise equipment like treadmills or stationary bikes to workout at home, big pieces of equipment aren't required to get in a good home based workout. With that in mind we've put together this list of workouts you can do at home, each with minimal equipment required.
The 7-minute workout
All you need to complete the 7-minute workout is a chair, a wall, and your own body weight. The workout uses HIIT (high intensity interval training) to create results similar to completing a run and trip to the weight room. There are twelve different exercises that should be completed, each for 30 seconds, with 10 seconds of rest in between. While it would be nice to just be able to work out for 7 minutes per day, the authors do suggest repeating the workout 2 or 3 times depending on time constraints to get the best benefit.
We love kettlebell weights because they're small (and don't take up much space like a bench and barbells), but working out with them can pack a big punch - one study shows that you can burn up to 20 calories a minute. Kettlebells differ from traditional weights because as you lift them their centre of gravity actually shifts, forcing you to activate more muscle groups to use them. Our favourite moves include the kettlebell swing and the dead lift. Kettlebells come in a variety of weights, as well as shapes/sizes depending on the material they are made from. For example an 8kg kettlebell made from cast-iron will be much smaller than one made from vinyl. While you could potentially buy a kettlebell or two in every weight, you'd probably be just fine picking one weight and buying one or two, depending on what moves you want to try.
Workout videos are a great way to fit a fun and impactful aerobic workout into your day, right from the comfort of your home. There are dozens of types of workouts you can try - from Yoga and Pilates, to different styles of dance or old favourites, like Tae Bo. The best part of working out alongside a video these days is that you are no longer tied to whatever is in your personal DVD collection. Thanks to sites like YouTube, there are a variety of free videos online that you can work out to. You could try something new every day!
If you have enough space to roll out a yoga mat in your home, then you have enough space to give yoga a go! If you're a beginner, then it may be a good idea to check out a class so you can learn the moves and proper form, etc, but if that isn't an option you can pick up a book or a DVD, or check out tutorials online to get going. If you already know what you're doing, then completing a workout is as simple as unrolling your mat and moving in to downward facing dog. Namaste!
Stability balls, also known as exercise balls, swiss balls, or gym balls are great for doing a whole host of moves that can give your entire body a workout. The unstable nature of a stability ball will force your body to constantly adjust to maintain balance which will force you to activate more muscles to stay steady. It will also lead to improvements in balance and flexibility. Stability balls are great for strength training exercises, and are very beneficial for spine and back health. If you're concerned about finding space to store your ball when it's not in use, it can be inflated and deflated at will or, even better, you can replace one of your chairs with it and use it when you're sitting watching TV or at the computer.