“I can’t afford a gym membership.”
“I don’t have time to exercise!”
Hands down those are my two least favorite things to hear from people when I talk about the importance of exercise. After working in the health and fitness industry for over 14 years, I’ve heard it A LOT! I may have even used one of those statements myself on super busy days when there doesn’t seem to be enough minutes, never mind hours, to fit it all in. The truth is, we all have the time to exercise. You just need to MAKE time for it!
It’s a common misconception that you need to have a gym membership or need to spend hours and hours exercising to see any benefit. In reality, you can get a fantastic workout in less than 30 minutes, all without stepping foot inside a gym.
The internet is full of at home workouts. From cardio to Barre, there’s a workout for you. Interested in yoga? Try on demand workouts for whatever style you prefer. A favorite of mine is yogadownload.com. They have plenty of workouts that are free or available for a small fee. Pinterest is another great resource. Search for at home workouts and you’ll find something for every level of intensity.
Since I haven’t had a gym membership in 5 years, I’ve learned to be creative in how to get my exercise. I’m a big fan of bodyweight exercises. They pack a big punch in intensity and can be done anywhere, anytime. When my kids are playing, I’ll set the timer on my phone and do a quick AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible). Bonus, if they decide to up the intensity for me by jumping on my back for added resistance!
Here’s a simple bodyweight exercise routine that will have your muscles working hard from head to toe. Do each exercise for 30-60 seconds. Take a 2 minute break to catch your breath, before repeating the whole set 2-3 more times. Have fun!
1. Inchworm: Stand up tall with the legs straight, fingertips touch the floor. Keeping the legs straight (but not locked!), slowly lower the torso toward the floor, and then walk the hands forward. Once in a push-up position, start taking tiny steps so the feet meet the hands.
2. Mountain Climber: Starting on your hands and knees, bring the left foot forward directly under the chest while straightening the right leg. Keeping the hands on the ground and core tight, jump and switch legs. The left leg should now be extended behind the body with the right knee forward.
3. Plank-to-Push-Up: Starting in a plank position, place down one hand at a time to lift up into a push-up position, with the back straight and the core engaged. Then move one arm at a time back into the plank position (forearms on the ground). Repeat, alternating the arm that makes the first move.
4. Burpees: Start out in a low squat position with hands on the floor. Next, jump the feet back to a push-up position, complete one push-up, then immediately return the feet to the squat position. Leap up as high as possible before squatting and moving back into the push-up portion of the show.
5. Single Leg Deadlift: Start in a standing position with the feet together. Lift the right leg slightly, and lower the arms and torso while raising the right leg behind the body. Keep the left knee slightly bent and reach the arms as close to the floor as possible. Raise the torso while lowering the right leg. Switch legs.
6. Wall Sit: Slowly slide your back down a wall until the thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure the knees are directly above the ankles and keep the back straight. Go for 60 seconds per set (or however long it takes to feel the quake and shake).
7. Dolphin Push-Up: Start out in dolphin pose (down-dog with elbows on the floor). Lean forward, moving until the head is over the hands. Push up through the arms and return to the starting position.
8. Triceps Dip: Sit on the edge of a step or bench. Grab the edge of the elevated surface and straighten the arms. Bend them to a 90-degree angle, and straighten again while the heels push towards the floor. To make it a little harder, lift one leg off the ground.
9. Bridge: Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Place arms at your side and lift up the spine and hips. Only the head, feet, arms, and shoulders should be on the ground. Then lift one leg upwards, keeping the core tight. Slowly bring the leg back down, and then lift back up.
10. Side Plank: Roll to the side and come up on one foot and elbow. Make sure the hips are lifted and the core is engaged, and hang tight.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Stonyfield. The content provided, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If you have any questions about health or nutrition, we always think it’s best to consult with your doctor or healthcare practitioner. .