Ditch the Gym and Save Money With Body-Weight Training
Simply getting to the gym is half the battle when it comes to keeping a consistent exercise schedule. When you fail to do that, not only are you missing out on a great workout, but you're also losing the money that you pay for your gym membership at the same time.
The good news is that you don't need fancy machines and you don't even have to talk yourself into leaving the comfort of your own home to work up a sweat. If you're looking to save time, money and effort, consider pushing your coffee table to the side, using a spare room or going out for some sunshine in the backyard to incorporate some body-weight training into your fitness routine.
Getting a cardio workout at home
Cardio workouts at a gym usually involve a treadmill, a stationary bike or even a stair climber, depending on your mood. Fortunately, you can get your heart pumping just as much by simply doing some body-weight exercises in your own home.
When looking to get a good cardio workout with body-weight training, the options are limitless. You can accomplish this with jumping jacks, burpees or mountain climbers. If you live in a multi-level house or on an upper level of a building, you can even work climbing stairs into your routine.
Getting enough sunshine plays an important role in staying healthy—so long as you remember to wear appropriate SPF. So for your cool-down, consider exploring a little by taking a brisk walk through your neighborhood.
Strategies for strengthening and toning
For avid weight trainers, it may be hard to believe that you can get a beneficial workout by ditching the dumbbells for body-weight training. However, body-weight training can provide the same benefits and will boost your metabolism and overall fitness and endurance.
To get your muscles burning in no time, try:
- Push-ups: Who needs a chest-press machine when you can use your own body to get stronger? Push-ups require you to exercise every muscle in your arms and have the added benefit of engaging your core at the same time.
- Squats: If you're looking to target your leg muscles, try doing some squats. The great thing about this exercise is that there are so many variations you can use to make things easier or harder. To take squats from a basic leg workout to a more challenging one, you can do single leg squats (which also improve your balance) or you can add a little more resistance by doing jump squats instead. If you want to ease into it a bit, try starting out with a few rounds of 60-second wall sits.
- Core exercise: Engage your core by doing sit-ups, crunches and planks. To turn the difficulty up a notch, try to do some variations of these classic core exercises, such as bicycle crunches, Russian twists, scissor kicks and more.
Incorporating just half an hour of body-weight training into your routine five times a week will benefit you both physically and mentally. The next time you want to work out but the thought of getting to the gym feels like a little too much of a hassle, consider doing a few of these equipment-free exercises to work up a healthy sweat right from home.