With our busy modern lifestyles it can be hard to find the time to put aside for exercise, and a trip to the gym every day isn’t always practical, plus gym memberships can be expensive. Still, if you’re serious about getting in shape and staying fit and healthy then no good can come from excuses like these when there are lots of simple but effective exercises you can do from home.
Skipping, or jumping rope, is incredibly good for you. It’s great cardio, working your heart and lungs, and works many other muscles at the same time. It’s a high-intensity you can do just about anywhere because all you need is a skipping rope which is easily portable and you don’t need much room in which to do it – just be careful to avoid ceiling fans and don’t knock any breakables off your benches!
Practising plank exercises is an effective way to develop core strength and tone abs, plus it’ll get your blood pumping and is sure to work up a sweat. You can choose either the elbow plank, where you lie face down on the floor then stiffen your body into a straight “plank” as you raise your body up using only your toes and elbows to support your weight, or the straight arm plank which has you supporting your planked body with the toes and hands so as to further work the arms, chest and shoulders. Hold as long as possible and increase your reps as you gain fitness and muscle.
Lunges are the ideal exercise for developing your lower body muscles and particularly for toning the thighs and buttocks. With shoulders back and body straight, take a big step forward with your right leg and lower your body until your left knee is almost to the ground and your right knee positioned directly above your ankle. Push forward with your left leg back to the starting position, then use your left leg to step forward and lower your right knee to the ground and so on. You can increase the challenge by performing the exercise with dumbbells or incorporating backward or side lunges into your routine.
While yoga is best known for being an exercise done in groups, it’s easy to take up at home in your spare time rather than signing up for classes. You can buy or hire instructional videos or, better yet, stream them online. You’ll find some great videos for free but you can also sign up for online classes and subscriptions that will give you access to many different workouts and routines to suit your abilities as you learn. If you have a tablet or laptop you can take them with you wherever you go so you never have to miss a class.
The burpee is a high-intensity, full-body exercise that builds cardio, burns fat and strengthens muscle. Burpees can be gruelling but they’re super effective and can be done from the comfort of your own lounge room. To complete one rep, start from a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you, kick your feet back so you’re in a push-up position, then jump your feet forward so you’re back in the original squat position. From there, leap up with your hands stretched into the air, and when you land again, return to the squat position. There are many variations so feel free to get creative.
For more help getting active and improving your health, contact your area’s Medicare Local and enquire about fitness and wellbeing support in your community.