January 9, 2019

Tone from Home with These 5 Quick Exercises

Fitness, Healthy Living, Weight Loss

Think about the last few weeks. Were there times you said you were too busy to do something? Dinner with friends, a family outing or quite possibly, the most common activity we tend to neglect — exercise. In fact, studies show many Americans claim they do not have enough time to maintain an ideal balance. Don’t let exercise be one of the activities we say we are too busy to do. Working your body can actually provide relief from your too-busy lifestyle. Research proves you release positive endorphins when you exercise your muscles. This can relieve stress and anxiety, leaving you with a lighter-than-air feeling. We often struggle to make it to a gym or facility to work out. Good thing there are exercises you can do right from your own home. And you don’t even need any equipment to do them. Using your body weight gives your muscles a good workout, too. Replace complaining about your busy schedule with acting to improve your health and the way you feel. Perform the following exercises at a fast pace for a cardio or aerobic workout. Aim to reach between 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Subtract your age from 220 to find your maximum heart rate.

Cross Jack
We’ve all done jumping jacks since we were young, but this version changes the game a bit. Take a wide stance with your feet apart, and extend your arms out to your sides at shoulder height with your palms facing down. Jump, and cross your right arm over your left in front of you at shoulder height as you cross your right foot over your left. Jump back to the starting position and repeat, this time crossing your opposite arm and foot. Continue for a set of 30 (or however many you would like), and alternate sides.

Stair Climbers
According to Everyday Health, climbing stairs is a great heart-friendly exercise. Don’t worry if you don’t have stairs at home. Use your fireplace or make a ledge to step up and come back down. Alternate legs for a set of 20 on each leg. You can also do mountain climbers. Assume the push-up position with your arms shoulder-width apart and your back flat. Bring your right foot up to your chest as close as you can, and return to the starting position. Repeat with your left, and alternate legs for 30 seconds.

Plank Heel Touch
This exercise works your abdominal muscles, lower back, chest, shoulders and triceps. Get in the plank or push-up position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bring your right heel up and reach back with your left hand to touch it. Return to the starting position, and repeat with your opposite arm and leg. Continue for a set of 30 while alternating sides. 

Squats are a great exercise to work your glutes and legs. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and bend your elbows in front of you. While inhaling, use your hamstrings and glutes to squat down as if you are sitting down into a chair. Be sure your knees don’t go past your toes. Squat to 90 degrees, and exhale as you stand up. Add arm punches for more exercise. Punch your right arm out as you squat down, and bring it back in as you stand. Repeat, and alternate arms for 45 reps.

Start with your feet together. Inhale, and step forward with your left leg with elbows bent in front of you. Be sure your knee doesn’t go past your toe. Exhale, and use your hamstring and glutes to push you back up to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg, and alternate for 20 reps per leg. For added exercise, jump from left lunge to right lunge.

*Exercises can be found here.

You can benefit from aerobic exercise in a variety of ways. It helps control blood pressure, reduces stress and depression, improves cholesterol levels, boosts weight loss and aids in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Aerobic exercise also decreases diabetic blood sugars while increasing muscle and bone strength. It also helps prevent blood clots. Take a step toward a happier and healthier life by making time to exercise at home.

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