There’s no getting around it: we’re getting lazier. With the advent of lifestyles that offer us everything at our very fingertips, combined with our rigorous and often demanding schedules, sometimes the last thing we want to do with our spare time is schlep our bodies over to a gym class, a palates session or a date with even the hottest male trainer. We know we need to exercise, but just the idea of getting to our respective exercise destinations makes us somehow lose our steam. Well, the reality is that we no longer have such excuses, because a little resourcefulness and creativity when it comes to fitness can actually go a very long way.
The fitness rulebooks don’t say we have to spend loads of money or time on our pursuit to be in the best shape possible. What they do tell us is to eat right, move our bodies, increase our heart rate, practice strength training and most of all—they tell us to be consistent, which means that one way or another, we should find a way to exercise every day. So whether you are jam-packed with appointments and have no time for the gym or simply don’t feel like leaving the house, here are 10 stay-at-home workouts that you can incorporate into your life—so that excuses are never an option.
1. Virtual Yoga
Websites like the LA-based Yoga Glo offer unlimited online yoga classes that you can follow along right from the comfort of your own home. Class times range from five minutes to an hour and a half, so you can literally dip in and out of your Zen zone as often and for as long as you need or have time for. Class difficulty also ranges from levels one to three, depending on your practice or where your body happens to be at on any given day; and there are more than a thousand classes you can choose from.
2. The Rocky Balboa
You don’t need anything but yourself to demonstrate your inner champ, which you can prove by stripping down your workouts to the bare minimum. A few sets of push-ups, sit-ups, triceps dips, plank holds, squats and lunges each day at home are just as effective as any cardio slog at a gym.
3. Dance Party
If you really don’t feel like working out, but you know you have eaten one too many biscuits this week, why not host your own personal dance party and invite yourself as the guest of honor? Dance like you’re the star of the show, making sure you’re moving your whole body, and don’t stop until you’ve broken a good sweat.
A true bi-weekly sex-a-thon not only keeps things simmering between you and your honey, but also keeps the old ticker’s rate nice and high. Think of your bedroom romps as wonderful opportunities to enhance and refine the very body you get to enjoy.
5. Fitness Ball as the New Lounger
If you keep a medicine ball (also known as a fitness ball) around, it’s easy to drag out in front of the TV for static sets of leg lifts, crunches, push-ups and so many other varieties of core work.
6. Free Weights, Free Spirit
Get yourself three different sets of free weights, including a light, medium and heavy set (you can start with two, five and ten; and later upgrade to five, eight and twelve). And the next time you’re getting ready to cuddle up with an episode of Game of Thrones, pour yourself a glass of water, bring out your weights for sets of shoulder presses, bicep curls, triceps kickbacks and chest presses—as you privately and comfortably transform yourself from princess to queen.
7. Mission Impossible: Legs, Butt and Thighs
Likewise, while you are watching TV, there is nothing stopping from you getting on all fours and pumping out a few sets of leg and thigh lifts and hip presses. Focus on these lower body muscle groups and make sure you do the same for each leg and side to keep the symmetry in sync.
8. Wii Not?
The advent of high technology has turned the prospect of exercise into a full-fledged, full-body virtual video game adventure; so that we can unleash our inner Shakira without worrying about what anyone around us is going to think. Wii Fit and Wii Zumba are great ways to start.
9. The Home Stretch
There is nothing quite like the feeling of sending fresh, new oxygenated blood to the tight, tense parts of our bodies that tend to lock tighter into place as we move through our busy routines. This is why it is so great to make use of our down time at home to settle into some deep, breath-centric, no-nonsense stretching. Stretching not only prepares our muscles and joints for actual workouts, but it relaxes and lengthens them so that we can move with more freedom and access.
10. ABS-olutely Fabulous
Core strength is believed to be the mark of a person’s structural integrity. And that said, a six-pack does not create itself. So why not use your at-home time to chisel out the dream belly you so desire. From static high and low planks to all varieties of crunches and reverse crunches—that coveted mid-riff can be yours, but only if you give it a little daily love.