More people than ever are working from home. Combine that with a still sluggish economy, and a fancy gym membership may not be on the top of your list. But physical activity should be! Check out these ten exercises you can do at home with little equipment, but all the benefits to your body.
1. Core work: The good old-fashioned sit-up is still the most effective way to work off belly fat, burn fat, boost energy and build strength to support the rest of your body. There are variations of course - - from alternating sides to leg lifts to the yoga boat pose - - so choose your poison and commit to a steady routine daily.
2. The push-up: Another long-standing staple in fitness. Nothing builds upper arm, chest, shoulders, and even abs like getting friendly with the push-up. If you’re not quite ready for the full push-up, you can start with bent knees and elbows, and then work your way up. You should notice strength and endurance build rather quickly if you do a dozen or so push-ups per day.
3. Yoga: The quintessential do-anywhere workout, the variety of yoga poses makes it easy to work the whole body or isolate target areas. While a yoga mat and certain props can enhance your practice, they are not a necessity. Try several rounds of sun salutations to get your heart rate going, and work on balance and focus with poses like warrior, tree and triangle.
4. Go for a walk: Technically you have to leave home to do this, but it's free and can be an excellent workout. Walking works every muscle in the body, and it gets you moving and breathing fresh air. Walking is also a kind of a moving meditation that can actually boost your creativity. Or be uber efficient, and do some errands while you're walking.
5. Garden: Spending time in the garden may not seem like a strong workout, but it certainly can be. From turning soil to pruning, repetitive motions are great for the body. And spending time tending nature is good for the soul!
6. Trampoline: Maybe the kids have one, or you can invest in a small indoor trampoline, but either way it's one of the best exercises out there. The trampoline can stimulate lymphatic fluid, and get your heart rate going for a hardcore cardio boost. Plus it's seriously fun.
7. Weights: You don't need to have a fancy home gym to benefit from weights. In fact, you don't even have to have weights to build strength - - try heavy books and cans of beans! But if do have a small set of free weights in the home you can build deltoids, biceps and triceps through curls to benching, and use weights that strap onto ankles or wrists to increase aerobic activity.
8. The squat: These can easily be done anywhere, and can build strength and spine length. If needed, you can use a chair to help your posture and balance.
9. The lunge: Another great leg and buttocks work out comes via the lunge. This is a fantastic exercise for tight hips, and can help to tone that hard to access inner thigh area.
10. Tai Chi: This ancient Chinese meditation combines focus, breath and postures to build strength, calm the mind, and find balance.
Image: Lululemon Athletica
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