If you can’t make it to the gym every day or don’t have the money for a gym membership, here’s some creative solutions for getting fit.
When I head out to an appointment, I don’t expect my clients to have a full fitness center in their home, nor do I rely on them having all the equipment. When I pull in the driveway to train the family, or simply their kids, I tend to use everyday items, i.e. pool rings, stepping stools, light weights, etc.
Although going to the gym can be an awesome experience, it’s not absolutely necessary for getting in shape. By using household items, or simply modifying the way you do chores, you can get an amazing workout from the convenience of your own home.
As long as you’re moving...you’re working! Whether you’re walking around the block, or cleaning the house as fast as you can, the workout doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to get your heart rate up! It also doesn’t hurt to have fun while you’re doing it!
Being a firm believer in “Family Fitness”, have the whole family involved, make it fun and do it together! If you’re watching television, have a competition during the commercials of who can do the most abdominal crunches or pushups. Taking a walk after dinner every night is a wonderful way to get your kids used to exercise and also a great time for the family to truly relax and talk about the day.
If you truly want an intense workout, the biggest trends in fitness right now are those that involve using your body weight as resistance. If you really want a tough workout, go back to the basics! Pushups, sit-ups, mountain climbers, up / downs (also called burpees), pull ups, squats and walking lunges are amazing exercises that involve little to no equipment. If there would be one piece of equipment I could recommend to someone trying to lose weight, buy a jump rope! If you start with a minute or two a day and work your way up, you improve your cardio level, and burn an insane amount of calories!
A few examples of household items you can use for equipment are:
• Water Bottles: You can create an entire “weight” system on water bottles alone. Use smaller water bottles to start, then increase up to the gallon size jugs which weigh about 8 pounds each. Adding sand to the gallon can make it up to 15 pounds! Carry them while doing the squats or walking lunges.
• Stepping Stool: Using a stepping stool, practice stepping up and down and have fun with it! This not only works your quads, but also your butt and your hamstrings, which is definitely a common area with women. Additionally, the step can be a measurement by which you do squats. Squat down until your butt hits the stool, then stand back up.
• Chair: By using a sturdy, armless straight-back chair, you can do dips or even put your feet on the chair to do a more difficult pushup. You can also use the chair as a bench to do curls or different exercises with resistance bands.
Heather Hackett is the Chief Fitness Officer of I Train Your Kids, a company focused on improving the health of children and their families through proper nutrition and exercise. Starting this Fall, Heather will also be offering online training and nutrition counseling which will allow her to train any child or family, anywhere. To contact Heather or for more information, please visit www.iTrainYourKids.com.