We all use the excuses, why we cannot work out, no time, not the right equipment, not enough equipment. When it comes to fitness there are thousands of fancy programs methods and gadgets to help you with this process, and many of them work, but not everyone can afford the program, personal trainer or equipment. I am in no way an expert, but what I do know is you must start out with three little things… time, a plan and motivation. Without out these steps, you can get stuck and regrettably quit. Well, fret no more. I have come up with the short list of steps to keep you on track and motivated so you can get to that new you for the summertime.
You may be asking yourself, between my crazy schedule and my other commitments at home, it is all but impossible to stay on a schedule at a local gym, so home it is.
So, what can I do to get and stay fit with what I have to work with at home? A question that haunts most of us when we go through this thought process. The good news is, that all you need you have with you every day. YOU! That is right; you are your best workout partner.
Here is the short list I promised you.
How do I get more time in my day?
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. The statement that says if you want to get something done give it to a busy person could not be truer. It is all about time management. All you need is 15-20 minutes out of 24 hours to get and stay fit. We all get those moments of drain in a day, that is your window.
How do I develop a plan to get the most out of my fitness plan in the limited time I have?
Your body is all the weight or resistance, in gym terms, that you need.
First, we begin with something often overlooked…
A little note on stretching. Most elderly fail to keep moving due to overwhelming joint pain and lack of joint mobility. Studies have shown that the greatest reason for this is tension around the joints of the body. It becomes a “Catch 22”. They do not move, stretch, lubricate the joints so they dry and tighten up causing them not to want to stretch or move. Let’s be smart about this while we are still young enough to never get to that place.
Each day starts with a brisk 5-minute warmup.
UPPER BODY WORKOUT
Once your body is ready, begin with the largest muscles and work down to the smallest. Whatever time you have, get the most for your efforts.
Push-ups done on your knees with slow full motions gives you more of a workout than going fast. Resisting gravity as it pulls you down is just as important as pushing yourself away from it. Change it up with varying your arm position from wide to narrow.
Lift your body onto all fours (hands and feet) and begin to move forward, back and both sides for a few feet. Keeping your body from sagging and doing this movement works multiple muscles at one time.
This one is self-explanatory. Get on your belly, lift yourself up onto your elbows, keep your body straight from heels to head and see how long you can keep that position. When your body sags or you reach one minute, you are done. This single exercise is a great multiple muscle workout method.
LOWER BODY WORKOUT
Because the lower body has some of the largest muscle groups within the body, you get the most fat to burn. Remember, muscle eats fat for fuel. The more you challenge your muscles, the more they eat.
Squats are more often than not done incorrectly. Most people fail to keep their body in the right position, and this may cause knee, hip or low back issues. My suggestion is to try this simple method to start. Place a chair on a secure surface. Position yourself over the chair so you would sit down if you lowered your bottom to it. Now place your hand on your hips, lift your hands up and out in from of you to horizontal while lowering yourself just until you touch the seat. Immediately raise yourself back to a standing position. Do this exercise with your stomach tight to keep your core strong. Once you get comfortable, remove the chair and never let your thighs get below horizontal when you lower down. Remember, it is just as important to resist gravity on the way down as it is to lift yourself up away from gravity.
Get on all fours (hands and knees) and raise one leg and slowly kick back and up toward the ceiling until the leg is straight and return it to the starting position. Do that ten times with each leg. Now do another set of 10 but vary where you are slowly kicking your foot. Try the quarter clock method. Kick back to 12, 3, 6 and 9’oclock in one direction then reverse direction.
The core of the body is the part that fails first. If you have no or very little time, this is the place to concentrate your efforts.
Nothing works your core like dancing. Go to YouTube and follow one of the many dance videos that are specifically for core strengthening.
Crunches are not full sit-ups. You can hurt yourself doing full sit-ups. Simply lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the ground. With your core tight lift your head until you feel the muscles tense in your abs. Lower down slowly and repeat. You can get more of your abs by alternating your lifts to the opposite leg alternating as you lift.
Using your legs as resistance uses your core immensely. Do this exercise by starting on your back. Lift one leg and bend the knee to reach the opposite elbow. Alternate this movement making sure that you do not force your head while lifting your arms. The best position for your hands is cupping your ears to prevent injury.
If you have stairs widen your stride, do this several times throughout t today, and you will feel it tomorrow.
If you are not a beginner and need some extra weight, you can fill empty laundry detergent or milk jugs bottles with water in place of light dumbells.
Remember gym class in grade school? Try some good old fashion jumping jacks. A simple exercise for all levels of fitness.
Grab some rope and start jumping, it is not only good for coordination it is a great cardiovascular workout.
Utilize that dining room chair for more than eating. If you are a beginner or are not able to get on the floor, you can use a chair for balance with many exercises, such as side leg lifts, assisted squats, and kickbacks.
How do I stay motivated with my crazy life?
Motivation or drive is innate in all of us. If your life were at stake, I am sure you would have no problem doing whatever you had to, to survive. Health is life. If not for yourself than Start by finding your purpose and move forward.