Working exercise into a busy schedule is difficult. Sometimes, it is impossible. This does not mean your workout routine needs to suffer. Here are some workouts and tips for when you can’t make it to the gym.
Workouts Improve Productivity
It is easy to make excuses for not working out. The most prevalent excuse is that we are “too busy.” This is ironic, as exercise is one of the best-proven ways to reduce stress and increase productivity. We all can take ten to fifteen minutes out of our day to get a little exercise, even if it just means taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Establishing Your Home Workout Routine
The best way busy people stay fit is establishing a home workout routine. Set aside a dedicated block of time before work or after to do a few, short exercises. Home workout equipment like treadmills, elliptical machines, bikes, free weights, resistance bands, pull up bars, and exercise balls make this easy.
Exercises That Don’t Require Equipment
There are plenty of exercises that do not require additional equipment. Some just use your body, while others use stairs or chairs to increase resistance. Here is a list of just a few of the many exercises you can do almost anywhere in your home:
- Push Ups
- Sit Ups
- Calf Raises
- Triceps Dips
- Jumping Jacks
- Plank Position
- Leg Lifts
These exercises are effective and simple. Combined in a circuit, they even constitute a full body workout. Unfortunately, this means that there is no excuse not to work out.
Affordable Home Workout Equipment
Equipping yourself with home workout equipment is a great way to boost your workout drive. From state-of-the-art to DIY, workout equipment is as diverse as your routine.
Home Equipment For Cardio
We are familiar with treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, and the other larger machines that get our hearts pumping. These machines make a great addition to your home gym and in some cases replace your gym membership. They are also expensive.
Jumping rope is a highly effective cardio booster that is cheap and easy to make yourself. Your stairs make an excellent replacement for a stair-master, and a short walk around the neighborhood gets your blood flowing and gets you outside.
Home Equipment For Strengthening Arms, Abs, Legs, And Back
Cardio equipment is expensive. Strengthening equipment is more affordable, and usually more portable. This equipment is designed to tackle the major muscle groups: arms, legs, abs, chest, and back. Some of this equipment is so portable it fits in a purse. Others are larger and are better off left at home. These ten pieces of workout equipment make home workouts easy and effective.
- Push Up Bars: Push up bars deepen your push ups for a more intense workout. They also keep your wrists in a safer position than regular push ups and allow for more advanced exercise.
- Exercise Balls: These balls are available in several sizes and allow users to perform a variety of strengthening exercises and stretches.
- Pull Up Bars: A classic doorway feature, pull up bars provide a sturdy bar to free hang from during pull ups.
- Resistance Bands: a lightweight, portable alternative to free weights, resistance bands work every major muscle group for a total body workout.
- Free Weights: Less portable than resistance bands but with more mass building potential, free weights are a great way to work arms, legs, abs, chest, and back muscles.
- Yoga Mats: Whether you plan on doing yoga or using the mat for stretching, pilates, or other exercise, yoga mats supply a comfortable surface to exercise on.
- Balance Trainers: These tools improve balance and strengthen legs, glutes, and core muscle groups when incorporated into an exercise.
- Medicine Balls: These weighted balls come in a variety of sizes and weights for arm and core strengthening.
- Blocks: Blocks allow you to deepen your exercises by elevating certain body parts. Sturdy blocks can also be used as part of a cardio routine.
- Workout DVDs: There are countless exercise DVDs on the market for every level of fitness and every discipline. Explore new workout routines from the comfort of your home without facing the crowds at the gym.
Workouts For On-The-Go and In The Office
Sometimes our schedules don’t allow us time to work out at home. Luckily there are several exercises for people constantly on the go or who are stuck in the office. Next time you are too busy to work out at home, try one of these:
- Do a few calf raises wherever you are standing. In line, on the phone, or in your office, it doesn’t matter. Chances are no one will even notice what you are doing.
- Stand up at work and try a few squats. It gets your blood moving and builds your leg muscles and core strength.
- Replace your chair with an exercise ball. Remaining upright forces you to engage your core while you are working, and it is better for your back and posture. Offices around the country are replacing chairs with balls. Join the trend and measure the improvements for yourself.
- Use your desk to do a few triceps dips. If your desk is not very sturdy, try your chair.
- Stand up and stretch, no matter where you are. Stretching improves mobility and is good for your productivity.
Take a walk around the block on your lunch break, or walk up and down the stairs a few times. Be sure to do this before eating.
The Excuses End Here
With so many quick and easy alternatives to hitting the gym, there is only one downside: there are no more excuses for missing a workout. These tips give you the tools you need to improve your fitness levels without missing a beat from your busy schedule. Try one or try them all, and embrace a fitter, healthier, happier you.
If you can spare 30-60 minutes per day to work out, check out our awesome home-workout guide