10 Exercises to Do at Home When You Can't Get to the Gym

Friday, November 05, 2010 • Las Vegas, NV 89130

1. Jumping Jacks - Yes, good old fashioned jumping jacks-the same exercise we did as kids. They are an excellent warm-up exercise to start your routine with and provide good cardio benefits if done at a high intensity.
2. Walking/Running - If the weather is nice, be outside. Take advantage of the fresh air, sunshine and scenery. This keeps it much more interesting and fun than walking on a treadmill in your basement.  The point of your walk should be to do it at 3.0 mph or faster.  Get your heart rate up.
3. Running in Place - If you can't go outside and have no steps at home try running in place. You will be surprised how your heart rate will increase.  Change it up by running with high knees or butt kick runs.  Maintain a brisk pace for maximum benefits.
4. Step Exercises - These can provide good cardio benefits as well as toning your legs. Just stand in front of the bottom step on a set of stairs or any other solid surface that is the same height. Step up with one foot and then the other, then step back down with one foot and then the other. Increase the pace for a higher intensity workout.
5. Pushups - Old school exercises are awesome.  Pushups are great for developing arm, shoulder and chest muscles. If you need to, start by doing them on your knees. When you feel that they have become easier, try them on your legs for a more challenging workout.  To really take pushups to the next level, perform them with your legs straight out and your feet elevated on a chair. This method really works the shoulders and chest muscles.
6. Lying Leg Raises - These are good for toning the abdominal muscles. Simply lie flat on your back and raise your legs about 12 inches off the ground and hold them for 10-15 seconds. If you can't hold them for this long, try doing them with your legs bent.  You can also do this by lying on each side and doing one leg at a time working the oblique abdominals.
7. Crunches - To perform crunches correctly, lie on your back with your knees bent at a 45 degree angle and your feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms across your chest and curl your upper body up while tucking your chin into your chest. Lift up about 18 inches and press your lower back into the floor. When you feel your abdominal muscles contracting you know you are doing them correctly.
8. Squats - This is a great exercise for your legs and glutes. To do them properly, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground then slowly stand up again. Be sure to keep your back straight and your head up through the entire movement.
9. Leg/Arm Raises -This exercise strengthens your core muscles and tones your shoulders and glutes. Start on your hands and knees. Raise your left arm straight out in front of you and your right leg out straight behind you at the same time and hold for 2-3 seconds. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Alternate from side to side.
10. Dancing - Dancing can be a great aerobic exercise if done at high intensity. The really great thing about dancing is that you can have a good workout and have a lot of fun at the same time.
You can always find ways to move.  You can also use household items such as gallons of water, soup cans, etc. for add weight and weight lifting.
Be Well!