Not everybody can go to the gym and that, too, on a daily basis.
Not being able to take out enough time and brave through the traffic, especially in the evening after office, costly personal trainers and an expensive gym membership, are some common excuses for not going to the gym.
However, that should not be an excuse for not doing any exercise. While going to the gym may sound fancy, most exercises can be done at home — at least the basic ones, which keep you fit — unless you want some specific ones for specific reasons.
To work out at home you do not necessarily need heavy gym equipment. No matter how luxurious it looks to have state-of-the-art machines and weights at home, for some people the sight of it might be as tiring as the idea of going to the gym itself.
To get fit all you need is motivation along with some knowledge of simple or basic exercises and your workout can be far more convenient, hassle-free and rewarding than any other claims out there for fitness.
Do a set or two or basic exercises to get your system in the calorie-burning mode.
The secret behind a smart and healthy body while exercising at home is to maintain a constant high heart rate. The key is to keep moving your body; shifting from one workout routine to another for at least 15-20 minutes. Exercise reduces extra fat in the body and helps develop lean muscles. The more exercises you do in a loop, the better will be the results, since this burns calories a lot faster.
Here are a few of the most simple and stress-free exercises that can be done at home; they may seem easy at first, but they are quite effective. The key to achieve promised results is to keep up the pace and focus on bringing your body back in shape. The following exercises are as good as the ones at the gym, since the same set of muscles are worked as those in the gym workout.
Seated rotation, though a comprehensive exercise, is a warm-up classic and should be done in the beginning. It helps activate the upper-torso and prepare for the tough workout ahead. For seated rotations, sit calmly on a chair or on the floor. Fold your arms and elbows just below your shoulder height. Smoothly turn from your waist with hips forward, without stressing your body. Hold the position for about 10-20 seconds and then return to starting position. Repeat three to five times on each side and then switch sides.
Stand firmly with your feet shoulder width apart, and your arms on the sides of your body. In one motion jump, extending your feet out to the sides and raising your arms above your head. Immediately revert to the original position with a jump.
This exercise does not require much effort so don’t take any breaks in between.
Push-ups work the whole body and it is one of the most useful exercises. Not only does it fix your body by bringing it into perfect shape, it also helps shed the extra fat from your body. Lay face down on the floor with your feet together and hands, palms down on the floor shoulder width apart, next to your shoulders with elbows pointing backwards. Curl in your toes. Raise yourself using your arms, your weight supported by your hands and the balls of your feet. Form a straight line from your head to your heels and contract your abdominals to keep your hips from sagging. This position is called a “plank” and is used in many exercises. Breathe out and get back to the initial position.
After each push-up take a break of one to two seconds, and then start over.
In order to burn that extra fat, side plank is a must. This workout sparks the profound stomach muscles which are difficult to reach through regular workouts.
Lay down on your side, legs stretched with one leg on top of the other, and your elbow directly in line with your shoulder. Gradually lift your hips above the ground till your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Stay in this position for about 25-30 seconds. Now repeat the whole process on the other side of your body.
While you are trying to exercise to keep fit always remember that along with the exercises that you do, your body also requires a healthy, nutritious diet. If you exercise but consume unhealthy food, you won’t be able to achieve desired results.
Doctor Ayesha Abbas, dietitian and nutritionist at Medicare says, “In order to stay active and healthy without going to the gym, 30 minutes’ walk at a pace which increases the heart rate is necessary every day, as is 15 to 20 minutes of any home-based exercise. Water intake must be sufficient i.e. 12 glasses of water each day. Consume a low-carb, low-fat diet with enough protein, healthy fruits and vegetables each day.”
Breathing is a very simple exercise that tones your abdomen. Just sit straight but comfortably in a chair with a perfect posture and take a deep breath. Contract your abs while breathing in and relax them while exhaling. You can put a hand on your abdominals to feel the movement.
Walking for about 15-20 minutes a day powers up your lazy muscles.
Getting back to a perfect body shape after delivering a baby is actually not as difficult as it may seem. Doctors believe that after six weeks of delivery a woman can start exercising (this time period is advisable for normal deliveries). As your body just went through a huge transformation, listen to your body before working out. If you can’t manage difficult workouts, you can simply do the following exercise.
Do some bench presses with a dumbell or a barbell. Simply lay down on the bench with legs on either side or lie on the floor. Hold the weight above you and slowly lower it to your chest. Contract your abs inside as much as possible. Take a break of one to two seconds and raise the weight back again. Then start over. You can substitute the weight with your baby if you like.
It's important to stretch in between exercises if you feel your muscles are cramping or you need to rest your body for a few seconds.
Here are a few tips
Be mindful when you are eating.
Nearly 30 minutes of any exercise that can be done at home e.g. skipping, dancing, simple yoga stretches, planks and lunges. All can be done easily at home.
Do not skip breakfast as it’s the most important meal of the day.
Do not binge on junk food.
Have vegetables and fruits in your daily diet.
Drink eight to 12 glasses of water.
Stay away from packaged foods.
Have dinner by 8 pm.
Composed by Saad Arifi
Originally published in Dawn, EOS, July 29th, 2018