Whether you’re stretched for time in your busy schedule or just hate leaving the house when the temperatures drop each winter, working out consistently can seem hard to fit in. But the benefits of regular exercise – and getting your heart pumping – are clear. Not only does cardiovascular exercise help you burn fat and calories for weight loss, it also increases your lung capacity and reduces your risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, heart attack and stroke. Experts recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week. Check out these simple, at-home exercise ideas for healthy living inspiration!
Take the stairs. If your home is equipped with a staircase, you’ve got the perfect spot for some serious cardio! In just 15 minutes of walking up and down, you’ll burn 107 calories! For more resistance, take stairs two at a time, or place your left foot on the bottom stair and right on the floor to do squats. This intensifies the work for your right foot. Repeat on the other leg. You can also use the bottom stair for a quick set of step aerobics!
Jump for good health. If you’re looking for a great cardio workout in just a few minutes, try jumping rope or old-fashioned jumping jacks. You’ll quickly break a sweat, your calves will also get a killer workout! Build up your resistance by performing these exercises during commercial breaks or in between other sedentary tasks at home.
Help with housework. Not only will you enjoy the satisfaction of a clean home, scrubbing toilets, wiping down walls and mopping the floor is a great way to get moving. Put your whole body into mopping to burn more calories – 100 in 30 minutes! You can also focus on leg strength by doing calf raises while ironing clothes. Amp up your workout by running in place for two minutes between each piece!
Find a free workout. Don’t want to pay for an expensive exercise program or get bored with the same workout over and over? YouTube is an extensive resource of free workout videos of all kinds and lengths – Pilates, high intensity interval training, yoga, core and strength workouts, and more! To get started, search ‘workout’ or the specific type you’d like to try. You can also enter the time – like 20 minutes, 30 minutes, etc. – and you’ll have a list of options to choose that fit the time you have available. What’s more, there are many videos that show you how to use the proper from and help prevent injury.
To build strength – particularly in your core – try a simple plank. Start in a push up position and lift your body into a straight line with arms extended from your shoulders to your wrists. Hold for 30 seconds to start and try to add 10 seconds each day up to 1 minute. Aim for three to five 1-minute planks every day.