“Tell your mind to get out of your body’s way.” ~Dolvett (The Biggest Loser)
While a gym can be a great place to take your fitness to the next level, it’s not necessary for someone just starting out. You can make a great workout happen on your own, at home, with no equipment at all.
In other words, it doesn’t have to cost a penny to exercise.
You can get a great work out for free at home, without even buying equipment.
Walk or Run (Cardio)
Depending on how often you intend to exercise, cardio can be one piece of a full work-out, or it can be a day out of a weekly routine.
Because of our dog, my husband and I like to walk daily.
The Mayo Clinic lists 10 ways cardiovascular exercise can improve your health and help you live a happier, more fulfilling life.
Altogether, though, regular cardio is great for your heart, lungs and blood flow. It’s also a great mood booster.
For a 30-minute work-out, try starting with a 10-minute walk to get your blood pumping.
Push Ups (Strength – Arms/Push)
When I first started working with Steve, my focus to that point had been solely cardio. Since I’d never done much with strength training, I didn’t have much muscle built up, so I had to start easy.
Push ups on an incline are the best place to start. Feet on the ground and hands on kitchen counter tops, fences, and backs to park benches all work great as starting points. Try 1 set of 10 to get an idea of where your strength level is.
After you have worked up to 3 sets of 10 and can complete those with little effort, drop your incline to something like the seat of a chair.
As you build more muscle and begin to feel stronger, that incline can slowly drop, until your push ups are on the ground, without knees.
Squats (Strength – Legs)
After your push ups, move to squats so you can rest your arms for a moment.
How many squats you do will depend on your strength level, the condition of your knees, and your current weight. Start with 2 or 3 and see how you feel.
Remember to keep your back straight, and your knees over your toes. (It’s harder than it sounds!)
Just like with push ups, over time you’ll work up to 3 sets of 10. Once those can be completed with ease, you can start adding weight by holding things like soup cans.
Front Raisers (Strength – Arms/Pull)
Hold a soup can in each hand at your hips, palms facing back. Slowly bring your hands up, until your arms are parallel to the floor (palms now facing down).
Start with one set of 10 and work up to 3 sets of 10.
Always, always, always end your work out with a stretch! As you work these muscles, they will begin to tighten, so stretching is an important step to preventing injuries.
Be sure to stretch each of the muscle groups you’ve used in the workout for at least 20 seconds.
Check with Your Doc
Before starting any new fitness program, it’s important to run it past a doctor or professional in the fitness field. The workout described above was first explained to me by my personal trainer, Steve.
However, not knowing your specific conditions or abilities, I do not know that it is best for you. Know your own body and stop what you are doing if it causes you pain.
After consulting with a doctor or trainer, use these strategies as a guideline to start your new exercise regimen, especially if you aren’t ready to invest in home equipment or a gym membership.