So winter is pretty much starting to take effect, and for a lot of us the idea of going out in the cold and dark to head off to the gym, simply isn’t appealing… But that shouldn’t deter you from still getting in a good daily workout, and keep your fitness levels up and body in shape.
Winter is usually a time where we enjoy indulging in warm comfort food and staying indoors, but this can unfortunately have its toll on your health. So why not turn your home into a gym and get your exercise on inside? You’ll be glad you did when you have to get into your bathing suit again in Summer…
I’ve found some great exercises you can do indoors that can be just as effective as any gym circuit in burning calories and toning muscle. These require no additional equipment, but nothing stops you from adding a bit of resistance with some light dumbbells.
How to do the exercises
1. Squat jumps
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees into a “sitting” position, holding your hands in front of you. From this position, jump up as high as you can, keep your legs straight and your arms either reaching upwards or kept at your sides facing backwards. Land softly and repeat the sequence. This exercise is great for toning thighs, buttocks and arms, as well as giving you a bit of a cardio workout and increasing your heart rate.
2. Push ups
Shape your triceps and shoulder muscles by doing push ups. Lie face down on an exercise mat or a comfortable surface. Push the weight of your chest upward with your hands by your sides. Try and push your arms completely straight and come back down without touching the floor with your chest again. Repeat this. The best way to do this is to keep your knees also lifted off the ground, so that you are lifting your entire body, but if this is too strenuous for you, you can push your body up with your knees still on the ground and your lower legs crossed.
3. High knees
High knees is basically running on the spot. It’s great for increasing your heart rate and to get a cardio workout, whilst toning your legs and arms. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Quickly lift your knees to the height of your hips. Alternate legs. Bend your arms, facing it forward, holding your hands flat and parallel with your hips. Try and touch your hands with your knees as you run.
Burpees are fast actions, that will give you a great all-round workout. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and your arms up. Hunch down into a squatting, ‘frog-like’ position, with your hands on the floor. Quickly extend your legs, keeping your hands on the floor and pushing your chest up in a ‘push up’ motion. Move back to the squatting position and quickly jump into the air with your body straight, and your arms extended. Repeat the sequence.
Put your hands on your hips, and stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Keep your posture straight, chin up. Step forward about 60-90 centimeters (depending on how tall you are – the taller the further you will step). It’s very important that you keep your back straight. Lift the heel of your foot behind you. Bend both knees at the same time. Lunge until your hips and the knee in front of you are horizontal. Hold for 1-5 seconds and careful come back up straight, placing both feet side by side again. Now do the same with the other leg, and keep alternating legs.
There are many variations on the squat, but basically, stand with your feet a little further apart (past your shoulders). You can either put your hands on your hips, behind your head, or hold your arms straight in front of you. Bend your knees and let your bum drop, and return to your original position again. Squats are fantastic for shaping your bum, and firming thighs and even calves.
7. Wall sit
Stand with your back against a wall, your arms folded in front of you. Slowly move your upper body down the wall and bend your knees forward until your hips are horizontal with your bended knees. You should ‘pretend’ to be sitting on an invisible chair, with your back straight against the wall. Keep this position for at least one minute, or until you feel the burn in your thighs. Carefully move back up against the wall with your back into standing position.
Are you feeling inspired? There are loads of fitness equipment for sale at bargain prices on Junk Mail that you can use in the comfort of your home to get fit indoors this winter. Or, do you want to sell fitness equipment that’s just gathering dust? Place a free ad and sell it fast!