Fitness Fixes: How to Avoid the Cold and Work Out at Home
When it comes to working out, everyone has their fitness niche. Cardio addicts can go for hours running, biking, or using the elliptical, while others prefer to spend their hours at the gym lifting weights and toning muscles. Either way, with the roads a slippery, wintery mess, it is unlikely anyone is getting their fitness fixes outside the home. Whether you want home conditioning exercises, a free yoga class, or streaming videos, here is your guide to at-home fitness.
1. Exercises you can do anywhere
Sometimes, you need a go-to movements that you can do anywhere. You can repeat any of the following five moves as often as you want and anywhere you want.
Side Lunge: This move is a way to mix up your traditional lunges, working your glutes, thighs, and hips. The American Council on Exercise (or, ACE) says to start with your feet parallel and hip-width apart. While maintaining good posture and keeping your base engaged, step horizontally to the right, with your weight on the left heel. Place your right foot on the floor and bed at the knee until your shinbone is vertical to the floor, and your bent knee is aligned over the second toe. Exhale and push off with your right foot to return to starting position. Repeat on the left side. For an advanced version, do the move while holding free weights.
Plank pose: Holding the plank pose will strengthen your abs and back. It is best to start with shorter intervals, 15 to 30 seconds, working your way up to a minute. The ACE guide for plank begins with lying on your stomach, elbows at your sides directly under the shoulders. Tuck your toes, engage your abs, and slowly lift your torso and thighs. You will form a straight line, and your shoulders should be relaxed. Hold the position for your determined amount of time, and slowly lower down to the ground, keeping your body straight.
Tricep Dips: As the name implies, this moves will target your tricep muscles, located in the back of your arms. You’ll need a chair or a steady surface at a similar height to do this move. First, position your feet a few feet away from the chair. Place your hands on the seat of the chair so that your fingers face your body. Bend your arms slowly, dipping down until your butt is almost touching the floor. Slowly raise yourself back up until your arms are fully extended again. Repeat.
Burpee: Don’t let the name keep you from trying this move because it is the perfect full-body exercise. It combines cardio with strength training, and will get your heart pumping in no time. As shown in this video, begin standing and take your hands down to the ground. Next, you kick your feet back, then bring them forward to return to the squatting position, and finally you jump up in the air, returning to the squat to start the move again.
Standing Bicycle Crunches: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly, and place your hands behind your head. Lift your left heel, brace your abs, and bring your left knee up as you rotate your shoulders so that your right elbow touches your left knee. Lower back to start, repeat until ready to switch to the other side.
2. Free Streaming Workouts
Celebrity trainers and fitness gurus alike are taking to the web, offering content that once could only be found on workout videos and DVDs. Here are three websites that allow you to cash-in on their insight for free.
Lionsgate BeFit Youtube Chanel: The variety of workouts on this channel is extensive. Featuring videos by workout gurus like Jane Fonda, Jillian Michaels, and Denise Austin, you can select a yoga workout, or take part in a cardio fat blast workout. BeFit also has a website, listing its various fitness channels. You can access the various programs like “BeFiT in 30,” or see more traditional products, like workout videos, available for purchase.
PhysicalFitnet: Personal trainers teamed up to establish this highly organized website where you’ll find videos demonstrating exercises and routines you can do at home. Searches can be customized by muscle group, whether or not you have any at home equipment, the type of training you want to engage in, or for moves that can benefit specific sports. Exercise videos feature a short demonstration of the move, as well as information about the muscles you are utilizing. Workout routines include a how-to as well, and tell you how many repetitions to do each time.
Fitness Blender: Frustrated by the lack of quality health and fitness information online, husband-and-wife duo Daniel and Kelli paired up to create a website that would offer sound information and remove the cost barrier to fitness. There are full-length videos and specialty programs people can follow. A keyword search function is available for the full-length workouts. You can whittle your options down further by selecting a time length, training type, difficulty level, or if you need any extras — like barbells — to complete the workout. Pressed for time? There are also individual exercise videos with how-to instructions for each move. Healthy recipes are published on the site, giving you a side of food with your fitness.
Online Workout Subscriptions
Can’t make it to the studio to try incredibly popular workout crazes like barre and yoga? Companies are starting to stream classes online or make them digitally available. Here are a few ways the studio can come to you, often at prices that are less than in-studio costs.
Barre: If you’ve tried several barre workouts, either in studio or online, and find yourself totally obsessed with the dance-inspired routines, there are ways to have the benefits of a class in your own home. Barre3 and Ballet Beautiful both offer monthly subscription packages that could save you money. Barre3 costs $15 for one month, and the custom workouts for Ballet Beautiful are $40 a month. Compared to the free resources, that is quite a bit of money per month, but a one month membership to a studio like Pure Barre can cost $100.
Yoga: YogaToday offers classes to members for $9 a month (or $90 annually), a fraction of what most gym memberships and yoga studios cost. Every day a new one-hour class is posted, so you’ll always have a new option at your fingertips. My Yoga Online lets you stream or download yoga and pilates routines. There are more than 1,000 video available with beginner options as well. The cost is comparable with YogaToday, $9.95 per month, or $89.95 for a year. YogaGlo also has beginner options, and categorizes its videos by difficulty. The site offers a free trial period, after which you pay $18 per month.