Looking at your bathroom scale can be a bit depressing sometimes. Even with the lockdown restrictions lifted, not all of us have been able to go back to our active lifestyles. In order to get back into shape, many of us have bought a gym membership but let us all be honest with each other. How many of us are going to the gym regularly and how many of us are just waiting for inspiration to strike? And there are so many of us who try to go to the gym regularly but every other week, there is something or the other that prevents us from going one day and then the entire cycle is broken. Well, here we are with a solution that will make you more active at home without spending a dollar in gym memberships.
Start Doing Yoga at Home
I’m no stranger to yoga studios, but I’ve taken monthlong breaks due to a certain life disrupter that rhymes with “bovid.” To not completely get out of practice, I’ve realized that at-home yoga makes a lot of sense. Even better, it’s free if you look for videos on YouTube.
Even if you’re not a master at all the poses, just getting some stretching in can be a complete game-changer. Add a five-minute routine in the morning before your shower, and you may be able to combat neck, shoulder, and back strain before even heading to work.
It’s important not to be intimidated by yoga. For the most part, moves can be adapted so that even people who aren’t as flexible can get an incredible workout. Still, feeling intimidated? Try a Yin yoga video, which focuses more on holding poses.
Redecorate a Room
There are a lot of positives regarding redecoration. For one, if you tend to get bored of the same room layout, redecorating a living space can give it fresh new life. But it’s also a good way to move around your room, lift heavy items, and purge things you don’t need anymore.
Try hard to make the most of it. For example, if you’re reaching high to remove books from a bookshelf, try focusing on how you stretch your arms. If lifting is involved, do your best to support your body and lift properly. Even though you’re not in a gym, the form still matters.
While you’re redecorating your bedroom, you might want to take a big peek in the closet. Sorting clothes is a workout in itself — especially while looking through heavier items, like boots, sweaters, and coats.
Purging your clothes and sending them off for donation usually requires a few steps. If you’re washing them before sending them away, that often means carrying piles of laundry up and down the steps and carrying large bags of donations out to your car. Your arms will be very happy that you worked them out, while your brain will be satisfied that you cleared out so much space.
Utilize the Stairs While on Your Lunch Break
If you still work at home (and don’t live in a ranch-style home), then technically, you have a gym at work. However, you probably know it best as “the staircase.”
Stepping is excellent for your health, and just making a few rounds up and down the steps can be a satisfying workout. Challenge yourself and see how many floors you can do in the span of five or 10 minutes. It’ll serve as a nice break from your desk.
Similarly, if you work in an office, taking the stairs is always better than taking the elevator, if you have that choice. (Maybe not if you work on the 30th floor, but who knows? One day, maybe you can eventually work yourself up to achieving that big goal.)
If your area tends to be really snowy in the winter, see it as being a great exercise. Shoveling snow is incredible for your upper body. That said, you’ll want to make sure you do it carefully.
While shoveling snow can be a great way to quickly burn calories, it can also cause your body a lot of stress. So maybe don’t take on the big loads of heavy snow at first. Go out there when the snow is a bit milder to try to get a head start on freeing your sidewalk. And focus on your form.
“Just before you lift a shovel full of snow, think about two main things: keeping your knees slightly bent at all times, which takes some of the tension off of the low back, and hinging at the hips,” states Health.
Take a Walk Around the Block
It seems like a simple request, but it’s something that we, as people, don’t do all that often. There’s always an excuse not to be outdoors, whether it’s your workload or the weather.
By taking a quick walk outside, you’re doing your body good. Not only are you moving, but you’re also learning more about your neighbors and your neighborhood. If you have a dog, going out for a long walk in the middle of the day might inspire you to keep the tradition up. Don’t have a pup? A podcast can also make a great walking companion.
Buy an Exercise Subscription
OK, so you might be thinking, “isn’t this a lot like the gym?” Well, yes and no. Some people — myself included — need a financial reason to make a change. So it’s possible that spending money on something will inspire someone to use it.
Apple Fitness Plus, Peloton, and Daily Burn are just three of the many subscription services that give you access to decent workouts. And they’re better than a gym membership for multiple reasons. For one, you don’t have to worry about a crowd. You also don’t have to drive there and back. Plus, it’s kind of nice knowing you can shower and change afterward in the comfort of your own home.
Replace Your Desk Chair With a Fitness Ball
Will you feel a little goofy during your Zoom calls? Well, maybe. But you’ll also be multitasking by working on your core. It’s been proven that sitting on a ball will help you burn more energy. But it can also inspire you to take bounce breaks. Any movement is better than no movement — and you might find out that the ball is more stimulating than a chair. If you’re looking to change up your routine and build healthier habits, you might also want to look into investing in a standing desk.
Clean Up Your Kid’s Room
Is it fair that a lot of cleaning gets thrown at you? Of course not. But if you happen to have kids, you probably have a lot of mess. It’s normal.
So how do you tackle it without curling into a ball and crying? Make it a workout. You can also create your own game, like “do five pushups every time you pick up a Paw Patrol-themed toy.” Or you can buy a basketball hoop to try to throw the pile of stuffed animals through. You can even get your kids involved and make it a competition. That way, they’ll learn a more interactive way to clean and also get a small workout in.
Take Hourly Jumping Jack Breaks
Be honest with yourself — when was the last time you did a jumping jack? It’s a simple exercise that requires absolutely no equipment except for your body. Set a timer on your phone and promise to do even just five jumping jacks every time it goes off. Not only will it help you move more during the day and get your blood flowing, but it’ll also help the day go by a little quicker. If jumping jacks aren’t your thing, you can also try to stretch and touch the ground, holding that pose for a full minute.