5 Gym Exercises You Can Do at Home
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A trip to the gym is just what you need to clear your head and get in a much-needed sweat session, but being a parent comes first, and between your schedule and theirs, you feel like you barely have time to breathe. The good news is that you can do gym exercises at home, so you can sneak in exercise early in the morning before the kids wake up, during nap time, your lunch break if your work from home or in the evening while dinner is cooking and the kids are occupied with homework or games. With some indoor exercise backups, you can be a caring parent while still getting in a workout.
Here are five gym exercises you can do at home.
Boxing burns fat at a high rate and exercises a variety of muscles. You can opt to purchase a quality heavy bag and a few inexpensive accessories, or you can shadowbox (boxing against an imaginary opponent). Either way, you’ll get an intense workout and take out some frustration, as well as reduce some of the stress that comes with parenting. The natural motions of punching work your arms and shoulders. Boxing also utilises explosive hip turns, which work your lower back and abdomen.
Mayo Clinic defines Pilates as “a method of exercise that consists of low-impact flexibility and muscular strength and endurance movements.” It enhances core strength and stability, as well as muscle control and endurance. Anyone can do Pilates, and you don’t need special equipment; all you really need is a mat. Pilates is great for your abs, which in turn can alleviate back pain. Since you’ll be putting very little pressure on your joints, it’s a good low-impact exercise. Furthermore, it requires a lot of concentration, so you can clear your mind of worries while you work out.
There are many at-home workout routines you can follow that incorporate push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, etc. Consider trying the 30-minute workout from Health.com, which is based on Equinox instructor Lashaun Dale’s popular Cardio Bootcamp & Sculpt class. You can burn up to 350 calories in 30 minutes and build strength. If you don’t have dumbbells, improvise by using anything around your house that is easy to grip and weighs 5-8 pounds.
While you can certainly dance around while you clean to burn calories, if you’re looking for something more structured, consider investing in DVDs or online classes that teach dancing exercises. You can also check YouTube for free videos. Dance styles range from belly dancing to hip-hop to country line dancing. Besides incorporating all of your muscle groups for a full-body workout, it has further benefits as well. The University of Berkeley says, “Dancing provides physical, psychological, and social benefits galore.” If the kids are home, turn it into a weekly family dance party.
You may feel like you’re back to middle school when you pick up a jump rope, but it offers a surprisingly intense workout. According to Shape, “jumping rope burns more than 10 calories a minute while strengthening your legs, butt, shoulders, and arms.” With their 20-minute routine, you can burn more than 200 calories. Not only are jump ropes inexpensive, they’re also extremely portable, making this routine a great option if you want to keep up exercise on vacation.
Don’t Forget the Food (and Water!)
No matter which exercise you choose, be sure you’re drinking plenty of water. And don’t just hydrate when you work out; you should be drinking a lot of water throughout the day. Diet is also an important aspect of fitness, and both adults and children can benefit from healthy food choices. Whenever possible, choose fresh fruits and vegetables. Frozen options are a good second choice, but try to avoid canned food. As the American Heart Association points out, snacking before and after a workout is important, and you should be sure to pick the right snacks for fueling up and refueling.
The job of a parent never stops, and sometimes it can get in the way of your fitness routine, but these ideas should help keep you on track, even on those days where you only have five minutes to spare.
This post was written by Alexis who created SingleParent.info to provide support and advice for the many families out there with only one parent in the household.