I learned early on that having a healthy mindset doesn’t mean spending thousands of dollars on home exercise equipment or attending every class your gym has to offer. Small stints of exercise with basic tools at home are also effective ways to achieve your fitness goals.
Oftentimes, when I’m working out at home, it doesn’t feel like exercise. I sneak in a few yoga poses while my dogs enjoy an outdoor break, or I do squats when waiting for my lunch to cook. As I brainstorm ideas at my desk, I stretch. All those minutes add up.
While it might seem unconventional, these little snippets of exercise help me feel good and work toward my health goals without even leaving my home. Here are a few of my favorite moves that you can try right now at your own house:
Step Calf Stretch
Whether you go to a porch or a staircase, you just need one step to do this exercise. I learned it last week in circuit-training class. Stand at the edge of the step, with the front half of each foot securely in place on the step, and let both heels dangle over the edge. Now, rise up to your toe tips, lower, and repeat. You can hold onto a handrail for extra support, if need be. Then, switch it up and do one foot at a time. You’ll feel a nice stretch in your calves after several repetitions.
Stable Chair Dips
My yoga teacher showed me an exercise that helps tone your arms and core with one simple movement. To perform this move, you need a stable chair with a firm seat that doesn’t have casters. Sit tall, extend your legs out straight with your heels on the floor, and hold the edges of the chair with your hands. Now scoot your bottom to the edge, and slowly bend at the elbows to lower yourself toward the floor so your bottom almost touches. Hover a moment, then use your arm strength to push yourself up and down in a push-up style move.
Resting Arm Circles
I have a set of three-pound weights that float around the house. Some days they are near my yoga mat, other times they rest on my desk. When I’m studying something on my computer screen or watching something on TV, I grab the weights. I then extend my arms to both sides so they’re parallel to the floor, and draw circles in the air, making sure to reverse the rotation after every 10 circles. At the start, it’s easy—but eventually, you notice the weight give your arms a good workout. If you don’t have hand weights, try bottles of water when working out at home.
Image sources: Angela Tague | Pixnio
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