Home Into Your Own Personal Gym
My recent article in The Ethel by AARP shows 5 new moves to workout right at home with no extra equipment. It’s quite simple. Each movement uses some part of your house, whether it’s a couch, bathroom counter, or even a simple wall. There’s even a soothing morning move that you can do right in bed!
“I have always encouraged everyone to make space for fitness at home. It doesn’t have to be a dedicated room with a bunch of equipment. Your house can be a parcourse with nothing more than what is already there: a chair, your bed, the toilet, a door jamb, a stair or a countertop. Even the couch, not usually considered a fitness option, is in the running. Two sets of couch crunches followed by a couple of minutes in an inversion pose might help you see it as one.
A home-based workout can be a time-saver, considering how long it takes to get ready, plus your travel time back and forth. At home, you have the option of staying in your P.J.s if you want. Or your skivvies. Or even less. And you can work out barefoot, making balance work a lot easier while improving your foot strength.
But what to do when the distractions at home tug at your willpower and dislodge your intentions? Let’s be honest. Your workout is likely the first thing to go when the day gets hectic.
The key is consistent movement throughout the day. A simple and fun way to boost your activity level is by creating triggers that slide movement-filled moments into your everyday routines. Positive triggers build positive habits, triggering you into action when your willpower lags.
For instance, when I wake up in the morning, it’s matcha time. In the time it takes the kettle to boil, I knock off 20 counter push-ups. In those 90 seconds, I’ve woken up my chest and shoulder muscles, got my blood flowing, and felt completely present in my body. Because my trigger is waiting for water to boil, I’m probably going to be doing push-ups several times a day.
Some triggers might sound silly, but potty squats can strengthen and tone your thighs in record time, so, why not do 10-20 squats after using the toilet? Keyword: after.
Find triggers that are unique to you. Maybe you work at a desk. Think about how often you sit, then reach for the keyboard. Your trigger might be: sit — stretch — then reach for the keyboard. Simple moves, like a stretch or a spinal twist, are feel-good exercises that decompress your spine and protect you from the neck and back pain that comes with our natural inclination to slump at the keyboard.
I am not recommending that you give up your regular training regimen, your set of weights or other equipment. I am encouraging you to add movement in tiny slivers of time throughout the day, bringing mindfulness to mundane activities while boosting your physical and mental well-being.
To get you started, I have divided the house into zones and designed short bursts of exercise for each area. Let these ideas inspire you to find unique triggers and exercises that work in your daily routine. Sure, it may not be 24-Hour Fitness, but, heck, you can do it naked!”
Butt-Boosting Barre Move — bathroom or kitchen counter
- Stand tall, hands resting on counter.
- Lengthen and straighten your right leg behind you.
- Lift and lower the back leg. Keep your hips squared off. Your glutes will feel this!
- Lengthen your torso to keep from crunching into your lower back.
- Experiment with range of motion as well as foot position (parallel, toes pointed to the floor, or turned out with toes pointed outward at 45-degree angle).
- Do 10 repetitions. Repeat on other side.