With gym memberships costing anywhere from $50-$100, or more, per month, and the impeding winter making trips out of the house less frequent, you may be looking for ways to stay in shape without spending a fortune or putting on your snow boots. From workout crazes like P90X and Zumba to video series by everyone from Jillian Michaels to Kim Kardashian, there is no shortage of options for getting a great workout without leaving your apartment.
Yoga: Requiring little more than a mat (even a rug will do) and some comfortable clothes (no need to spring for that Lululemon ensemble if no one’s going to see it), this mix of relaxation and physical fitness is one of the easiest workouts to do at home. Familiarize yourself with some basic yoga postures like downward dog, chaturanga, warrior, sun salutations and tree; everything you need to know can be found with a quick Google search. If you prefer to follow along with an instructor, check your TV’s OnDemand Fitness channel for some guided routines, purchase a yoga DVD or check out online options such as www.yogadownload.com.
Strength Training: A one-time investment at a sporting goods store can set you up for years of strength training right in your own living room. Buy a set of dumbbells that have adjustable weights, a couple resistance bands and any other equipment you think you’ll use, like a pull-up bar, kettle balls and/or an exercise ball. From there, your options are endless – create your own circuit workout or find one you like in a fitness magazine. Experts advise working multiple muscle groups at the same time for maximum results (which also saves time), so try doing lunges at the same time as bicep curls, squats while doing shoulder presses and leg lifts with upright rows.
Plyometrics: If you’re more into cardio, or want something to do in between strength training days, plyometrics are exercises that involve fast and powerful movements. Many of the moves require jumping, so this type of workout is not recommended for those with bad knees. Put together a set of 10 exercises and do 10-20 reps of each, then repeat the cycle three times for a sweat-producing routine. Moves can include jumping jacks, high knees, burpies, mountain climbers, skiers, tire jumps and squat jumps, to name a few.
Kickboxing: A great workout with or without a punching bag, 30 minutes of punching and kicking is a powerful calorie burner. To keep it interesting, do a variety of punches (front, hook, uppercut, speed bags) in a variety of combinations. Do a series of kicks to the front, sides and back, and always return to a boxer shuffle between sets to keep your heart rate up.
Leave your apartment workout tips in the comments below!