Monday, April 6, 2009

DIY Home Fitness

The rain has been falling here in Virginia for what seems like weeks and the forecast for the coming week is also consistent. Despite a few sunshine filled days that make me think I might get a trace of a tan, the downpours insue. My, my...April Showers indeed.

And with all this rain comes the gloom and doom of bad moods, cabin fever, lack of motivation, and the desire to finish the carton of ice cream in the fridge to weather the storms outside. It also means no outdoor activities, no walks with the dog, no desire to run errands, and the thought of staying dry sounds more appealing than puddle jumping. But exercise gives us endorphins...and endorphins make us happy, at least they do according to Elle Woods in Legally Blonde the movie. So I'm on an endorphin hunt today and my task is to use nothing but my home to build some energy, burn some calories, and ignore the rain outside my window.

It was really pretty easy to create - just get inventive with what you have and you'll have a total body workout in your home. So pull those blinds, throw on a tank top and turn your home into your gym! Below is my DIY April Showers Workout for today:

*To start, turn on your favorite tunes to get in the mood to move! I chose a random shuffle on my iPod through a Bose speaker system.

Warm-Up - 4 minutes
Running in place - 30 sec
High knees - 30 sec
Jumping Jacks - 30 sec
Air Jump Rope - 30 sec
*Repeat twice
Stretch on completion

Butts and Thighs
Step-Ups - find a piece of furnite that will support you to stand on it that is about 2 feet tall. (I used my dining table bench seat). To begin, step up on the surface with your right leg and bring your left leg to a ninety degree angle in front of your body. Step down with both feet on the ground and alternate legs. Repeat for 10 reps on each leg.

Walking Lunges - find a space that's long enough to allow you to walk at least 5 lunges at a time. Alternate legs as you walk to make a ninety degree bend in your lead step and let your opposite knee barely touch the ground before rising. Repeat for 10 reps per leg.

Stairs - find a set of stairs that will allow you to climb about 20 stairs at a time. At a pace you can handle, climb the stairs 3 times to keep your heart rate high.
*Repeat all three exercises 3 times.

Wall Push-Ups - think of a standing push-up position. Stand one arms length away from a wall with hands spread about shoulder's length apart. Feet should be spread shoulder's distance. On a 1-2-3 count pace bend your arms to mimic a push-up against the wall (aka: the wall is now the floor). Do 25 reps - and remember, the slower the push-up pace the better the workout.

Side Plank Yoga Pose - As pictured below, position your body into a one arm side plank hold and keep the hold for 15 seconds. Switch arms and repeat for 15 seconds. Rotate for two-three sets per arm. A strong core and tight abs are critical to the success of this pose.

Photo taken from CookingLight website, taken by Jeff Von Hoene, Gin Miller.

Bicep Curls - Using household products weighing in at about 3-5 pounds, perform bicep curls at 15 reps per arm, repeating three times per arm.
*Suggested items to use: wine bottles, 2-liters, 12 inch pillar candles, tea kettle filled with water, a heavy book or 3-5 pound hand weights.
Repeat all arm exercises three times.

Mixing up your three favorite crunch style sit-ups, do 25 reps of each style repeated three times. The key here is to mix it up and work various stomach muscles...not just the common crunch. Try suitcase sit-ups, bicycle knees, side-to-side crunches touching the floor, and even flip over and do some superman flies.

And just like that...your home has become your gym and the endorphins are flowing!

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