Not enough money or time to join a gym? No problem — you can work towards your healthiest self without leaving home.
We all want to work out more than we do to stay healthy, but spending money on a gym membership isn’t always possible. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to tone your body and improve overall fitness without breaking the bank. When combined with effective healthcare coverage, these exercises will have you working up a sweat.
1. Lunges and Squats
Squats and lunges are the ultimate lower-body workout, targeting almost all the muscles in your legs. Making sure you have the correct form is important if you want to exercise safely and effectively — you can refer to these useful tips on Self.com to make sure that you’re squatting properly.
2. Core Exercises
Core strength can help you maintain good posture and avoid lower back problems, and it can easily be trained without any equipment. Think crunches, planks, twists — anything that works your abdominals and your obliques. Real Simple has a comprehensive guide to a wide range of exercises that will work your core. Try to challenge yourself to do a few more reps every day!
3. Pilates Online
Pilates has gained traction in recent years as a style of workout based on a simple idea: instead of using weights to build muscle, you rely on your own body weight. There are lots of free online pilates workouts for all levels of experience. Cassey Ho’s Blogilates channel on YouTube is full of challenging and fun workouts, and the NHS also offers a free online video for a longer pilates session.
4. Sun Salutations
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The sun salutation consists of a series of yoga moves that are sure to get your heart pounding (Yoga Journal breaks down the sun salutation so you can learn the sequence). Doing the full sequence three to five times before breakfast will help you start your morning right.
5. Stair Steppers
Stairs are an easy workout tool to find and use, whether they’re your stairs at home, concrete steps in the local park. Stairs provide an excellent opportunity for a cardio workout that works all the muscles in your legs and lower body. Want to increase the difficulty level of this exercise? Try skipping every other step on the way up.
6. Dance, Dance, Dance!
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Who doesn’t love dancing? Turn the music up and grab your partner’s hand — dancing is a great aerobic workout that will help you burn calories while having fun.
7. Walking and Jogging
This may seem like an obvious one, but walking is a great way to burn calories while being social and enjoying the great outdoors. The Guardian provides some tips about getting the right footwear and using a pedometer to track your progress. Maybe 2016 is the year that you’ll become an expert walker!
8. Door Frame Pull-ups
If you’re looking for an intense upper-body workout, then pull-ups may be the answer. You don’t actually need specialized any gym equipment, either, since a simple door frame can do the trick (Fitness 666 has some clever ideas about how to use household furniture as pull-up aids). This simple but difficult exercise takes a lot of strength, so don’t be surprised if you can’t do more than a few reps at first!
9. Housework Workout
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Everyone complains about doing chores, but those domestic tasks might well be the key to your fitness. According to Weight Loss Resources, vacuuming and mopping both burn close to 200 calories an hour, while dusting and sweeping help tone arm muscles. If you’re looking for an extra-productive home workout, gardening may be your best bet: it can burn almost 300 calories per hour!
10. Skipping Rope
This well-loved childhood game isn’t just for children — jumping rope works important muscles all over your body, and helps to improve your coordination and agility. Prevention offers a handy guide to getting started with high-impact jump rope exercise.
11. Small Weights
Even if you can’t make it to the gym, you can still make lifting weights a part of your everyday workout. Cosmopolitan has a comprehensive list of household items that you can use in place of weights — see if you can think of any more!
Staying Fit and Healthy
When it comes to staying physically and mentally healthy, fitness is an important part of the puzzle — but there’s more to good health than an effective exercise regime. Your health depends on you keeping on top of any emerging or chronic medical issues that you might face, and a quality healthcare service can support you when you need it the most. SingleCare offers its members discounted access to an extensive network of doctors, nutritionists, and physical therapists, allowing you to take care of your mind and body this year without breaking the bank.
(Main image credit: AmmentorpDK/ThinkStock)