Getting outdoors to work out is always nice, but extreme temperatures, inclement weather, and my personal least favorite thing of all time – humidity – can make it challenging.
According to the CDC, we should be getting a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week. In addition, getting in two days of strength training that targets all of your major muscle groups will round out your routine. Regular exercise burns calories, increases your energy level, strengthens muscles and bones, and reduces the risk for chronic disease.
Need some more help making sure you put in your time? Try the following:
If you need some ideas for bringing your workouts inside, the following require no equipment – and, as an added bonus, you can do them anywhere:
Chair squats: Using a bench or chair as a guide, put the weight of your body on to the heels of your feet, and stick your backside out. Reach your arms straight overhead, then continue bending your knees as if you are about to sit down, and return to standing. Complete 10 – 15 repetitions.
Incline push-up: Using a wall, bench, chair, or table, hold a plank, and then bend your elbows. Bring your chest towards the bench, and bring your backside with you. Remember to draw in your abs. To engage your triceps, try a few keeping your elbows close to your body. Complete 10 – 15 repetitions.
Lunges: Position yourself into a staggered stance, with your rear heel elevated and front foot forward. Begin by descending, flexing your knee and hip to lower your body down. Maintain good posture throughout the movement. At the bottom of the movement, drive through the heel of the front foot while keeping the front knee and ankle in line, to extend the knee and hip, and return to the starting position. Complete 8 – 12 repetitions per side.
Core walkout: Standing with feet hip width apart, hinge from your hips to bend over and touch the floor with your hands (your knees can flex slightly). Walk your hands out in front of your body maintaining a flat lumbar spine (remember to draw in your abs). Walk your hands out until you are in a plank position without losing the neutral lumbar spine, and then walk your hands back toward your feet, and retrace your steps back to a standing position. Complete 4-6 repetitions.
Cardio: Try combining short bursts of these cardio exercises with those listed above, to create your own full body workout!
If you have access to free weights and a stability ball, try the following exercises. Combine with the suggestions for cardio above, or, if you’re using a gym, throw in a walk or jog on the treadmill, or elliptical training.
Squat and press with dumbbells: Shifting the weight of your body onto your heels, keep your shoulders back and down, your chest open, and your abs drawn in. Complete an overhead shoulder press after complete your squat, which will create a dynamic exercise. Complete 8-15 repetitions.
Lunge with bicep curls: Positioning yourself into a staggered stance with your rear heel elevated and front foot forward, hold a dumbbell in each hand, and descend, flexing your knee and hip to lower your body down. Maintain good posture throughout the movement. At the bottom of the movement, drive through the heel of the front foot while keeping the front knee and ankle in line, to extend the knee and hip to return to the starting position. Complete 8-15 repetitions per leg.
Tricep kickbacks: With a dumbbell in each hand and palms facing your torso, bend your knees slightly, and bring your torso forward by hinging from the hips. As you bend, make sure to keep your back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Keep your head up and you elbows close to your body. The movement is from a bend in elbows to a straightening of the elbows, while squeezing your arm straight. Keep your elbows in one place; do not swing. Complete 8-15 repetitions.
Bridges with chest press: With your feet hip width apart, and your ankles directly under your knees, push your hips off the ground through the heels of your feet, and tighten your core. Add a chest press with dumbbells as you raise your hips. Complete 8-15 repetitions.
Ball crunches: With your lower back supported by a stability ball, keep your feet flat on ground. Try not to roll the ball as you keep your abs tight and stabilize the ball with your legs. Place your hands behind your head, inhale, and then exhale as you lift your chest up until you feel abs engage and your spine become neutral. Lower back to the starting position and repeat. Complete 15-30 repetitions.
You can also visit the fitness and exercise section of our website for tips and tools.
To learn more about CDPHP helps members stay fit, check out these blogs and resources:
Special thanks to CDPHP fitness specialist Jenny Williams for providing the excellent resources used in this blog!