Getting into the habit of exercising is arguably the most popular New Year’s resolution, especially after the non-stop feasting and partying of the holiday season. It’s tempting to sign up for crazy gym deals at the start of the year, especially if you’ve been struggling to zip your pants up or huffing after climbing a few flights of stairs. However, as the year goes on and life happens, it can be difficult to fit in the time to head to the gym, and that’s enough for us to give up. But what if you could work out from the comfort of your own home, and eliminate the need for pesky gym dues, commutes, and silly excuses that keep you from sticking to your routine? Whether you’ve had enough of turning up late to your weeknight spin class, your apartment fitness center is closed for renovation, or you just can’t be bothered to put pants on for a run, here are some ways to whip your apartment into shape so you can get into fighting form:
Go mobile – The internet is an incredible resource for free or cheap workouts. Apps like Nike Training Club, 7 Minute Workout, Blogilates (Piit28), Casall Training, and hundreds of others that you can download directly to your mobile phone or computer that you can customize depending on your ability, time, and whether you have equipment or not. Youtube also has special fitness channels that give you a video to follow along, and you can even search for apartment-friendly workouts that maximize your effort in minimal space.
Sweat the small stuff - You can still create a substantial home gym even if you don’t have enough space for a treadmill. Small items like an exercise mat, weights, a medicine ball, a jumping rope, or even a TRX can be used for a whole range of exercises without taking up much more space than a small box. Can’t be bothered to pick those up? A little creativity can go a long way, and you may have some of these items in your own home. Plastic bottles filled with sand, uncooked rice, or water can double as hand weights, a backpack filled with books can be used to add weight to simple exercises, towels can be used as sliders for mountain climbers, or a sturdy chair can be used for dips and pushups.
Be a good neighbor – Jumping jacks and burpees may be great for getting your heart rate up, but your downstairs neighbor might not appreciate all the activity, especially if it’s late at night or early in the morning. Sticking to low impact but high repetition exercises like squats, lunges, or push-ups are a great way to get the blood pumping without rattling your floorboards.
Sometimes city living can be exhausting on the body and the mind. Yoga is a great way to get the body moving without needing much more than a place to fit a yoga mat. Depending on the type of yoga, you can pick a style that strengthens your muscles, gets your heart rate going, flexes your joints, or relaxes you and sets you up for a restful sleep. Besides that, the meditative aspects of yoga are great for mental well-being and stress relief. There are plenty of great resources available for absolute beginners, like books, DVDs, or even Youtube channels like Yoga with Adriene. Clear out a space, plop down a mat or towel, and flow the stress away. Yoga not your thing? Pilates and barre have similar benefits and while deceptively difficult, is loads of fun to do and is great for your waistline, posture, and peace of mind.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list of all home-based fitness, these are just some of the ways that you can keep fit in your flat with a little creativity and willpower. Having a routine at home makes it harder to find excuses to stop, so you’re more likely to develop healthy habits and stick with them. As always, be sure to consult with your physician before starting any exercise program and listen to your body.
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