Five Simple Ways to Work Out at Home Without Buying Expensive Equipment
Exercise plays such a vital role in physical, mental, and emotional health, yet it’s something military spouses have a hard time prioritizing in their busy day-to-day lives. A common concern for many of us carefully managing the family budget, is cost. But the truth is, there are all kinds of way to master an effective workout without a big investment.
#1: Incorporate Bodyweight Exercises
While fancy machines at the gym look like they work miracles, the truth is, using your own body weight is better for functional fitness. Not only will you look better, you’ll move better using the natural flow of your body. There are a number of bodyweight exercises that help you. Squats and planks are great ways to build strength. Grapevines and speed skaters can help you build agility and clock that cardio. Yoga poses like downward dog or figure-4-stretch can help improve flexibility and relieve pain.
#2: Use Household Items to Up the Challenge
When it comes time to increase the difficulty of your bodyweight exercises, there’s no need to invest in dumbbells. Just grab a couple of full water bottles or soup cans and use those as your weights. If you’re doing squats or lunges, throw on a backpack filled with books or hold a kid in your arms as you complete the movement. If you’re finding the floor is too slippery to get in a good mountain climber, set of lunges — or any other exercise for that matter — use towels under your feet to help with grip.
#3: Find a Fitness App
If you’re looking for an added dose of motivation, accountability, variety, and flexibility, an app is a great tool. There are tons of apps to choose from. I coach for Gixo, where you get live coaching from a trained professional, programs to follow each month, and a wide variety of classesto choose from. You’ll also get the perks of learning how to execute each exercise with the proper form (which is so important for effectiveness and injury prevention) and having a community that shows up to get fit right along with you. The fact that all you need is your smartphone and some workout shoes means you can do it whenever — not to mention wherever — your hectic military life may take you.
#4: Get Outside
With the added bonus of fresh air, walking and/or running are great forms of exercise. Not only can you go it alone when you need a bit of time to yourself, you can do this with your family, or with a live Gixo coach guiding and encouraging you. Walking is a smart, safe way to get the benefits of cardio. Due to its low-impact nature, walking is easier on your body than running. Go at the pace that feels best to you. And if you want to take it up a notch, find a path that includes a few hills or stairs.
#5: Act Like a Kid Again
That’s right, hit the playground and, well...play. Use those monkey bars to do a set (or three) of knee tucks. Give your abs a bit of attention by joining your kids on the swings. And a good game of tag may be just the comic relief you need while getting some cardio into your day.
Once you’re into a positive workout routine, you can certainly up the ante with inexpensive equipment like resistance bands, dumbbells, and a foam roller. But the most important thing is that you’re moving — and you don’t have to break the bank to do it.
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ABOUT ALEXIS CRAIG
Alexis Craig is a health and fitness expert from Gixo. She is consistently featured on “San Francisco’s Best Trainer” lists. With more than a decade of experience building strength and endurance, her work has benefited everyone from teens with cerebral palsy to former Navy Seals. She believes in making fitness fun, and enjoying every step.