Spring is coming soon, and with warmer temperatures comes less bulky clothes to hide under. Maybe you’ve already lost the excess weight but now need some muscle toning. Or maybe your weight loss efforts need a boost. Either way, a little exercise is the answer. It packs a fat-blasting one-two punch. Heart-revving activities burn calories and fat while building muscle keeps your metabolism stoked to continue burning more calories – even at rest! And toned muscles make you look sleeker and healthier. It’s a win-win-win!You can strengthen your body without having to spend a fortune on expensive, complicated equipment or a trendy gym membership. A handy home gym is easy, fun and inexpensive to assemble. And you get the added bonus of privacy and convenience. Some of it is even kids’ play!
Here are five simple ideas to create your gym and get your heart and muscles in peak condition:
1. Resistance bands: These stretchy tubes or cords are a great multi-purpose work-out tool. They’re perfect for any fitness level, easy to take anywhere and add variety to exercises for both the upper and lower body. You can find them in an assortment of sizes and resistances. The bands help with coordination, balance and use several muscle groups at once. You can control the tension by your positioning or where you hold the band.
2. Hand weights: These weights come in many sizes and are a simple way to build your upper body strength. As you get stronger, you can increase the weight, but 5-pound weights are a good size for most people. For maximum benefit, aim for two to three sets of eight to 15 repetitions three times a week. Take a day off in between weight lifting. In a pinch, use canned goods or milk jugs filled with sand or water!
3. Exercise videos: Exercise videos have come a long way since shiny leotards and leg warmers. You can find a video for every fitness level and targeted at nearly every body part. Beyond basic aerobics, choose kickboxing, yoga, pilates, basic strengthening, fitness walking or simply sweating to the “oldies.” Who knew watching TV could be so healthy?
4. Stair steps: Going up and down the steps in your house doesn’t have to be a chore – consider it a body-building workout! To rev up your heart, quickly walk up and down steps several times. Or take them two at a time to strengthen legs. Another option is to stand at the bottom of the steps and repeatedly step up one stair, alternating the leading leg.
5. Kids’ toys: For a good cardio workout plus coordination building and core strengthening, borrow your kids’ jump rope and hula hoop. Crank up the music and compete with your kids for how long you can go. You’ll have fun and get in shape!
Another inexpensive activity – although you may have to leave home to do it – is walking. The Reliv Slimplicity® Success Plan comes with a pedometer to track your steps, as well as a food and exercise journal. Combined with daily Reliv Slimplicity meal replacement shakes, appetite-curbing Accelerator capsules, and your new home gym, you have a recipe for healthy weight loss success!