With a little self-discipline and the patience to sort through the wide world of online workouts, getting fit at home is easier than ever. Smarter, more efficient fitness starts at home with everyday activities that take only minutes and don’t require trudging to and from the gym. They key is regularity. Relying on a tough one-time workout is much less effective than including simple, healthy fitness in your daily routine. Some at-home workout equipment can earn you Cash Back at Ebates and will help you simplify your workouts and bring a little fitness to your home life.
1. To work on core strength and balance, try standing on a balance board instead of sitting on the couch next time you’re watching Netflix. Using a balance board works your back and abs, and enhances proprioception—your body’s tiny muscular corrections that help you stay balanced throughout the day.
2. A kettlebell is the perfect size for your workout at home. Carve out a few minutes of your day and 5 feet of space, and bring your squats to a new level. Try this exercise: Stand with your feet hip distance apart and the kettlebell on the floor between them. Squat and grab the kettlebell with one hand, and raise it up to shoulder level in front of you with a straight arm. Then squat to lower the kettlebell back to the ground, switch hands and repeat.
3. Outside of basic squats, there are dozens of kettlebell exercises that can work the entire leg. Try speed skating: Start with both feet shoulder width apart and slide your right leg behind your left, bending your left leg at the same time, as if you’re ice skating. Holding the kettlebell with both hands, follow your arms’ natural swing down and to the right. Alternate legs and repeat for your preferred number of reps.
4. The next time you have a few minutes after work or just before bed, grab your yoga mat and turn on some yoga videos. A regular yoga practice is great for your heart, and it relieves pain and improves flexibility and brain function. Just 12 minutes of yoga at home each day can help your bones—and reverse osteoporosis.
5. Feel free to skip that next barre class. You can practice some of the strength-training barre techniques at home with just a yoga mat and a high-back chair. Kick off your shoes and socks, and get in a couple of plié squats or a few reps of ronds de jambe while dinner is cooking.
6. Rolling out your muscles is an easy way to keep them loose and prevent soreness. Lie down on the floor, placing a foam roller beneath you wherever there may be tightness. Foam rolling works best when the roller focuses on one location for a few seconds, rather than rolling quickly over the entire backside of the body.
7. Take your rolling to the next level by using a few tennis balls to dig into more specific muscle areas. Place the tennis ball against the area that has tension and either press against a wall or use your body weight against the floor. The ball works to break up muscle tissue that can lead to tightness that’s often caused by poor posture or repetitive motions. Part of getting fit is making sure all your muscles are loose and blood can flow freely throughout the body.
8. Make time for a detox bath a few times a week to reduce inflammation in your muscles and throughout your body. Try scooping 2 cups of Epsom salt into your bathwater and soak for about 20 minutes. The warm water and Epsom salt will bring the toxins in your body to the surface of the skin. As the water cools, those toxins will leach out into the bathwater, leaving you with less inflammation.
9. Stability-ball crunches are an easy way to work your core without putting too much pressure on your neck. Lower your back onto the ball, and crunch up for a few reps of 10 to 20. This is an easy abdominal workout that requires only a few minutes and almost no space. Plus, this is another workout that works just as well in front of the TV—no gym required.
10. Work your triceps with stability-ball push-ups. Using the ball elevates your feet and makes push-ups slightly easier. Start facedown in a plank position with your feet on top of the ball and your hands on the floor directly below your shoulders. Bend at the elbows for a few reps of 10 push-ups. Less intensity means you’ll be able to fit in more reps and tone those triceps even more.
11. The screen and phone time that takes up our days certainly doesn’t help our postures. Hunched backs and rounded necks—especially when they’re practiced over long periods of time—can lead to unnecessary body pain. Good posture is one way to help avoid muscle pain, which can often be the result of underutilized muscles shortening. Sitting and standing up straight also improves core strength while allowing blood to flow properly to the entire body.