You don't need a gym. You don't need equipment. You don't even need a lot of time. Here's a workout you can do daily to increase energy, strength, and insulin sensitivity in your own home.
Hey! Yes, you! Get up, get up, get up, my friend. If your body is telling you that you’re too tired to exercise, you’re not hearing it correctly. If your body sits in front of a computer all day, it’s not asking you to go home and sit on the couch all evening.
In fact, your body is begging you to get up and move.
Your body is not tired...it’s desperate for some energy. It’s craving energy.
Energy doesn’t come out of thin air. Energy is something you create by moving your body.
Just as it’s true that the more you eat junk, the more you crave junk, the more you exercise, the more your body will crave exercise. (The more you eat eggs and veggies for breakfast, the more you will crave eggs and veggies for breakfast!)
Your body wants movement! Heart-pumping movement that will get your blood flowing throughout your veins, throughout your muscles, from your fingers to your toes.
You are more than just your typing fingers and your email-read eyes. You have muscles and bones, tendons and ligaments, and they are desperate to push, and pull, and stretch, and move.
(And wait, wait, wait, don’t you even dare tell me that you “don’t have time” for exercise. If you “don’t have time” for exercise, then I double-dog-dare-you right now to delete Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook from your phone, and suddenly add at least one more hour of free-time to your day.) :p
Here are 5 exercises you can do at home today.
(Heck, you can even watch your fave TV show while you do ‘em!)
Circuit: Repeat this entire circuit 3 to 5 times
Workout: Perform this entire workout 3 to 4 times a week
Crouching Sumo-Squat X 10 to 15 reps
Stand with your feet approximately 2 feet apart, toes turned out slightly. As you squat down, pretend you are lowering something to the floor. Keep your chest and head up, eyes looking out in front of you, and push your hips back behind you as you squat. Your goal is to eventually squat deeply enough to touch your fingertips to the floor. You could put a small box or stack of books below you as something higher-up to tap in the meantime. (You might feel a little bit like a frog in the deepest part of the squat.)
*This exercise primarily engages: your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.
Elbow Leg Lifts X 10 reps each leg
This one has a few options based on your comfort level: you can lie flat on your back with your palms facing down tucked slightly under each side of your bum OR you can prop yourself up on your elbows or your hands. Then lift both legs and extend one leg slowly at a time as the other bends in towards your chest. The more slowly you do this, the more it will challenge your abs and the harder it will be.
*This exercise primarily engages: your entire core and quads.
Standing Reach & Curl X 10 reps each leg
Reach both arms straight above your head as you lift and extend one leg slightly behind you. Balancing on the other leg, then curl your knee up towards your chest as you pull your arms down to your sides. The tighter the curl, the more you’ll engage your core. Move slowly and steadily. *Use one hand on the back of a chair for help with balance as needed.
*This exercise primarily engages: your core, glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
Place one foot at the base of your staircase and the other on the first, second OR third step based on your strength level. Bring the bottom foot up to that step, tap gently and lower it back down. The more controlled your speed and movement is, the more you will engage your muscles. Repeat 10 times and then switch sides.
*This exercise primarily engages: your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.
Standing about 2 feet from the edge of your kitchen counter, place your palms shoulder-width apart on the edge. Engage your core to keep your body stiff like a plank as you lower your chest to the counter. At the deepest part of the pushup, your elbows and wrists should be in line with each other. If they are not, move your hands slightly further apart or closer together. Control your movement as your lower and press your body!
*This exercise primarily engages: your chest, shoulders, and triceps.