Get a workout — no equipment required

Paula Reece

Machines, weights and props can all help in a daily exercise routine. But with a little creativity, you can still enjoy a great workout without anything but you and a pair of good athletic shoes.

Given so many changes and temporary health club closures related to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s never been more important to maintain your efforts to stay healthy and fit. Here are a few ideas to help keep you on track to achieve your fitness goals, including body weight training, cardio workouts, online classes and fresh air exercise.

Body weight training is just that – using your weight to provide resistance.  Body weight exercises improve strength, flexibility and balance. Many different types of body weight exercises can be performed to work all the major muscle groups.

One of the best exercises for the chest is the pushup. This exercise uses almost every muscle in the body, but especially the chest muscles. Modify the traditional floor pushup by performing them on your knees or leaning from a counter. Complete a triceps dip with the aid of a stable chair or step by raising and lowering your body. For the thighs, try lunges. Lunges work a range of muscles and also improve core strength and flexibility.

Core exercises include the bicycle maneuver. This ab workout strengthens your internal and external obliques.  Like a traditional crunch done on the floor, move your legs like you’re riding a bicycle. Try a plank, another quality core exercise. Using either on your hands or forearms, keep your body straight like a plank and hold this position for 30 seconds.

With bodyweight exercises, keep your movements smooth and controlled. It’s important to use proper form and technique to get the most benefits while also avoiding injuries.   

Cardio exercises that get your heart pumping offer a great way to keep extra weight at bay. One of the simplest and most beneficial cardio exercises is brisk walking. Record your steps, distance and time.  Reaching for 10,000 steps a day in a week will make you successful in a 70,000-step goal.

For some inside cardio exercise, try jumping jacks. Shoot for 50 at a time and repeat.  If you need to modify, do step outs on each side instead of the jump. High-knee marches, taking the stairs and even dancing all offer great ways to get in some cardio exercise.

Missing your group exercise classes?  Log on to the website at www.crossroadsfitness.com and join in on one of the many group classes listed there. Our giving and talented instructors also teach live classes on Facebook. These classes might help you keep a routine and see some familiar faces.

With warming spring weather, getting outdoors is particularly welcoming. A walk, hike, bike ride or even yardwork offer not only fresh air and sunshine, but also some calorie burning.

Now is the perfect time to use the excuse to exercise — not an excuse to miss out on exercise. Maintain a weekly routine and make it non-negotiable. Try some of these workout tips and embrace your new fitness routine.