Texas Living

Freeze-Busting Workout Tips

By Brian Kendall 1.25.17

With the holidays in our rearview mirror, the thought of going to the gym can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, we have the perfect remedy for curing these lazy winter doldrums: Work out at home! Don’t sweat going to the gym; get your heart rate up in your casa with these awesome tips.

Use furniture to up your game

Furniture, we hope, is two things: heavy and sturdy. This makes it a perfect tool for exercising at home. While using two chairs to do dips or the side of your bed to do push-ups are simple furniture exercises, don’t be confined to just these body-weight workouts. Get creative — use floor sliders (or dishrags!) to do a wealth of full-body exercises. There are also plenty of ways to use your couch for indoor workouts, giving a whole new meaning to the term couch potato.

Jump rope

The best piece of exercise equipment you can own is, in fact, a simple rope. Jumping rope is one of the best cardiovascular exercises you can do. In fact, studies have shown that jumping rope for 10 minutes can burn an equal amount of calories as jogging at an eight-minute-per-mile pace. And, even better, this incredibly simple and efficient workout takes minimal room, and you can do it indoors! First, make sure your rope is beaded or plastic and measured to your size. Hold the rope at hip height with elbows bent and upper arms close to your side; and when you jump, land on the balls of your feet. We’re not saying you’ll master the double jump in a month’s time, but it will help keep your fitness level up during the winter months.

Got stairs? Use ’em

According to Step Jockey, seven minutes of stair climbing a day can halve your risk of heart attack over 10 years. Each day, walk (or run) up and down your steps eight to 10 times. And your steps aren’t just good for climbing and getting to the next floor. You can also try your hand at these exercises, which include reverse lunges and tricep dips involving stairs.

Use water bottles as dumbbells

If you’re looking for some strength training, filling water bottles with dirt, sand, or, well, water, is a great way to replace those dumbbells you find at the gym. A 16-ounce water bottle filled with water weighs approximately 1 pound, while a gallon milk jug filled with sand weighs approximately 13 pounds. While this won’t replace those 20 pounders you might want to reach for, if you simply increase your repetitions, these are great items to use as dumbbells for bicep curls and rows; or you can discover the power of using lighter weights.

Make it a routine

Once you’ve found a few around-the-house exercises that work for you, try combining a few signature moves to create a circuit. Doing a quick circuit-training workout is a great way to get both strength and cardio training done in one fell swoop. 

If you are planning a circuit-training workout for the first time and you’ll be using only the weight of your body, it’s recommended you include the following:

  • An upper body exercise (Example: push-ups, dips)
  • A lower body exercise (Example: squats, walking lunges)
  • A compound exercise (Example:jumping lunges, mountain climbers)
  • A one-minute sprint (Example: jumping rope, stair climbing)

Once you’ve found a routine that works for you, be sure to follow up your new exercises by setting some workout goals and talking to your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent about comprehensive health coverage from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and Texas Farm Bureau Insurance.