Over the gym? Here are 5 simple ways to exercise around your home
If you’re desperate to get fit but don’t have the time or energy to drag yourself down to the gym, it may comfort you to know that one of Australia’s former top athletes feels exactly the same way.
Olympic swimming champ and three-time gold medallist Stephanie Rice says her favourite place to work out is at home – particularly on her small balcony. “I just like to work out in solitude and don’t want to waste time driving to a gym!” she admits. “I also only exercise for around 20 minutes a day, five times a week, so I feel it would be a lot of effort to get to and from a gym just for that short amount of time.”
A committed vegan, Stephanie recently released her third eCookbook – Feel Vegie Good This Veganuary – which is free to download from the Vegie Delights website. It’s full of delicious plant-based recipes such as Moroccan style meatless meatballs, vegan party sausage rolls, smoky barbecued burger, Cajun tofu scramble and summer lovin’ hotdogs.
“Eating more plant-based meals and less saturated meat fat is a great way to kick-start your health regime, but you also need to exercise as well,” she says. “If you combine those two things, you’ll see a real change in the way you look and feel.”
Here are Stephanie’s top tips for exercising at home:
1. Get cardio pumping with a YouTube fitness video
One of Stephanie’s favourite ways to exercise at home is to follow along to a YouTube video. There are many fitness routines on the net featuring top trainers, with many of workouts only taking around 10 minutes, which is perfect if you’re busy and on the go. “I’m a fan of Kayla Itsines’ videos,” says Stephanie. “Even if it’s just a short workout, they can still be very effective for you and will really get the blood pumping and your muscles toned. I also think it’s important to vary your routine so you don’t get bored and fatigue your muscles too much in one spot. I tend to change up the videos I watch every day.”
2. Grab a chair to tone your arms
For a great triceps workout, Stephanie says all you need is a sturdy chair, couch or coffee table. Start off sitting at the edge of the furniture with hands down and fingertips pointing forward. Lift hips and walk feet 15 to 30cm inches forward. Bend elbows back, lowering hips 7 to 12cm inches. Straighten arms for one rep. Do 20 reps.
3. Shoulder sculpt with soup cans
“If you don’t have time to buy hand held weights, simply grab two 400g cans out of your pantry and use that as weights,” says Stephanie. “It’s still enough weight to tone up your arms and shoulders.” To exercise the fronts, sides, and backs of your shoulders, lift arms straight in front to shoulder height with soup cans facing vertically. Turn cans horizontally and pull arms to sides to form cross formation. Bend elbows to 90 degrees and, keeping elbows in line with shoulders, shift soup cans to face-up toward sky. Extend elbows to press both soup cans overhead. Repeat these steps in reverse order to lower arms back down to starting position. Do for a minute and then rest for a minute. Try for at least six reps.
4. Work your bum and legs with a wall
“This is a great one for your lower body – and all you need is a wall,” Stephanie says. Lean against the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground. This is your starting position. Engage your core and put your feet forward. Go down as you do so and keep leaning against the wall. Your feet should be 15cm apart. Slowly slide down the wall with your back pressed against it until your legs are bent at a right angle. This angle is very crucial because if your thighs are not parallel to the ground, your muscles will not get a good workout. Ensure your knees are directly above the ankles and do not overshoot them. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Gradually, increase the hold time to 60 seconds. After the last rep, come back to the starting position. Do three sets of 10 reps.
5. Get planking for a flat tummy
“One of the best exercises that you can do for a saggy stomach is a plank”, Stephanie says. Face the floor in the press up position. Put the weight on the forearms while bending your elbows. Form a straight line through your body from shoulders to ankle, suck your belly button into the spine and hold on the position for some time and relax. In the beginning you may be able to hold the pose only for 8-10 seconds. Don’t worry, this will increase as you keep doing this. Repeat the same five-six times.
Peninsula Kids – Autumn 2019