Fitness

Inspiration

Stay Fit Outside the Gym

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If you can spend thousands of dollars on building a home gym, more power to you. Although not literally: A first-rate workout can be had with minimal or no equipment. We’ve all had fantasies of the firm bodies we’d surely develop if only we had that “Big Muscle Money Grab Weight System”. For those of us lucky enough to acquire it, the lesson that more equipment does not equal bigger gains has more than likely been learned. Until the ad for the next high-tech muscle builder hits our 1 a.m. eyeballs.

All of this is to say that big gains can be yours if you’re willing to move your body. Clear the Legos off the family room floor and give one of these full-body workouts a go. You don’t have to go big, timewise. Some of these workouts are designed to take only 20 minutes. Each of them, if done consistently, will make you stronger without weakening your bank statement.

For a quick cardio burn

Ah, the restorative effect of a heart-pounding, lung-clearing workout. Brighten your dark winter days with quick bursts of cardio exercise. Here’s a ten-minute circuit that’ll set the ol’ thighs ablaze. This 20-minute workout takes you from exercise to exercise in very short order, which you’ll appreciate when you get to the cross-jacks. And burpees. What’s that you say? 20 minutes just isn’t enough? Get your sweat on with this half-hour home workout that you can do in 30- or 45-second high-intensity bursts. Either version starts to feel pretty darned long near the end.

When you want a tough strength-building twenty minutes

High-intensity trainers sometimes call the first exercise in this challenging series the warrior maker. It’s a little tough, in other words. The instructions for this workout advise three to four rounds of five exercises. Good luck with that.

Get strong, yoga-style

If a meditative approach to workouts more matches your mood, bust out that mat. Yoga is unbeatable for peaceful exercise that builds strength, balance, flexibility, and mental focus. If you’re not sure what style suits you, there’s no shortage of online options for getting started or advancing your practice. Here’s a rundown of well-loved videos.

Bring on that Pilates butt

Much like yoga, Pilates stresses focus, balance, and a strong core. But it gets a little more aggressive about achieving those things with a whole lot of reps and exercises that really push your stamina—and your concentration as you focus on breathing and alignment while you work. As challenging mentally as physically, there’s no denying Pilates brings results of the tight-muscled variety. A 20-minute mat Pilates routine is a good place to start.

These at-home fitness routines can help you up your health game, whether you’re working out in a gym or not. And, as we continue to practice social distancing and mask wearing to reduce the spread of COVID-19, remember that we are all in this together!

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