I need some help with exercises I can do at home. I'm trying to lose the last of my baby weight, and while I'm working on getting my diet in better shape, between a baby and a full-time job I don't have a lot of spare time for fitness (I know, lame excuse, but there it is). I already get up at 5:30am so I'd prefer not to exercise in the morning, and I also do little extras here and there like taking the stairs, walking on my lunch break, etc. Basically what I need help with is super-efficient and effective exercises (I'm not even sure what I should be focusing on... cardio, strength training, both...) to help with weight loss that I can do at home after baby is asleep. I do have a very old elliptical and used to go on it every day while baby napped during my maternity leave but alas, real life has now struck.
One of the issues that I see in my line of work are people’s expectations not matching their actions and then being disappointed with the results that they are, or are not, achieving. I am not saying that you are not working hard already, but losing those last few pounds is always the most challenging.
As much as we wish weight loss was as simple as taking the stairs and using an elliptical for 20 minutes every other night, it is a whole lot harder. And seeing as how you have very limited time to devote to exercise, your best bet is to get your diet-dialed. That is the easiest and least time consuming way to see the weight come off. This means cutting out things like sugar, alcohol and starchy carbohydrates and replacing them with water, lean proteins and leafy greens/non starchy fruits and vegetables. Boring, yes. But effective. Eating clean is what is going to drop the weight.
But you can’t discount exercise, as even though it doesn’t play a huge role in weight loss, it is going to make you stronger, increase your lean weight versus your fat weight, improve your cardiovascular system and get those endorphins flowing which are going to make you feel like a rock star and give you the energy to get through your days.
As for what you should do, book off 20 minutes each night and pick 5 exercises which you will do for one minute each and go through the circuit four times. This is going to guarantee that you will not waste a second of the 20 minutes you are about to push yourself.
Pick 3 strength exercises that target one muscular system, such as your pushing system (push-ups, shoulders, triceps), your pulling system (your back and biceps) or your legs. Pick one core exercise and one intense cardio exercise. Here is an example of what a circuit can look like:
1 – Mountain climber push-ups (this is where you alternate a push-up with mountain climber legs)
2 – 30 second side plank each side
3 – triceps push-ups from your knees
4 – squat with a shoulder press as you come up
5 – lateral skaters
Or something like this:
1 – alternating forward lunge with a bicep curl
2 – front plank shifting your body weight forward and back from your toes
3 – squat with a cable pull (hold an exercise band in your hands at chest level and as you come up from you squat open your arms up wide, pulling on the cable)
4 – mountain climbers
5 – swimming (lie on your stomach with your core engaged and lift your arms and legs up off the floor, moving them as if you are fluttering in the water)
Plan your workouts before you start and know how to do each exercise. Make 3 different circuits and rotate through them throughout the week and month. There is no need to change them up until they no longer challenge you or you become bored.
If you are looking for some fun ideas, check out the Nike Training Club App. It is one of my favourite apps to resort to when looking for a fun workout or motivation on how to spice up the workout you are already doing.