We make a lot of promises to ourselves in January that we break by March. New Year’s resolutions are a tradition of goal setting. They key to accomplishing your goals is to start small and build on small successes. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to start working out, we have the perfect way to ease into a new routine.
Gyms are expensive and involve an additional commute. For some of us, the added cost and challenge make it easier to commit to an exercise routine. For others, those same challenges become hurdles. Before you spend on Crossfit classes, try incorporating exercise into your routine slowly to make the habit stick.
A great way to start is by working out in your pajamas. That’s right — a quick workout before or after you go to bed allows you to knock it out before you shower for work. Here are some simple exercise ideas that you can do at home, in your PJs.
10 Simple At-Home Exercises for the New Year
- Push Ups. No-fuss push ups are the simplest way to tone the arms. Push ups are also an excellent core exercise, so they will tone your tummy over time too. Build up slowly. If you can only do five at first, that’s A-OK. The goal is to make exercise a routine, so don’t burn yourself out.
- Squats. Squats will work your lower body and tone your glutes and your legs. If you’re new to squats, try them with your hands on top of your head with your arms up. This will force you to maintain your balance with your chest up, which will work more muscles.
- Lunges. Lunges are another great lower body workout. They tone your glutes and, when done properly, can correct imbalances. When executing a lunge, the most important part is remembering to keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed, and your chin up — pick a point in front of you to stare at to prevent yourself from looking down and losing your form.
- Gluteal Bridge. Gluteal bridges work your glutes, core, and lower back — a great exercise for those who suffer from lower back pain!
- Plank. Planks are key for developing core strength. They also exercise the abs, lower back, and engage the quadriceps and glutes. This exercise is great for for strengthening your core after childbirth, after you have the greenlight from your doctor to workout.
- Mountain Climber. The mountain climber is an intense workout for your core. In addition to getting your heart rate up (great cardio!) this exercise works the deltoids, biceps, triceps, chest, obliques, abs, quads, hamstrings and hip abductors — I one-stop shop for both an upper and lower-body workout.
- Hip Crossover. The hip crossover is an excellent way to target the obliques and the core. The move, which requires a lot of stability and balance, has you lay on your back and slowly — with control — drop your legs from one side of your body to the other without arching your lower back. The key to this exercise is to remain in total control of your legs, working against gravity.
- Crunches. Crunches are simple in theory, but it takes a lot of practice and concentration to effectively work your abs with this move. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Put your hands behind your head (don’t lace your fingers), with your elbows facing outward. Curl up and forward — using your core, not your arms — so your head, neck, and shoulder blades lift off the floor. Lower back down slowly, with control.
- Burpee. Burpees provide a total body workout in one powerful move. They promise to build strong, lean muscle and will definitely get your heart pumping for a great cardio workout. A burpee is a jumping jack on steroids… For a better idea of how to do a burpee correctly, check out this video from Fitness Magazine.
- Leg Lifts. While crunches tend to work your upper abs, leg lifts are like reverse crunches. Working your lower abs, leg lifts will tighten your tummy, glutes, and quads. Simply lay flat on the floor with your arms planted firmly at your sides, fuse your two legs together, and slowly lift them up at to a 90 degree angle. Now lower them back down slowly. Repeat.