You can find everything you need for your home workout routine
lying around the house
Smart phone apps, computer gadgets and video games
can make fitness fun. But all the technology in the world can't get
us in shape. That one's on us.
"Technology has been one of the contributors to our becoming
less active than we used to be," says Jacqueline Epping, M.Ed.,
acting chief of the Physical Activity and Health Branch of the
Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity for the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "You don't need
high-tech gadgets to be active."
So what do you need?
"There are plenty of tools you have in your house already," says
Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., American Dietetic Association
spokeswoman. So get ready to rummage through a few closets and
drawers. It's time to go low-tech with everyday equipment that can
help you get fit while doing your at-home workout routine.
Walking shoes. Take a giant step toward fitness
with one prop you most certainly have. "Everyone has a pair of
shoes and can go outside and walk," Epping says.
A leash. "If your dog is sitting at the door with a
leash in his mouth, it's kind of hard to ignore," Epping says,
noting that the impact "dog obligation" can have on physical
activity is becoming an emerging field of research.
A clock. Blatner says research shows that people
who eat regular meals eat 80 calories less per day than those who
eat at irregular times. "You can lose maybe eight pounds a year
just by watching the clock," she says.
Stairs. "The only thing that's required for fitness
is the force of gravity," says Pete McCall, M.S., an exercise
physiologist with the American Council on Exercise. Stairs or low
walls make your body work against gravity. Try simple step-ups, or
work your hips and thighs with crossover steps during your at-home
Sticky notes. Write sayings like "Are you really
hungry?" and "Are you making healthy choices?" on sticky notes and
then plaster them to diet-busting foods." This can help you think
about food choices instead of going into auto-pilot munch mode,"
Toothbrush. Brushing your teeth after every meal
can have a twofold effect on fitness. It's good for your teeth, of
course. "And a fresh, minty mouth can put an end to the postmeal
nibbling and noshing that happens," Blatner says.
Tennis ball. A tennis ball massage-whether rolled
under your foot or placed under your back while you raise your
knees and rock your hips from left to right-can alleviate muscle
pain and soreness after a workout and keep you motivated.
Pen and paper. It doesn't get more old school than
a pen and a notebook. "The American Journal of Preventive Medicine
has a great study out," says Blatner. "People who kept a food log
lost twice as much weight as people who did not."
Using a notebook, you can also track physical activity.
"Exercise is no fun unless you see results," McCall says. Writing
down your fitness accomplishments will help you monitor where you
are and set goals for where you want to be.
The bottom line? Start your road to fitness with where you're at
and what you have for your home workout routine. Add a little time
and intensity each week, and pretty soon you'll see results.
"People don't need a ton of gimmicks. They just need to get out
more," McCall says.
-By Laurie Davies