Lifestyle

The weightless workout

Skip the gym but not the gains

Matthew Reimer photo story on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (Photo by Sareenah Singh/SAIT)

Matthew Reimer photo story on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (Photo by Sareenah Singh/SAIT)

With winter approaching and shorter days in effect, many steer clear of the gym. However, skipping the weight room doesn’t have to mean skipping a workout. 

“It’s true that working out in a gym gets you noticeable results quicker than working out without weights, but you can still definitely get great results at home with the right workouts and a solid meal plan,” said Logan Davenport, a fitness enthusiast from Edson, Alta.

Different people have different goals, but staying healthy is a common objective for most. 

According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, performing any physical activity at least five days a week, for a minimum of 30 minutes, equates to a longer, better quality of life and can help with the management of chronic conditions.

“Raising your heart rate above its resting rate trains your body to move oxygen and blood to your muscles more efficiently,” said Jesse McFadden, a personal trainer at GoodLife Fitness. 

Through this process, one’s muscles use fuel more economically, allowing movement with greater ease. 

This, in turn, translates to getting in shape. 

Callisthenics is a form of exercise that uses no weights, but rather one’s own body weight, to build muscle. 

“Despite what people tell you, you don’t need fancy equipment or a gym to build muscle,” said McFadden. 

“You just need to do more reps if you’re going to try out callisthenics. 

“If you feel the need to make it heavier, you can invest in resistance bands or just figure out a way to add weights for your movements.”

Some good beginner callisthenic exercises are push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and squats. 

“Bodybuilding.com is a great website to go to if you need help. It can teach you and show you many different workouts,” said Davenport. 

“YouTube is also a great source for help.”

Working out releases endorphins, which can make a person feel good 

Still, working out can be boring for beginners, but there are a few things that can help make the process more enjoyable.

Music can help coordinate your workout. The beat of your music can help synchronize your reps, as the tempo of the music can reflect the type of workout being done. 

“Listening to music or even listening to a motivational speaker before or during your workout will get you pumped for sure,” said Davenport.

Partnering up is another useful tool, as many people are more likely to exercise if there is someone to workout with. Humans are social creatures, which helps explain the continued success of fitness groups. 

“Having someone who can hold you accountable will help get you active,” said Davenport. 

“You can even have friendly competitions. It’s a great way to get motivated.”

Lastly, switch up your routine. Doing the same thing every day is a recipe for boredom and stagnation. 

Going to different websites for different workouts will help educate you about the possibilities of the workouts you can do outside of the gym. 

30-minute full-body circuit workout:

CARDIO
100 jumping jacks

CORE
25 standard crunches
25 bicycle crunches
25 standard crunches
25 bicycle crunches

CARDIO
50 jumping jacks

LEGS & ARMS
25 squats 
25 burpees
25 lunges
25 push-ups

CARDIO
50 jumping jacks

CORE
25 reverse crunches
25 leg lifts
25 reverse crunches
25 leg lifts

CARDIO
100 jumping jacks

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