It’s a popular belief that ‘home is where the heart is’. However, I’ll argue that they’ve left one thing out… ‘home is where the HEALTHY heart is’! Health is the foundation for a healthy family, and home, well, that’s wherever we hang our proverbial hat, isn’t it? For many, improving one’s health is easier said than done. If you were to Google getting healthy, you’d find yourself heading down a deep rabbit hole of information pertaining to getting fit. That’s because fitness is a direct extension of our health. We know that moving our body with a bit of purposeful intention that we can create a positive change in our health. This is otherwise known as ‘working out’.

Now, before I lose you, don’t let dogmatic media and popular misconceptions mislead you. I’m here to reassure you that you have everything you need under your roof to get fitter, starting today. You don’t need any fancy, expensive equipment or even a gym membership. Just look around your home for some basic items, or tasks, and you’ll be working up a sweat in no time.

Let’s start with your body – it’s the best gym you’ll ever own and guess what, you’ll have it till the day you depart this ‘mortal coil’. Exercising your major muscle groups (the larger muscles responsible for some of the big movements we do every day like walking, lifting, and pushing) is a process that can be done anytime, anywhere. If you have enough room to throw a towel on the ground, then you have enough space to do any of the following movements:

Lower body exercises:

  • The squat
  • The lunge
  • The glute-bridge
  • The calf-raise

Upper body exercises:

  • The push-up
  • The pull-up (a doorway jam or sturdy table is all you’ll need for this one)

Core and abdominal exercises:

  • The plank
  • The crunch
  • The sit-up

*BTW – not sure how to do these? Visit www.DaiManuel.com and I can provide you the info you need.

Here’s your workout:

  1. Pick one lower body exercise, one upper body exercise, and one core exercise.
  2. Pick a total number of repetitions for each exercise. Tip: try starting with seven to 10 per movement.
  3. Set a timer to count down from 15 minutes.
  4. Hit ‘go’!

As soon as the timer starts, complete the set number of reps per movement, and continue to cycle through them until the time is up. That’s it! So, for example, if you chose seven of each movement, you would complete seven squats, seven push-ups and seven crunches: that would be one round. See how many rounds you can complete before the timer is up. Trust me, after 15 minutes of this you’ll be feeling it and have a good sweat on. This is the best way that you could spend 1% of your 24-hour day and it will definitely help improve your fitness and health.

Whether it’s because someone is too shy to exercise in front of people or simply because they can’t afford a gym membership, there are many reasons why one would exercise at home, out of view of other people and using your own home equipment. Many people don’t realize or don’t think that it’s even possible, to get fully fit and have an efficient exercise routine while staying at home. In fact, if you think about it, it’s easier than having to pack your bags, get in a car and head to the gym.

Following a home, workout doesn’t have to be boring and repetitive. There are so many body-weight exercises you can do. If you were to follow my formula above, you could do a different workout every day of the week!

Now that I have your attention, and you can see yourself getting your fitness on in your home, let’s quickly explore some other fun workouts with regular household furniture. From the couch to the stairs, to your doorframe, here are few great exercises that you can work into your program:

  • Chair workouts: tricep dips (triceps, abs), ab crunches (abs), incline press-up (chest, deltoids, triceps), and step-ups (great for your butt and calves).
  • Stair workouts: heel raises (calves, quads), step-ups (calves, quads).
  • Floor workouts: sit-ups (abs), press-ups (deltoids, pectorals, triceps).
  • Sofa workouts: feet-elevated push-ups or press-ups (deltoids, chest, triceps), elevated plank (abs, back).
  • Garden workouts: burpees (glutes, quads, deltoids, chest, triceps), running (quads, calves).
  • Skipping (hamstrings, glutes, triceps).

Your daily fitness routine can involve your daily house chores. You can burn so many calories and really get the body moving while doing the simple things you were going to do anyway. Best of all, I bet you’ll never look at cleaning the house the same way again!

Can you build in some workouts around these chores?

  • Vacuuming – 15 minutes will burn 90 calories
  • Window cleaning – 30 minutes will burn 125 calories
  • Ironing – 1 hour will burn 140 calories
  • Dusting – 20 minutes will burn 70 calories
  • Washing the car – 30 minutes will burn 143 calories
  • Stair climbing – 15 minutes will burn 143 calories
  • Walking briskly – 20 minutes will burn 100 calories

Home is whatever we make of it. It’s our sanctuary from the world around us, but more than that it can also be the grounds for reinforcing our health through everyday fitness. Whether simply doing some chores around the house, or setting aside 15 minutes to get a sweat on, your home is a gym that’s open 24-7, so take advantage of the membership benefits. Joan Welsh said, “A person’s health can be judged by which they take two at a time – pills or stairs.” Knowing what you know now, how will you be judged?

Exactly. I’ll race you to the top!