We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Prevention here on FitSugar!
By Jenna Bergen, Prevention
There are 101 wimpy excuses for not working out — and I know because I’ve used all of them. I’m tired. My favorite show is on TV. I’m hungry. I really should reorganize my kitchen cabinets. The list goes on. But when the weather is really nasty or you’re superbusy, you have a valid reason for forgoing exercise, right? Wrong. Here are seven simple at-home workouts, many of which can be done in no more than 20 minutes.
If you’re looking to trim and tone quickly, consider adding a kettlebell, a round weight that sort of resembles a small bowling ball with a handle attached to it, to your home gym arsenal. "A kettlebell workout can be done in less than half the time of typical workouts and burns twice as many calories," says Sarah Lurie, author of Kettlebells For Dummies. How many calories are we talking? Up to 20 per minute, according to a 2010 study, or up to 400 calories in a 20-minute session. Here’s why it works so well: "Most kettlebell exercises give you a cardiovascular workout and a full-body strength workout at the same time," says Lurie. "The basic kettlebell swing works every major muscle group and taxes your cardiovascular system at the same time. Even adding just two kettlebell workouts a week into your routine will transform your body." Check out Prevention’s 20-minute kettlebell workout that delivers more fat-fighting and body-toning benefits than doing 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes of traditional weight lifting.
See more at-home workouts after the break!
"Jumping rope is amazing for your body," says Samantha Clayton, personal trainer and costar of YouTube’s Be Fit in 90. "All you have to do is look at a boxer’s tight, toned body to know it’s a major fat blaster." You’re toning your upper and lower body at the same time, while quickly boosting your heart rate. The result: a 160-pound person can torch more than 350 calories in 30 minutes. Check out this jump rope fitness guide for tips and workout ideas. Don’t have the room to swing the rope? Try "ghost jumping," mimicking the movement without the actual rope. "This is just as effective in keeping your heart rate up," says Clayton. To keep it interesting, try doing fast intervals with short recoveries in between, challenge your balance by jumping on one leg, double dutch with the kids, or jump to the beat of your favorite songs.
If you love logging miles on the open road, consider setting up your bike in your living room. "You can put your favorite TV show or movie on the TV and pedal away," says Andrew Bernstein, gear editor for Bicycling Magazine. "The most common setup is a rear-wheel trainer, which locks onto the bike’s rear hub and elevates the back wheel a few inches off the ground," says Bernstein. These devices use a resistance unit to simulate riding on a road. You’ll also need a "trainer block" to elevate the front wheel so that your bike is level. Whatever your setup, expect to sweat: a 175-pound person burns between 159 calories to 476 calories in 30 minutes of cycling. "We recommend you get a rubber trainer mat to put underneath you to protect your floors, especially if you’re spinning on carpet," says Bernstein.