Are you trying to lose weight as well as get into shape? If so, both resistance training and cardio training works. Studies show that we continue to burn more calories after weight training than cardio training but obviously diet is key.
If you do not belong to a gym, having a treadmill or other piece of cardio machine is fabulous. Anything else you need (resistance bands, a couple of pair of dumbbells, a stability ball) are inexpensive and don’t take up much room.
Try to get in at least 20 minutes a day on a machine or walking. A new study showed that women who walked 6 to 9 miles a week were less prone to dementia.
If you can’t then shoot for 3 times a week for 45 minutes. Start slowly and build up. Use interval training, which means alternate fast and slow speeds, hills and flat levels.
This is a three time a week at home workout: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You can set Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays as treadmill time.
Repetitions refer to how many times you do an exercise, for example 12 and sets refer to how many times you do each repetition of 12, let’s say two.
You can find pictures of any exercise on YouTube so if you do not understand how to do something just use Google.
How often we work our abdominal area is controversial. Some trainers say every day; others say you exercise it just like any other muscle, which is not every day since your muscles need to rest in between. This workout will have you doing abs on Tuesday and Thursday on whatever piece of equipment they have at the gym, on a stability ball or on the floor.
You are going to do two sets of 12 repetitions for each exercise.
Mondays are for your lower body.
1. Nothing can compare to squats for your legs. They don’t isolate a muscle like leg extensions do (a machine at the gym); rather they work your whole leg. If you can handle putting the 10-pound weights on your shoulders (hold them) great. If not then keep them by your side when you do the squats.
2. Walking lunges: If your balance is really bad you might be better off doing standing lunges but like squats they are excellent for your legs.
3. For your shoulders use 3 to 5-pound weights. The shoulders are very sensitive and get injured fairly easily. Side lateral raises are an excellent exercise as are front raises. If you do two sets of each, 12 repetitions each time, you’ll be doing great.
Wednesday will be biceps and triceps. Do 15 of each set for your triceps since that is a trouble spot for many.
1. Standing bicep curls are the standard exercise and nothing can beat it. Start with whatever weight you can do 12 easily. Then go up. The rule of thumb is to go up 5% but if that is going to break the bank then do more repetitions or put two dumbbells together (5 and 2 for example).
2. Hammer curls. These are done by holding the end of the dumbbell and lifting the end up so it is straight up and down.
3. You may already be doing triceps extensions and don’t give those up. Here is a tip: When you are at the top of the exercise – your arm is straight out behind you, pause and then lift a bit higher and hold or a second.
4. Overhead triceps extensions. These involve holding the dumbbell over your head and raising it. You elbows must be kept in. You might want to do these in front of a mirror at first to make sure your elbows are not out to the side. You can put two dumbbells together because this exercise is one that you probably can do easily with 5 pounds.
Fridays will be chest and back.
1. Most women cannot do pushups but if you can do any sort on the floor that’s great. If not do them against the walk so you are pushing against the wall while standing, which is still working your chest but is much easier.
2. Chest presses. Ideally these are done lying down but if you can’t then do flyes. Chest presses just involve raising the dumbbells straight up while lying down. Flyes have you sitting down and opening your arms and then closing them.
3. The classic and best exercise for your back are bent-over rows. These have to done in proper form so if you have any doubts look at a video. You will be able to handle 10-pounds on each arm. They can be done one arm at a time if you have time or both at the same time if you are in a hurry. Just don’t compromise your form because of lack of time.
4. Finally do a yoga posture called the bridge pose. You will find it online. It will be harder if you keep your knees together but it is great for strengthening your back and working your abdominal muscles.