So, here we are - a year into the pandemic - and still looking at that minor (or major) pudge of belly in the mirror. And although many of the gyms are reopening at limited capacities, many of us still need at-home alternatives. There are many reasons: you may prefer being home, for several reasons may need to be home, or are still rightfully worried and reserve jumping into the fullness of outside until a later date. Whatever the case, we’ve come up with some fun, cheap, and creative ways to lose some of those late-night pandemic pounds.
To get into fantastic shape, all it is takes is a couple of gallon containers, a backpack, and some creative cardio!
1. Gallon Containers Exercises
Whoever knew those empty gallon containers could come in handy, and if you’re in a house with kids who, for some reason, go through cereal and milk like they’re trying to hit a personal record, then you will always have a few of these on deck. Here’s how you can transform them!
Clean the containers and fill them with water or sand. Just make sure you glue the lids to prevent leakage, and, for safety, wear gloves or wrap the handles if they have sharp plastic seams.
For a gallon container, water will weigh about 8 lbs, and sand will weigh around 12.5lbs. If you only need a little weight, this is perfect for you. If it’s not enough weight alone, it’s a great addition to full-body HIIT exercises because, after a few rounds, you’ll definitely feel it.
Use them like dumbbells or like kettlebells and get a full-body workout!
Advanced tip: If you need more weight, buy a large 5-gallon water jug. Filled with water is about 40lbs and with sand is about 60lbs. Not recommended for most upper body workouts, but it’s ideal for deadlifts, squats, farmers’ walks, and shrugs.
2. Use A Backpack
Filling a backpack with books or other large-surface items is a great way to amp up the intensity of your workouts. You probably have some oversized books from college that you keep around or a bunch of books to bought to look cool on those Zoom calls ( yeah, we’ve read those too); put them to good use with added weight.
Safety tip: Make sure the weight is evenly distributed because a sagging pack will cause back problems. And keep the backpack as close to your body as possible while retaining comfort. It should add weight to the body, not jerk and bounce, as that will cause pain and potential injury.
A weighted backpack is excellent for walks, hikes, push-ups (with weight loaded on shoulders), and squats.
By far, the easiest way to lose weight and stay in shape is by walking - getting those steps in. But many of us view cardio as labor-intensive or flat-out boring, but changing our perspective on it can add a bit of much-needed spice to our daily cardio routine.
3. Walk the Dog or Family Walks
Yes, walking the dog counts as cardio. The average walk is about 20 to 30 minutes, which, at a decent pace, is at least a mile each time. And instead of hitting the treadmill for an hour, take an evening walk with the family. It’s a great way to reconnect while staying active.
4. Do Some Yard Work
Most dads would rather spend hours outside pushing and pulling and spraying and scraping than in a chaotic house where the idea of relaxation has died (do I sound like I have experience?). Yard work works the body and keeps you moving and if you’re someone who enjoys intermittent fasting, then scheduling yard work for the morning creates the benefits of fasted cardio while getting housework done. And soon, you’ll be able to cut the grass with your shirt off and claim the title of King of the Cul-de-sac.
5. Staying in shape is about staying active - period.
It doesn’t matter how it looks or what you buy, so now you should have a few ideas on keeping in shape at the house. And look at it this way, the next time the world falls apart, you’ll look good and be ready!