If you're like most people, your day is filled with work, household chores, errands, taking care of kids, grandkids, or aging parents and trying to squeeze in a little "me time". Part of that me time, is mostly likely fitting in a workout. And not just any workout, you want one that's effective, time efficient & that you can do right at home. I mean, who has time to drive to the gym? You're a busy woman! Even if you do, you've been running around all day, and don't want to take up any more of your time in the car.
So you've committed yourself to working out at home 3 days a week. One night you may get a few crunches in and another night you hop on the treadmill. Maybe you even purchased a stability ball and some light dumbbells. Great! You're ready to get started and can't wait to start seeing results. The problem is, nothing seems to be happening,
What you need are the right tools and the right guidance to creating a workout that meets your needs. With a few choice pieces of equipment and a simple template to follow you'll be able to put together and effective, time efficient workout.
The Right EquipmenT
Let's start with the right tools. There are a lot of at home gyms and weights that you could purchase if you have the space. If you don't have the space and want to keep it simple, I've found the following pieces of equipment to work great for at home workouts; TRX suspension trainer, stability ball, and resistance tubes. You can get a lot done with these 3 pieces and they don't take up much room and don't cost that much.
You can purchases any of these at a local sporting goods store, or here's a link to my Amazon Store Front: https://www.amazon.com/shop/LisaSwansonFit
Full disclosure I do receive a small commission on purchases made through this link.
Designing Your 30 Minute Workout
There are a lot of steps that go into designing an effective workout. When working with a personal trainer, you would first go through a complete fitness assessment to determine the right plan of action for you. Obviously, I can’t create a custom program in a blog, but I can help you create a program that is balanced. So let’s get started!
The Warm Up: 3 to 5 minutes
All workouts should begin with a warm up. This should include warming up the muscles that you will be using during the strength-training phase of your workout as well as increase your core body temperature and heart rate. Choose 5 of the movements below, performing each one for 30 – 60 seconds:
The Strength/Conditioning Phase: 20 minutes
During the strength phase, to save time and burn the most calories, focus on compound and combination moves. Compound exercises use more than one muscle group at a time and combination moves are putting 2 exercises together in one movement.
For this program, we are going to focus on a full body workout. To make sure you are hitting all the major muscle groups, and hence creating a balanced workout, choose one exercise for each of the following movement patterns: (download the infographic on the left as a handy guide & exercise ideas)
Perform each exercise for a 12 – 15 repetitions without resting in between exercises. Be sure you are using enough resistance so that you are exhausting the muscles by the end of each set. Repeat the whole sequence 3 – 4 times.
The Cool Down: 5 minutes
It’s very easy to skip the cool down, but try not to. This is when you bring your heart rate back down and stretch out the muscles you just worked. Neglecting to cool down could lead to limited range of motion and decreased flexibility. It’s also very relaxing and a great way to de-stress, lowering your cortisol levels
A few tips on stretching
You’ve now got the tools you need to build an effective, time efficient workout you can do right at home at a time that’s convenient for you.
To get the best results change your routine at least every 4 weeks. You’re also going to want to consistently increase the repetition, sets or difficulty of each exercise if you want to continue to see results.
It’s not always easy to stay on track when doing this alone. If you’d like some support join my free Facebook community Weight Loss After 50. I created this group for women over 50 looking for support and guidance on getting in shape, eating right, and staying active.
Do you have any ideas of your own for at home workouts? I’d love to hear what’s been working for you or what you’re struggling with. Just post your question or comment below.
Lisa Swanson is an ACE Certified Health Coach, Personal Trainer and Orthopedic Exercise Specialist as well as a certified AASDN and PN level 1 nutritionist. With over 35 years experience helping people turn their lives around, she is on a mission to provide relevant and useful knowledge to help women in midlife reach their goals.
Check out my interview with the Magnificent Midlife podcast on staying fit and healthy long-term.