For this week's Wellbeing Wednesday, we caught up with the wonderful Katie Bulmer-Cooke for a special fitness post. Former star of BBC One's The Apprentice, award-winning personal trainer, and fitness entrepreneur, Katie knows a thing or two about keeping in shape. And with a busy lifestyle of her own, she understands difficult it can be to sometimes fit a workout into a hectic schedule! So for this week's post, Katie has shared her top 5 ways to mix up home workouts and keep things interesting and challenging!
It’s a popular refrain these days that people should find ways to sneak in workouts when they’re at home. One of the most common reasons for dropping fitness routines is a simple lack of time. It’s hard, with everything that needs doing in life, to establish and stick to a regular exercise schedule. But being able to fit in short yet effective home workouts is a nice way to stay in the game even if you can’t make it to the gym for two hours a day.
That said, doing the same thing for every home workout gets old pretty quickly. Jogs around the neighborhood can get monotonous while sets of push-ups and sit-ups don’t exactly get you excited. To some extent you’re limited when you’re exercising at home—but here are a few fun (and in some cases unexpected) ways to mix things up and keep it interesting.
Deck Of Cards Push-Ups
This is a game that can be played in a variety of ways. It’s also a great way to get in some simple resistance work without having to just count your reps and sets. The most aggressive deck of cards challenge involves doing different kinds of push-ups for each suit you flip over (regular for clubs, diamond push-ups for diamonds, wide grip for hearts, and decline push-ups for spades). Within these constraints, you do the number of reps corresponding to the number on the cards (with jacks, queens, and kings meaning 11, 12, and 13 respectively). There are also things you can do with jokers and aces to make it even more challenging. The idea is to incentivize yourself to mix up your resistance routine by handing the design of that routine over to a deck of cards.
Try A Yoga App
This doesn’t seem like the most creative option, but if the goal is to vary your home routine and make it likelier that you’ll stick to it a yoga app may be the perfect thing for you. There are a lot of options available so we won’t point out a specific one. The basic idea is that these apps give you access to all kinds of different programs and sequences, none of which are exactly the same. You can work on different parts of the body each day, or change things up in whatever way might work for you.
High Intensity Slots
You probably know about high intensity interval training, and the various programs you can find to do it at home. Through things like mountain climbers, sit-ups, jumping jacks, jumping rope, lunges, and other exercises you can design an intense routine of quick bursts in a very small space. You can also have one randomized for you with some creativity and a few popular online games. Slot reels now come in an incredibly diverse selection, with all kinds of background audio and colourful graphics to keep them interesting. You only need to find one that works for you and assign an exercise value to each reel icon. For instance, if there are five reels, you might do five exercises according to the icons. One could symbolize 20 jumping jacks while another could mean 15 push-ups and so on. It’s up to you to set it up, but from there it’s delightfully random.
Turn Your Town Into A Sketchpad
If you like to go for runs at home when you have a spare 30 minutes or so, you don’t have to run the same trail every time. As stated before, running in the neighborhood can get old. Instead, use a map to vary your routine. I’d recommend printing out a copy of your immediate area and plotting points that draw or spell something. If you want to spell out your name try circling the points that will outline the letters, and run to a different one each day. You can also do this with various running apps that will outline your route. It’s sort of a gimmick, but it’s a good way to make your run different every day even if there aren’t specific trails.
Workout With A Friend
This sounds difficult at home, until you remember that you probably have a phone or tablet that connects you to the entire world! The best solution is to have a friend you can set up a video chat with, so that even if you’re doing the same routine, the conversation is fresh every time. There are also other ways to find company during a home workout, including an app designed to help you find a workout buddy. It’s a good way to keep a workout interesting and entertaining on any given day.