April 19, 2019 | 73° F

At-home workout tutorial: Easy ways to exercise without going to the gym

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Whether you're a first-year battling the freshman fifteen or anyone with limited access to a gym, have no fear: Your dorm room can turn into a convenient place to get some exercise. By modifying workouts to be achievable in limited amounts of space and substituting daily objects for gym equipment, visiting a gym to get your weekly exercise won't be necessary.

1. For the first set, start with cardio: 20 stadium runs or 20 jumping jack-and-twist. Stadium runs have a similar effect as mountain climbers because they work-out your arms and legs.  For stadium runs, start with hands on the floor and feet shoulder-width apart. Using a thrust, bring your right knee in front and alternate with the left knee.

The jumping jack-and-twist is simply jumping with your knees pointed to one side and arms to the other such that your body twists. This works out your core, waist and legs. 

Pick which cardio workout best suits your body type and stamina. If you want to do both, alternate between the two or use one cardio for a later workout set. 

One repetition of each cardio workout implies one repetition on each leg or side. For example, the stadium runs require alternation between right and left leg so you would ideally do 40 repetitions in total but 20 repetitions per leg. Same with jumping jack-and-twist — each side would have 20 repetitions and the complete workout will require a total of 40 repetitions. 

2. Alternate these exercises with weights to give yourself a break from cardio, which can get tiresome quickly. If you wish to work with weights in your room, but don't own traditional weights, use your school bag and fill it books. Holding the loop between the two straps you use to carry it on your back, the bag will act as a kettlebell, with your palms facing toward yourself. Legs apart and feet turned out, sink down with your knees bent and back straight such that your upper body should not bend to exceed your knees. This exercise works your inner thighs, buttocks and core. 

After 50 repetitions, switch the cardio work-out of your choice. Continue alternating till you complete five sets of each work-out, with each set consisting one cardio and one weight work-out. 

3. Take a 1 minute rest. Do not sit down — keep pacing so your heart rate stays up and you don’t get lazy. If you're thirsty, sip some water, but not too much — chugging water will cause cramping.

4. Put your arms to use, pushing your desk against the wall for support. Take off your socks to prevent skidding on the floor. Place your arms on the table aligned under your chest with elbows facing outward, bend your elbows and sink down. 

After 20 repetitions, switch to the next exercise that works out the arms and core. If you feel like stopping after your 10th repetition, start counting backwards. To make this more challenging, you can try it on the ground with a yoga mat, so that your back will be parallel to the ground. If you’re on the lighter side but can handle more weight, put your school bag on and try this exercise. This modification will not only increase the intensity of each repetition but also gives your arms an equivalent workout to using weights at the gym. 

5. Alternate this exercise with lunges. Lunges are basically wide steps with bent knees. With your back straight, your upper body should sink down with one leg in front and the other behind. This exercise allows your body weight to be supported by your thighs. It works your core, which is always an appealing workout.

A variation on this exercise is to hold your schoolbag in one hand and your roommate’s on the other so that there is more weight on your thighs. This modification enhances the intensity of the exercise, such that 10 repetitions of it is equivalent to 20 repetitions of the lunges without weights. Repeat this set five times with no breaks. 

6. If you’re on a time constraint, do three sets of the modified workouts. It will take a minimum of 30 minutes for the unmodified sets and 20 minutes for the modified. Apart from work-outs, eat a healthy balanced diet of protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates. Although pizza has almost all these elements, it is not considered a balanced diet. But, neither is salad. A few suggestions are burritos, wraps, poached eggs with asparagus crepes, omelette with condiments — the possibilities are endless.

Enjoy your workout and stay healthy! 

Shivani Chitturi

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