“Help! I want so badly to get in shape and start exercising but I can’t afford a gym membership. What can I do?” This was the urgent and desperate DM I received in my Instagram inbox a few days ago. After a few minutes of exchanging messages with this person, it dawned on me that the reason she may be so overwhelmed to even begin is because there are so many photos and videos of trendy exercises, fitness gadgets, and hip new diets that serve as confusing options. Where does a newbie begin?
Firstly, let me say the one universal truth we can and should all agree on: getting fit is simple. Once you understand that, you’re halfway to making fitness easy for you. How? Two things: patience and consistency. You can lift as heavy as you want or eat as clean as you possibly can, but if you’re not consistent and you don’t trust the process enough to stick with it for more than just a few weeks, then you probably shouldn’t expect any changes to your fitness, health, and/or physique.
You can start by dedicating just 4 to 5 minutes of each morning doing some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Do a 20-second burst of jumping jacks (as fast and as many as you can in 20 seconds), rest for 10 seconds, then do 20 seconds of high-knees, rest for 10, and so on. You can swap these exercises for burpees, jump squats, mountain climbers, or even tuck jumps. Accomplish that and you can tick “Do Cardio” off your To-Do list. Let’s face it, we spend MORE time cruising social media while we’re in bed than we are willing to dedicate to a cardio exercise. Instead of filling your mind and psyche with a dose of social garbage you don’t really need, why not use up that time to burn some calories and get a delicious dose of endorphins to make you feel good all day?
Here’s an example of an easy DIY circuit you can do from your bedroom, living room, kitchen, or even your office.
No pressure on doing the pistol squats at the end if you’re not at that level yet. It takes some serious leg power and really good ankle mobility to pull off pistol squats (Heaven knows I worked my hammies and quads to the bone to finally be able to do these!). Jumping jacks, sprinter jumps, and frog jumps are simple enough to execute but challenging enough that you’ll feel your legs on fire and you’ll be catching your breath.
Don’t forget to do your warm up (dynamic movement like crawling, jumping, skipping) and roll out your joints to avoid injury.
More workout videos can be found on the ToughGirl Youtube channel right here.