How many times have you woken up with the determination to start exercising, only to let other things weaken your will? Oh yes, we all share a love-hate relationship with ‘exercise.’ We love it when we get the various benefits of exercise, but we really do hate sacrificing our sleep for that. As it turns out, we are not alone.
An article in LiveMint states that around 33% of people in the age group of 18-25 years did not exercise at all. Likewise, 40% of people aged between 26 and 46 years did not have any form of physical exercise, often having convenient reasons for not rolling out the yoga mat.
Whether you are someone who works from home or who clocks their 9-5 daily, we have compiled a list of easy home workouts so that you don’t have to sign up for the gym membership. And yes, these exercises involve that fancy yoga mat you purchased that has been lying in some corner of your house.
Here we go rolling!
Hands Release Push-up
Everyone has done push-ups at some stage. Yes, they are effective and don’t really need any equipment as such.
How to do it
To begin with, get into a plank position where your shoulders are stacked over your wrists and your body is in a straight line between the top of your head and your toes. Bend your elbows to lower your body to the ground (your chest needs to touch the ground). Lift your palms off the ground, then replace them and extend your elbows to push your body away from the ground. This brings you back to the starting position.
Pilates – Rolling Like A Ball
A Pilates workout can be beneficial when you want to develop a stronger core. Before you get intimidated with the idea, we have got a playful exercise in store for you, because workouts need not be serious all the time!
How to do it
Be in a seated position, your knees bent, feet pointed and off the floor and one hand on each knee or the back of each thigh (whichever feels comfortable). Keep your knees shoulder-distance apart and lower your head between the knees. Inhale, and rock backward onto your upper back and squeeze your hips to get an extra lift. However be mindful of not rolling too far back onto your neck. Exhale as you rock forward to your starting position, keeping your head low and spine rounded. Balance on your tailbone rather than letting your feet touch the ground. Repeat this five times.
Superman Lat Pull down
We have all tried to imitate Superman’s flying posture at some point in our childhood. Now, imagine reliving that part all over again, the only difference being that this time, it is to strengthen your back and shoulders.
How to do it
Lie face down on the yoga mat and stretch your arms and legs in an ‘X’ shape. Involve your hips, hamstrings and core as you raise your lower body and arms off the mat, as high as you can. Maintaining this position, drive your elbows back towards your hips, thus bringing your shoulder blades together. Return to the starting position to complete the exercise but ensure that your arms and feet are suspended the entire time.
Pulsing Plié Squats
This is helpful in toning your lower body. All you need is your mat pal and a mirror (if possible) to keep a check on your posture.
How to do it
Stand upright on your mat, and position your feet wider than the width of your hips. Ensure that your toes are pointed out at a 45 degree angle. Raise your arms straight to your sides, extending them at your shoulder height. You can also place your hands on your hips. Now, bend your knees to go into a pile squat, and then return to standing position. You need to repeat this for 30 seconds.
And of course, using your mat for its intended purpose – yoga! Now, yoga is more of a lifestyle practice than just another sweat session. However, it does take time to practice. Until then, we suggest a few easy poses like Downward Facing Dog, Pigeon, Child, Seated Half Spinal Twist, Cobra, Suryanamaskar, Triangle, amongst others to get you started.
Letting out a secret…
Your yoga mat is not just a plain mat; it’s your portable gym! All you need is some imagination and ideas to roll out that mat and get a good sweat session. So, what are you waiting for?