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After two years of living in studio apartments where I could literally touch the stove from my bed, I learned to become creative in getting a quality workout in a tight space. If you don’t have access to a gym, or don’t want to trek through the upcoming cold, here are five ways to stay fit in your tiny apartment.
I hear a lot of people say yoga isn’t for them, and it’s probably because they’re picturing painful contortions and soulful journeys to unlock the meaning of life. While yoga is still a deeply spiritual practice for many, the reality is you can use it to improve your flexibility and muscle tone as well as lower stress levels and prevent injury. The best part? This workout can be done on the space of a yoga mat (roughly 24 in x 68 inches). If you don’t know where to start, browse through some of these videos and find a workout that appeals to you.
Isometric workouts, where you hold one position for an extended period of time (think planks, squat holds, etc.) are a personal favorite. They can be done almost anywhere and really push the limits of your mental stamina (i.e. the burn). You can always find new and unique positions to try. After you get used to them, time yourself to see how many more reps you can do. The flexibility isometric exercises provide means you can do these workouts anywhere, especially at home.
Body Weight Circuits
If your goal is getting your heart rate up, body weight circuits are an excellent option. You can make up your own routine, or follow an instructor’s video. Body weight circuits are especially great if you’re short on time and want to squeeze in an effective workout quickly. Burpees, squats, push-ups, lunges, etc. can all be done effectively in a small area, but just make sure you’re not pissing off your downstairs neighbor.
If you’ve got money to spare it might be wise invest in space-saving equipment or gear to boost your workout. Today, there are a ton of cardio machines that can fold up to fit in a corner or closet. NordicTrack is a great example; the company sells a wide set of machine options and price ranges. Since I’m partial to rowing, I was excited to see their upcoming RW900 model. It not only folds and rolls, but comes with a built-in screen to follow along with programmed workouts.
I know the purpose of this list is to work out inside your apartment, but sometimes the best way to prevent cabin fever is to leave your cave. If the cold weather ain’t your thing, some decent moisture-wicking layers can make an outdoor run tolerable. Hell, even a nice long walk has been shown to be a perfectly effective workout, and is much easier on those more at risk of injury.
Do you already use any of these techniques to workout at home? Or do we miss anything you think readers should know about? Let us know in the comments!