Lifting weights contributes to a healthier body in a variety of ways, but having access to free weights isn't absolutely crucial if you're determined to get lean. While it's true that this form of exercise can speed up your metabolism to help you in the fight to get rid of unwanted fat, you can focus on cardiovascular exercises, body-weight exercises and reduce your calorie intake to build a trim body. These exercises are ideal if you favor working out at home, as they require minimal to no equipment.
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Reduce your daily calorie intake by making a number of healthy changes to your diet. At breakfast, for example, use skim milk in your coffee and cereal. At lunch, increase your intake of vegetables, rather than high-calorie items such as cheese and potato chips. At dinner, eat a smaller portion size and select low-fat sources of protein. The exact number of calories on which to cut back depends on the recommended daily calorie intake for your demographic and your customary diet, but reducing the calories you consume makes it easier to attain the calorie deficit needed for weight loss.
Exercise regularly in and around your home with exercises that burn calories rapidly. Cardiovascular exercises can help you burn several hundred calories in a single workout. If you plan to exercise without leaving your home, activities such as dancing, jumping jacks, running on the spot, step aerobics and jumping rope are suitable to perform indoors. If you wish to use your neighborhood, walking, jogging, inline skating and riding a bicycle contribute positively to your calorie burn. For low-intensity activities such as walking, devote 300 minutes per week to your workout. In the case of high-intensity activities such as jumping rope or running, aim for 150 minutes.
Elevate your metabolism through body-weight exercises, which take the place of weight-training exercises in a well-rounded workout routine. Perform these exercises -- which work a variety of muscle groups and use only the weight of your body as resistance -- two or three times per week. Examples include pushups, crunches, burpees, squats, planks and lunges. As you gain muscle, you can perform advanced variations such as clap pushups.
Warm up your muscles before each workout with five to 10 minutes of light cardio.
If you're challenged to find enough time for your home-based workout, set your alarm 45 minutes earlier each morning and exercise before the day gets busy. Or if you watch TV in the evening, perform cardio and body-weight exercises in your living room.
Allow a few minutes before and after your workout for stretching exercises, which can lessen your risk of injury.
- McKinley Health Center: Breaking Down Your Metabolism
- Fitness: The No-Hunger Way to Cut 100s of Calories
- American Council on Exercise: Trimming Off the Fat
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- Military.com: Avoid the Gym by Using Calisthenics
- Oxygen: The 5 Best Body-Weight Exercises
- Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion: Balancing Calories to Manage Weight
- Shape: The Best Way to Stretch Before and After a Workout