If you're a teen who thinks you need an expensive gym membership or access to your school's weight room to get in shape, think again. You likely have all the equipment you need right in your own home. Save time and skip the treadmill with an at-home fitness routine you can do any time of day.
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Tune to a fitness channel and utilize one of the many regular aerobic routines led by professional instructors that air nearly every day. If they come on while you're at school, set your DVR to record the program and exercise later. On-demand aerobic workouts are also an option. Many cable packages offer them for free. If you don't have cable, pick up a few inexpensive aerobics or Pilates DVDs from a surplus store. Look for routines that offer 30 minutes of cardio with strength-training intervals throughout.
Your home is full of opportunities to tone your muscles and get fit. Start early in the morning to ditch grogginess and feel energized all day. Before you get out of bed, move the pillow from underneath your head and do a set of 20 crunches. With your heart pumping harder, get up and do 20 jumping jacks. Stretch for five minutes to further warm up your muscles, then jog in place for a full minute. Move to the bathroom and press your back flat against the wall while you brush your teeth. Slide slowly down the wall and bend your knees. Hold it for 30 seconds or do squats, keeping your back straight at all times.
Add weight to your routine for maximum calorie burn and muscle toning. Buy an inexpensive set of 3- to 7-lb. free weights. Place two on the floor in front of your feet. Keeping your back straight and your head up, bend your knees and pick up the weights for an overhead press. Bend your arms and push the weights straight above your head. Lower the weights to shoulder height and then lift and lower for eight to 12 reps. Lunges are also an option and utilize your own body weight. Holding one free weight in each hand, take a big step forward, bending down to one knee on the ground while keeping your back straight, then come back up. Repeat your weight-bearing exercises for 12 to 15 repetitions, alternating knees, three or four times a week.
Add Quick Cardio
Don't get bored with your home workout by doing the same exercises for too long. Grab a jump rope and jump for two minutes. With your heart pounding, run in place for another two minutes. Drop to the floor and do "spidermen." Place your hands on the floor underneath your shoulders and stick your legs out behind you with the weight on your toes. In one movement, move your left hand up off the floor and away from your head while moving your left leg up and underneath your torso. Do the same on the right side. After four reps on either side, switch to mountain-climbers: Get into a pushup position and pretend you're climbing a mountain. Leave your hands still and move your legs rapidly to maximum calorie burn and muscle tone, especially in your abdominal area.