Are You Ready for Home Based Boot Camp?

Photo Credit: Exey Panteleev CC-BY-2.0 2011
The cold winter weather can discourage even the most dedicated exercise enthusiasts. Snow, wind and cold rain can prevent you from your daily run or jog around the block. Bad weather is dangerous when it comes to driving or even walking to the gym. Don’t let cold, wet or snowy weather deter  you from exercising. You can continue your current exercise program or start a new exercise program right at home in your own living room. How about trying some boot camp exercises at home? You don’t need equipment and you don’t need to drive to the gym to get all the benefits of a home-based boot camp style exercise program. Start your day with 10 minutes of warm-up exercises. Drink a couple of 8 ounce glasses of water, eat a good breakfast with plenty of protein, whole grains and heart-healthy fats. Next, stretch your body and walk in place to prepare your mind and your body for a really intense home boot-camp style work out. Choose some strength and toning exercises that will work most of your major muscle groups and get moving!
Begin with some push-ups. Push-ups work your entire upper body, including your arms, neck, chest and shoulders. This is a great exercise to help you feel energized and ready to take on the world. Beginners should start with push-ups with the knees on the floor. Position your hands under your shoulders and rest your body weight on your knees and hands. Lower your upper body to within a few inches of the floor and the push straight up until your arms are completely extended. Keep your head and spine aligned in a straight line. When you get stronger, extend your legs and rest the weight of your lower body and legs on your toes. Do at least 20 push-ups each morning and another set of 20 in the evening. 
The bridge exercise will strengthen your abdominal muscles, your hip joints and muscles and your buttocks. Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent. Place your feet flat on the floor and place your hands, palms down, by your sides. Squeeze your abs and lift your hips as high as possible. Hold the position for 10 seconds and then lower your body back to the floor. Repeat this exercise at least 20 times, if possible. 
One of the most effective exercises for your buttocks and hips is the squat. Beginners should hold on to a sturdy chair when performing squats. Those with more balance can stretch their arms out in front of their body or hold their arms relaxed at their sides. Keep your eyes forward and your spine in a straight line and slowly lower your body to a “seated” position by bending the knees. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds and then press upward with your legs until you are standing upright again. Do 20 repetitions each morning and again in the evening.  
Work in some high intensity aerobic exercises by marching in place or performing jumping jacks. Jump as high as you can for 10 minutes and then walk in place for another 10 minutes to cool down. Exercise for 10 minutes and then cool down by walking around or marching in place for 10 more minutes. When your heart rate returns to normal after a vigorous workout, stretch to relax. 

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