The Hippo


Apr 26, 2019








Quick workouts
Get your heart racing in your living room

By Kelly Sennott

 Working out seems to take more time in the winter. 

If you’re going to the gym, your adventure might involve clearing your car of snow, driving through unpredictable weather and packing extra clothes to change into for the ride home. If you’re going outside, the process involves analyzing weather and piling on layer after layer. 
Mike Good of Good Training in Manchester and Nancy Carlson of Get Fit NH in Concord offered some tips on how to squeeze that quick workout in at home, and how to keep at it all winter long.
Quick workouts
Good was a featured trainer on a recently aired two-part TLC series, Too Fat to Transition, which showcases people trying to lose weight in order to transition from one gender to another. He frequently advises his clients to perform workouts at home between gym sessions — as such, snowed-in weather and little time become poor excuses. The best at-home workouts offer a variety of movement.
“The most efficient workouts in your home are a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercises. That way you get the benefit of working your muscles and cardiovascular system at the same time,” Good said via phone.
Three rounds of 15 reps are all it takes to get a full-body workout. He advised starting with burpees (move into plank position, then stand and jump into the air), then air squats, push-ups and crunches or sit-ups. After 15 reps of each, pause for a minute before doing another round. To bump up the intensity, you could add dumbbells to the squats or place your feet on a chair for an inclined push-up. 
“Going back to back, you’re getting the cardiovascular benefit and an anaerobic benefit at the same time. And it’s something where you don’t need a weight machine, you don’t need to go the gym. It can be done in your living room,” Good said. 
If you have a few tools to work with — say, a stability ball and some dumbbells — you could alter this workout to include a variety of other exercises. Good suggested trying it with walking or alternating lunges, a squat press (when you stand up from the squat, lift the dumbbells over your head), jumping jacks and chest flies with a dumbbell (keep feet flat on the floor, lie on a stability ball and, holding weights, pull straight arms together and apart). 
How much weight you use will be specific to your fitness level; Good said to start with anything from 5 to 10 pounds, though it’s best to consult with a coach and a doctor beforehand to determine what works best for you. When in doubt, start easy.
“Start slowly to make sure you’re doing it correctly, and then worry about increasing the weight,” Good said. 
Quick habits
Good said a lot of people think they don’t have the time or energy to work out, especially in the winter, but it becomes easier when you create a habit of it. Quick, small changes can make an enormous difference.
Have an elliptical machine or treadmill at your house? Get on it, just for a minute, daily. 
“I’ll say something [to clients] like, your goal is first to get on the machine. I don’t care if it’s for one minute or five minutes. Every day, you want to get on that machine. And a lot of times, they’re like, OK, I can do that. Then they get on the machine, and once they’re on the machine, they end up doing 20 or 30 minutes,” Good said. “The more you do something, no matter how little it is, the more apt you are to do it the next day. … The point is to show them it doesn’t have to take a lot of time.”
Quick motivation
For more motivation, Good advises clients to play music while they work out. Carlson said it helps to join a group or partner with others to keep you accountable. Many of her clients post pictures or videos of themselves working out on Facebook. 
“It keeps them … not wanting to be the one not doing what they were supposed to be doing,” Carlson said via phone. “It’s peer pressure in the positive form.”
Another way to remain motivated is to track your workouts and progress in a calendar or journal. When you hit milestones, reward yourself. 
“If [people] see they’re doing a good job, if they see they’re making progress, it will help them keep going during those hard days,” Carlson said.

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