Archive for the tag - at home

Exercise Without a Gym Membership: 9 Tips.

Dear Davey,

I recently moved with my partner to a larger city. While eventually I plan on joining a gym, moving is expensive and it’s just not possible right now.

What would you suggest I do? I don’t want to lose the progress I’ve made, but I simply can’t afford a gym right now. Please help!

Sincerely,
Nic

Hey Nic,

Thanks for your email and I understand your situation. While living in New York City during university and working an unpaid internship, I found myself in the same situation. Fortunately, the City of New York offers fitness recreation center memberships through it’s Parks & Recreation department. For about a hundred bucks, the facility wasn’t fancy – but it got the job done.

If you city or town doesn’t offer a fitness recreational centers, there are plenty of other inexpensive or free options to stay fit and active. Here are a few ideas.

  1. Use your bodyweight. Bodyweight exercises like push-ups and pull-ups don’t require fancy equipment or gym memberships. Unfortunately, your results may eventually plateau as it’s difficult to progressively increase the amount of resistance your working against; your bodyweight is your bodyweight. Nonetheless, it’s a great way to stay active and it can produce great results – especially for beginner exercisers.
  2. Go outside! I love working out in parks and public spaces. Playgrounds – in particular – can present a wide range of exercise activities. Moreover, you don’t need a treadmill when you have sidewalks or running trails. Make the most of the great outdoors!
  3. Join a sports league. Not only are sports leagues a lot of fun and a great way to meet people, they’re inexpensive and can provide a fantastic workout. Most cities have sports leagues and they’re welcoming of all fitness and ability levels. It’s a win-win situation.
  4. Use a workout video. I created a line of Davey Wavey exercise videos to show that it’s possible to get a phenomenal workout without leaving your home, office or hotel room. Guided by trainers and fitness professionals, exercise videos can help get your heart pumping and your muscles moving. And, they’re much cheaper than a gym membership.
  5. Build a home gym – using Craigslist. While home gym equipment tends to be expensive, there’s no shame in buying second-hand. Craigslist is often chuck-full of used and dusty gym equipment that needs a little love – and it tends to sell for pennies on the dollar. If you have the space, build a small home gym of your own.
  6. YouTube it. Search YouTube for some at-home exercise ideas. My Davey Wavey Fitness channel has a bunch of at-home workouts that you can try – and there’s a lot of great, free material out there. Just make sure you trust the source.
  7. Make use of promos. Many gyms offer free trial periods. Though it’s not necessarily a sustainable or reliable way to get fit, it can certainly buy you some time while you prioritize your finances. Be careful to read the fine print.
  8. Public courts. Your city or town almost certainly has public courts for basketball, etc. Take up tennis as a new sport this summer. While reserving a court is free, you’ll probably need to provide your own equipment.
  9. Ask your healthcare provider. Many health insurance programs offer reimbursements or discounts for gym memberships. It might not be a huge discount – but it will certainly help!

While joining a gym can seem expensive, it’s worth noting that it’s more of an investment than an expense. The upfront cost of a gym membership is certainly less than what you’ll pay in healthcare expenses related to a sedentary lifestyle, decreases in longevity or a deteriorating quality of life. Indeed, there’s a hidden cost of not investing in your health – and it’s one that has a way of catching up with people. I’d suggest that most people can’t afford not to workout.

Having said that, getting in shape doesn’t need to break the bank. And, as you know, not having a lot of extra cash isn’t an excuse for doing nothing. If you have any additional ideas for an inexpensive or free workout, then please share them in the comments below!

Love,
Davey

Wave Goodbye to Wobbly Underarms: Triceps Exercises.

And this is what we call... a tricep muscle.

When you wave goodbye, do your underarms wave back? Though more common in older adults, wobbly underarms do not discriminate. And sadly, they often cause people to avoid sleeveless shirts, tank tops and the like because of the embarrassment.

Flabby underarms are often caused by muscle loss, weight gain, genetics and natural aging. While we can’t do much about the last two, there exercises that you can do on the muscle side of equation to tighten things up. And it all has to do with your triceps.

Your triceps muscle is at the back of the upper arm (see picture at right). Its purpose is to raise and lower the forearm. The triceps has three points of attachment to bone at its origin, and often makes a horseshoe shape when flexed.

Try the following routine at home or at the gym to strengthen those often ignored triceps muscles, and reduce underarm wobbliness:

3 sets of 15 triceps chair dips

  1. Stand backwards in front of a chair.
  2. Squat down and grasp each side of the chair’s seat with your hands.
  3. Walk your legs out a few feet.
  4. Keeping your elbows back, bend your arms to lower your body.
  5. Once you can’t go any lower, hold and pause for five seconds.
  6. Straighten your arms to lift your body and to return to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for 3 sets of 15.

If this isn’t much of a challenge, and you are at the gym, you can try this in between two benches. Rest your feet on one bench and use the other bench in place of the chair. Place a weight plate (45lbs) on your lap.

3 sets of 6 – 12 overhead triceps extensions

  1. If you’re at home, find a symmetrical, heavy object – like a cooper cooking pan. If you’re at the gym, grab a weight plate (I use a 45lb one).
  2. Stand tall with good posture and an engaged core.
  3. Grasp the object or weight plate with two hands and hold up toward the ceiling, fully extended directly over your head.
  4. Bending at the the elbows, lower the object backward behind your head until it touches your upper back or your forearms become parallel to the floor.
  5. Hold here, then extend back up.
  6. Repeat for 3 sets of 6 – 12.

This is the proper starting position for a close grip push-up.

3 sets of 10 close grip push-ups

  1. Start on your hands and knees on the floor.
  2. Assume the “plank” position, just as you would to start a normal push-up.
  3. Bring your hands in closer, so that the palms of your hands are only about 6 – 8 inches apart. Your thumbs should just about be able to touch. (See picture.)
  4. Slowly lower your body so that you almost touch the floor. Push back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 push-ups.

If the close grip push-up is too easy, then wear a backpack with a few books in it. The extra weight will help take this exercise to the next level.

Try these exercises and wave goodbye to wobbly underarms – and say hello to to tight and toned triceps.