No free time? No problem. Home workouts for busy ones

Lauren Miller

College students have a lot on their plates. When you have so many things to do, it’s hard to find time to go out to the gym or sign up for intramural sports. With home workouts, you have the luxury of doing a workout without the struggle of finding somewhere to go. This list also requires no equipment, so unlike weights and certain sports, there is no financial burden.

1.  Yoga Workouts

Yoga is a simple way to incorporate exercise into your day. There are varying levels of yoga practices, so it’s important to understand what your body can handle. Christine Farnandis, a yoga instructor at OSU, said “Whether yoga is a workout or a time for peaceful reflection, it’s important to take time out for one’s health and renewal. No one else can do this for us, so we need to get on with it!” For beginners, make sure you do what feels right for your body, and take your time with each pose.

  • Take five minutes to warm up your body. These can be less-stressful poses, such as cat-cow or child’s pose.
  • Depending on the time available to you, do a flow of exercises from medium to hard to easy. Different exercises will be harder for some than others, so make sure to be easy on yourself. Don’t feel down when you can’t do a pose right now; continuous effort makes it possible later! Some popular poses are downward dog, cobra, warrior pose, half-pigeon and forward fold.
  • Rest in savasana, a pose where you lay on your back with palms up and eyes closed, for the last five minutes as a cooldown. Take this time to clear up your thoughts, emotions and expectations as you prepare for the next day.

Yoga is very diverse and not all these poses will fit everyone’s needs. If you need help or extra guidance through your routine, there are plenty of free online yoga videos available on YouTube and other yoga-specific websites, like myfreeyoga.com.

2. Body Weight Workouts

Body weight workouts refers to strength-building exercises without weights. Examples of body weight exercises are push-ups, squats, burpees, mountain climbers and sit-ups. There are many varieties of body weight workout. You can do them in sets, in ‘ladders’ (Sets going from low reps to high reps) or whenever you get the chance throughout the day.

  • Choose two to five exercises that you want to do. Make sure you do some stretches, like touching your toes or lengthening your limbs before starting.
  • Decide whether you are going to do sets or ladders. Then decide how many reps you want to do each set.
  • Start a timer. Make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly! There are plenty of online resources to help you if you are unsure about a specific action.
  • Stop the timer after each set. If you want a more intense workout, do all of the sets continuously. See your times improve over time!
  • Example: four sets of ten reps each exercise. Exercises: Squats, Burpees, Push-ups, Sit-ups.

3.  Cardio Workouts

Although this requires tying up your shoes, there’s no need to get into a car for cardio workouts. Cardio workouts can be long, endurance building exercises or running. Running is always a fantastic way to build fitness and only require 10 to 20 minutes of your time. CharityMiles and Strava are two trusted apps that help you track your mileage on your phone. If you are not a runner, doing circuits, like jogging in place, pumping your arms back and forth, continuous squats and jumping exercises are great ways to get your heart rate up. For a list of cardio exercises you can do,  click here for some great ones for beginner exercises.

Exercise is proven to improve your mental health and being busy should not be an excuse for not taking care of yourself. Sacrificing 15 to 30 minutes a day to do home workouts is beneficial long-term. Whenever the workouts become tough, “[s]upport is key and that might come from a teacher, and online video, a book, or friend who does it with you. The more support we have, the more we’ll stay on a healthy track,” Farnandis said.