SIM­PLE WAYS TO STAY FIT

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - MAR­JIE GIL­LIAM

DAY­TON, OHIO — Dur­ing sum­mer months it can be more dif­fi­cult to keep a con­sis­tent sched­ule at the gym. With kids out of school, va­ca­tions, and heat and hu­mid­ity zap­ping your en­ergy, it’s nice to have an al­ter­na­tive work­out plan.

Op­tions for home work­outs re­quire lit­tle to no main­te­nance, take up very lit­tle space and are far less ex­pen­sive than a gym mem­ber­ship.

Th­ese in­clude:

Dumb­bells

A staple of many home gyms, dumb­bells al­low you to work all ma­jor mus­cle groups, and move in a non-re­stric­tive way dur­ing ex­er­cise.

An­kle weights

Ex­er­cises us­ing an­kle weights in­clude hip ab­duc­tion, ad­duc­tion and ex­ten­sion, leg curls and leg ex­ten­sions. Hip ab­duc­tion can be per­formed by ly­ing on your side and slowly rais­ing the top leg up­ward, ad­duc­tion by bring­ing the lower leg up­ward. Stand­ing hip ex­ten­sions can be per­formed by bring­ing the leg straight be­hind you; with stand­ing leg curls, the heel is raised to­ward the rear end. Seated leg ex­ten­sions are per­formed by sim­ply straight­en­ing the leg.

Re­sis­tance bands

Light­weight and easy to store, bands are ideal for home or when trav­el­ling. Al­though strength gains can be achieved, there are a few draw­backs. The amount of re­sis­tance is not mea­sur­able with bands, and the great­est amount of re­sis­tance is felt only at the end of the move­ment when it is fully stretched.

This is dif­fer­ent from most types of ex­er­cise equip­ment, where the body nor­mally gen­er­ates the great­est force at the start of the move­ment. So if us­ing bands, be sure to ad­just ten­sion ap­pro­pri­ately as you get stronger. The re­sult should be that the mus­cles be­ing worked are fully fa­tigued.

Hand/wrist weights

If you’re re­stricted to do­ing light­weight re­sis­tance train­ing, or if you have dif­fi­culty grasp­ing and/or hold­ing on to ob­jects, hand and/or wrist weights are ideal. Most have ad­justable Vel­cro straps, or come in dif­fer­ent sizes that slip right over the hand onto the wrist, mak­ing the need to hold onto weights un­nec­es­sary.

Tip: Wrist weights usu­ally range from a half-pound to as much as 5 pounds, and can be used as ad­di­tional re­sis­tance when ex­er­cis­ing with dumb­bells or re­sis­tance bands.

Ex­er­cise videos

Th­ese can be very help­ful if you are a be­gin­ner, are look­ing for mo­ti­va­tion or for adding va­ri­ety to your work­outs. Great for car­dio, strength train­ing and flex­i­bil­ity, ex­er­cise videos can teach you how to use equip­ment, and can be found to fit nearly any ex­er­cise goal and fit­ness level.

You can get an ef­fec­tive work­out at home or on the road with­out any equip­ment at all by do­ing body weight ex­er­cises. Op­tions in­clude lunges, squats, planks, back ex­ten­sions, calf raises, leg lifts, crunches and pushups.

Climb­ing stairs is a su­per leg strength­ener, while reps of sit­ting/ stand­ing dur­ing com­mer­cials will also help keep legs toned. If you are look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties to stay strong and in­de­pen­dent, you’ll find them all around you, so there’s never an ex­cuse to miss a work­out.

GETTY

Sim­ple leg lift­ing ex­er­cises while wear­ing an­kle weights can help keep your hips well con­di­tioned.

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