We’re always quick to come up with a wimpy excuse to skip the treadmill and settle down with a steaming bowl of buttery popped kernels in front of the television set instead, aren’t we? And with the chilly weather still here, our reasons for not hitting the gym have reached new heights altogether. But with a new year here, we suggest you get your act together pronto. Here’s giving you some fabulous ways you can work out from your home with just a few basics. With a simple, at-home workout, which will take not more than 20 minutes of your day, you’ll be able to break into a sweat in a place, time and environment that keeps your body, soul and mind as happy as can be.

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Trim and tone quickly with kettlebells

A kettlebell is a round weight that resembles a small bowling ball with a handle attached to it. A kettlebell, which is a home-gym essential and one that will occupy hardly any place in your home, will take half the time as your regular workout and will help you burn twice the calories (up to 20 calories per minute). The benefits of a kettlebell workout is that it will give you a cardiovascular workout along with a full-body strength workout, all at the same time. This means, that it works out every major muscle group in your body along with working your cardiovascular system, all at the same time.

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Better your body strength with Bhujangasana

Heart-opening poses like Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose will take any emotional weight off your mind and elevate your mood by helping you reduce stress and anxiety. Furthermore, having to lift your torso up will strengthen and tone your biceps, triceps and deltoids. Remember, this is a relaxing pose, so there’s no need to amp the pressure up. Don’t work too hard, and keep your elbows slightly bended.

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Jump Rope: The major fat blaster

With jump-roping or using the skipping rope as we used to call it back in the day, you’re toning your upper and lower body, while boosting your heart-rate. In just 15 minutes, you’ll give your body an unparalleled workout. You can jump-rope at the beginning of your workout as a warm-up, but note that it’s also beneficial for hand-eye coordination, lateral movement and foot and hand agility. Jump rope workouts are effective in helping you lose weight and reduce the risk of acquiring any disease, which is certainly a benefit you can do with in this disease-prone season. Also, since so many of your muscles are being worked at the same time, jump-rope results in muscle tone and definition.

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A single pair of dumbbells makes for a complete set of weights

To tone the back part of your arms, reverse the motion of a bicep curl in order to perform a dumbbell kickback. This will enhance and tone your arms. A dumbbell kickback is a free weight workout that will tire your muscles after about 12 repetitions. Begin by lifting a dumbbell in your left hand keeping your right knee and right hand on the bench, and your back straight. Flex your elbow as you raise your arm backwards, making a virtually 90-degree angle with your upper arm and lower arm. Concentrate on activating your triceps muscles as you extend your forearm backwards, aligning your arm, but keeping your shoulder as stable as possible. Flex your arm to bring it back to your starting position. Repeat the exercise 8-12 times on this arm, then switch to your opposite side. The dumbbell kickback offers the greatest perk to your triceps muscles, which are a team of three muscles at the back of your arm. The triceps are accountable for helping you extend your elbow. Triceps muscles typically work with your arms to raise and move heavy objects.

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Mastering the Padmasana

Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front. Bend your right knee and bring the lower leg up into a cradle. Bend the left knee and turn the leg out. Rock your right leg far out to the right, then lock the knee tight by pressing the back of the thigh to the calf. Be sure to bring the right knee as close to the left as possible, and press the right heel into the left lower belly. Now lean back slightly, pick the right leg up off the floor, and lift the left leg in front of the right. If you are a beginner, hold the pose for only a few seconds and then release, gradually, add a few more seconds each week to your pose until you can sit comfortably for a minute or so.

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Why everyone should try Pilates

When done correctly, Pilates offer major fitness benefits, requires mental focus, connects the mind and the body and is enough to sculpt your abs. Research has also shown that Pilates improves spinal mobility, flexibility, muscular endurance, posture, body awareness and lower back pain. To add some fun to your Pilates session, invite your girlfriends over and exercise together over hot gossip and on-mark technique.

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Why meditation rules

Meditation was once thought of as a hippy-dippy activity, but not anymore. Today, findings tell us that meditation improves your health and happiness by increasing positive emotions and life satisfaction by boosting your immunity and by decreasing pain and inflammation. It boosts your social life by increasing social connections and reducing loneliness. It makes you super focused by increasing your memory and attention.

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Why you should end with stretching

“Do I really need to stretch?” is one of the most common questions we hear. The answer is yes. Stretching is important and you should be spending at least five minutes at the end of every workout stretching and cooling down. This will firstly prevent injury and relieve pain. Stretching will increase your range of motion, taking pressure off your joints and will allow your body to move more fluidly during an exercise. Secondly, it will improve your circulation by increasing blood flow to your muscles. Better circulation helps your body recover faster by removing waste by-products in the muscle tissue. Finally, stretching will relieve stress. It helps calm the mind and relieve unwanted tension.

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Hydrating before, during and after your workout is a must

Proper hydration is essential for anyone who exercises. Water is one of the most critical components of the body, which means that even minimal dehydration, can hinder your health and performance and your ability to recover from any kind of exercise. In one hour of exercise, the body can lose a quart or more of water, depending on the air temperature and exercise intensity. Thus, proper hydration before, during, and after exercising is critical for performance as well as health safety.

In addition to water loss, important electrolytes, electrically charged minerals in the body such as sodium, potassium and chloride, can be flushed out of the body through sweating during exercise. It’s important to replenish that stock through water and fresh fruit juices.