Bodyweight exercises don't require equipment

Gyms have prevented more exercise than donuts and DVDs combined. Because, while triple-chocolate-fudge is only eaten by those who’ve already made up their mind what shape they want to be (and it’s spherical), having  gym plans is the ultimate excuse for indulging. Just buying the gym membership makes people feel like they’ve done something, even though the only thing that’s gone down is their bank balance, not their waistline.

Having to go to the gym is a hassle. You need to be in the right state of mind, at the right time, carrying the right items and free from interruptions for a few hours — it turns a workout routine into a magical ritual, and happens just as rarely. Until you establish a firm schedule, it turns a few fast bodyweight exercises into at least an hour of hassle. Which is why you should consider workouts without weights at home.

When all you need is a floor and a few minutes, excuses vanish. The instant you think you should workout, you should and you can. And, when you start doing it that way, the impediments (and pounds) melt away. And then, your newly trimmed and effective self won’t want to avoid the gym anymore.

First Thing: Stretches

The first thing you need to do is stretch, and that’s not just before exercises — that means first thing in the morning. A truly smart life understands that the mind isn’t a passenger in a two-legged vehicle: there’s more chemical feedback between body and brain than between the Rolling Stones on tour, and it can end up feeling much better than a rock-star bender. Certainly healthier. Exercising first thing in the morning primes your system for actually doing things instead of shambling along like a particularly slow zombie.

Top End Sports Stretches

Top End Sports Stretches

Top End Sports provide a list of free illustrated stretches to get you started. A few minutes in the morning is worth more for your productivity than an hour of motivational seminar later in the day. Much more, because you’re actually doing something instead of sitting there (which sounds more like productivity?), and because it’ll wake you up instead of putting you to sleep.

Work-From-Home Workout

Now that you’ve warmed up, it’s time to get hotter. You might think that breaking your habits to get fit is just too hard of a challenge, but this list of free exercises are from the LiveStrong foundation. They know about facing difficult challenges. You just don’t want to get off the sofa. So let them help you! These exercises are easy to do anywhere, especially if you work from home. Getting up from the computer for a few minutes each hour will help you last longer and feel better.

LiveStrong Home Exercises

LiveStrong Home Exercises

The first page describes some of the most basic exercises imaginable, which serves to make it so obvious you can do anything you need right now if you were to just get off the chair. The real strength is the sidebar: a list of lists of a hundred different ways to get your heart started the instant you decide to do so. A range of exercises helps you avoid getting bored, and alternating workouts can help ensure your entire body feels the benefits no matter how brief your daily sessions.

The No Gym Workout

Next up is Lifehacker, with an upgrade guide for the human frame. Now that you’ve started doing stretches and squats whenever you want, you’ll notice that adrenaline and endorphins are the best drugs ever — and your body makes them for free. Now it’s time to start organizing full workouts at home, and because you aren’t going to the gym you can add the time normally taken commuting to getting better!

Expert Instruction

Expert Instruction

They’ve built a great guide, from core attitudes to collection of videos demonstrating exactly what to do, and how, for the best benefits. A smart workout isn’t just piling on the hours until either your fat or your joints give way. It’s choosing the right exercises for the desired results.

Convict Conditioning

Who are the ultimate at workouts without weights, or anything else because they aren’t allowed things? Convicts! While normally not the best role models, criminals do have a reputation for being rather fit and strong without the benefits of paying for things. Like gym memberships, or cars, or (because they’ve been convicted) really good lawyers. The Convict Conditioning workout program is a summary of bodyweight exercises who has absolutely nothing but themselves,four walls, and very good reasons to be strong and fit quickly.

Convict Conditioning

Convict Conditioning

With those free workout routines you have less than no excuse to ever be bored again. Our final Smartlife advice is to forget all about health, attractiveness, doctor’s warnings or the idiots who think they way to convince people is to talk about their death. Working out simply feels good, and will make you feel even better.

Get started!

Image credit: diego_cervo / iStockphoto

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