We love whole foods and balance when creating a healthy lifestyle, but to truly lose the weight, lose the blues, and lose the excuses, it takes some movement and sweat! With today’s anxiety, risk of illness and abundance of indoor time, we wanted to take a look at how exercise not only tones the body, it also tones the mind and emotions.
Did you know that regular exercise increases dopamine, your feel-good hormone, which in turn decreases your stress, bad moods, and even improves depression? That’s right, burning those calories can actually melt away the blues and calm your nerves. This major bonus increases your productivity by clearing your mind and gives you more energy and a better mood for your family and friends.
Mark, the founder of IWON™ Organics, says, “Health and fitness is the foundation to everything else I do. I want to feel good, both mentally and physically each day, in order to be my best self for my family, and business.”
So we reached out to him to find out exactly what he’s been using to stay fit outside and in! We got him to share with us his favorite routines that he does each morning in his garage gym. To keep things interesting, He opts for different styles and movements every day. He’ll even have his kids join in on the fun.
Remember, exercise should challenge you, push your limits, make you feel a little uncomfortable, but it should never hurt, so if something doesn’t feel right, adjust your form or skip it all together. As always, check with your doctor before starting anything new!
This move can be as difficult or complicated as you like. If you don’t have a pulley system, try using simple workout bands looped over or through a hook on the ceiling or wall. If that still seems a bit tricky at the moment, you can opt for low hand weights. The resistance will be less, but you will get the push when returning to your starting position. For a complete beginner, do the motion without resistance or weight. Simply be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together as your bring your elbows back and hand parallel to your chest.
Battle ropes are challenging and fun, but if you don’t have a set in your garage, you can use a pair of light dumbbells and mimic the same movement. Pay attention to your form and try to use your whole body by sitting back into your hips with a slight bend in your knees. Keep your arms straight out with a micro bend in your elbows and fluid motion in your shoulders.
The deadlift is a classic gym move which also requires proper form and technique to avoid hurting your back, knees, or shoulders. be sure to have a clear understanding of how to position your body by practicing with light dumbbells or an empty bar before attempting heavy weights.
Dumbbell rows are excellent for both the upper and lower back, toning the shoulders and biceps and improving your core stability. If you don’t have a pair of dumbbells, raid your kitchen for canned goods or fill some water bottles with dirt or sand.
Heavy squats are not for the beginner, but squats are! If you are accustomed to working out and know how to protect your spine and knees, keep this move in your rotation. If this is new to you, start with no weight and work up to dumbbells and later a bar. Squats are a power move in every athletes repertoire because they strengthen your whole body and target those deep muscles in your thighs, hips, and core.
The kettlebell has become a favorite in gym goers since the emergence of crossfit! If you don’t have one, this is a great piece of equipment to add to your home gym. For now, you can use a low to medium weight medicine ball or even a single dumbbell!
This move is a phenomenal way to use your own bodyweight as a way to shape up your arms and shoulders while strengthening your core and balance. If you don’t have trx bands, you can run a rope through an eye hook on the ceiling and attach pvc handles to the ends. Just be sure the eye hook can hold your weight before going face forward! Another option is wall push-ups, which may seem more achievable in a pinch!
A rower is another awesome piece of equipment, but if you don’t have access to one, you can get similar benefits from reverse flies using dumbbells. Sit on a chair or bench and lean forward, resting your stomach along your thighs while keeping a straight back. Then drop your hands to the ground alongside your feet and lift the dumbbells, raising your elbows into the air and back down again.
Cardio will always be king. To really get your heart-rate up and your endorphins flowing, let your feet hit the treadmill or the pavement. Whether you jog around your block, at the park, or in your home, be sure to get this iconic exercise into your weekly routine.
Two other classic calisthenic moves are weightless squats and push-ups. If these are the only two muscle building moves you add to your day, when paired with cardio, you will find your entire body and world begin to change. Trust us. It can be this simple!