by Matt Weik
We have all heard that “April showers bring May flowers.” One thing that April showers don't bring is people to the gym. Where does everyone go when rainy April showers hit? Most people want to stay at home or go directly home after work because they don’t want to get wet. Bottom line is that while off-days are good for recovery, too many “off-days” can crush motivation and what once was a good workout routine.
Keep your eye on the prize
Just because April showers are upon us doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay focused on your fitness. While it’s my opinion that April showers bring out the best workouts because the gym is empty, that doesn’t mean you still couldn’t get in a great workout at home if you don’t feel like braving the rainy weather.
Many of you might be thinking to yourself that you’ll just chalk the day up as a loss when it comes to your workout since you don’t want to leave the house. Personally, I think you were just looking for an excuse not to exercise in the first place.
In this article, I want to give you some great exercise ideas so that you can stay dry in your home (at least until your workout starts making you sweat). April showers should not hold you back from crushing a workout and moving closer to your health and fitness goals.
Rainy Weather Workouts
Some of you might already be checking out as you'd rather be lazy and find April showers as your excuse to Netflix all day / night long. For those of you who are still with me here, I want to present you with a list of things you can do in your own home (without the need for expensive exercise equipment) that will allow you to work up a sweat and get in a great workout.
The first thing you need to consider are all the various ways that you can fit in cardio. Unless you live in a ranch-style home that doesn't have a basement, you should have a flight of stairs somewhere in your home. Use the steps as your old-school stepper and walk up and down your steps for 30 minutes.
Now, don’t sandbag it by moving at a snail’s pace, make sure you’re exerting somewhat of an effort to elevate your heart rate and work up a good sweat. Be sure to pay attention to stepping properly on each step and do not get sidetracked as it could lead you to falling or injuring yourself.
The next thing you can do at your home would be simple, yet effective, movements in place. You can jog in place, march in place, do jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, or use an imaginary jump rope and go to town as if you're training like Sly in the movie Rocky. Speaking of Rocky, you can even shadow box to engage your upper body and elevate your heart rate. Heck, you can utilize multiple of the suggestions I've given to keep things fresh and in a 30-minute cardio session you could use anywhere from 3-4 different exercises.
Get creative with your workouts
Lastly, just because you don’t have dumbbells or a barbell at your home doesn’t mean all hope is lost or that you can’t get in a resistance workout. All you need to do is get creative and use your body weight or even some common household items for resistance. You can utilize bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups, dips on a chair, wall-sits, standing calf raises, and if you're strong enough, inverted bodyweight shoulder presses against a wall.
If you wanted to add some household items into the mix, you can use things such as a gallon jug of water to do exercises like shoulder presses, biceps curls, triceps extensions, lunges, squats, side laterals, chest press, and any other exercise where you can use your imagination. Just make sure the item you use is secure so the contents do not leak or spill all over you or your floor.
The key to these April showers workouts at home is to use your imagination and make them fun. Push yourself during your workouts and if you want, set a time limit so you have parameters to stay within which will prevent you from taking extended breaks between sets. The bottom line here is that there are no excuses as long as you're committed to reaching your goals. If you want results bad enough, you will find ways to fit in a workout to keep you on track.
* As with any exercise program, you should check with your doctor to ensure you are healthy enough to engage in any type of physical activity