This is a guest post courtesy of Michael Wimberly.
If you’re a self-employed business person or otherwise spend most of your time indoors without access to a weight room or exercise area, there’s still plenty of ways you can work out. Using simple household items, you can forget about having to spend tons of money on expensive equipment designed to be used by professional body builders in the first place. Most people don’t really need these kinds of specialized weights, like name-brand dumb bells and Stairmasters.
They cost hundreds of dollars and you can easily get nearly the same workout using commonly found household items.
Below, we’re going to outline some creative ways to work out using objects you probably already have around the house, and get almost the same level of exercise as at a gym! This way, you can put your hard earned money towards something you really DO need.
10 Household Items for a Great Workout:
1. Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent Jug – The weight of an Arm & Hammer yellow jug of detergent is about 10 lbs. A commonly sold Arm & Hammer jug amount in ounces is 160. That equivocates to roughly 10 lbs in weight. And not only that, a detergent jug is quite ergonomic and comfortable to lift repeatedly. If you’re a heavy set individual, or frequently lift heavy objects a lot, laundry detergent jugs are perfect.
And if lifting the laundry detergent jug is a bit too heavy for you, don’t worry! The next commonly found household item is a bit lighter and easier to work with.
2. One Gallon Grocery Store Milk Jug – Store bought milk is good for more than just strengthening your bones. When you’re finished with a 1 gallon clear plastic jug of milk, you can refill it with sand or water and instantly have a great piece of work out equipment. As long as you don’t get stupid with it and throw it on the ground, a plain old 1 gallon 2% milk jug can last you YEARS of use! Filled with water, a 1 gallon milk jug weighs approximately 8 lbs.
Need less weight? No problem! Inserting aluminum foil and/or plastic grocery shopping bags into the jug itself can be used to take up space so the water doesn’t get “swooshy” and go up and down chaotically when you’re lifting.
3. Your Chair And Desk – Many typists develop carpal tunnel syndrome unnecessarily, and one way to prevent the early onset of this condition is to stretch your fingers. Using your desk, placing your fingers on the edge of the desk, and pushing down with a small amount of pressure gives you a good stretch and can help you go the “extra mile”.
Also, if your chair has arm rests, lifting yourself up out of your chair and holding the position for 10 seconds throughout the day gives your body a good core workout, and activates a lot of different muscles at once.
There’s literally hundreds of different chair exercise routines you can find on the Internet. Make it your mission to test them out and see which ones are right for you.
4. Common Step Stool – A stool is great to help you reach things high up in your home that you couldn’t reach otherwise, but it’s also provides a great workout. Simply stepping up onto the stool and then back onto the floor, one foot at a time to step up, and one foot at a time back onto the floor, about 30-50 times, delivers quite a workout “punch”.
5. Stairs – For those of you that live in an upstairs apartment or people that live in a “high rise” complex, using the stairs frequently gives your legs and lungs plenty to work on. Stairs are used even by professional athletes because the amount of effort required to use them as a workout tool is intense.
6. Rubber Band Wrapped Spoons And Forks – Using a plain old rubber band to wrap them in (wrapped around twice if the rubber band is large), 10 spoons weigh approximately 1lb. 1 lb weights are great to develop tone, speed, and reflexes.
7. Plastic Bags Filled With Dry White Rice – Dry rice is one of the easiest ways to measure out the perfect lifting weight for you. You can control exactly how much weight you lift by simply adding/removing grains.
Using a thick type of plastic bag you have around the house that has handles, wrap a single washcloth around each of the handles. This gives you a safe and comfortable grip and prevents the plastic from cutting off your circulation when you lift the bag. You can find these thicker type of plastic bags at retail shoe and clothing stores, and they’re always free to take home with your purchase. The washcloth trick works with other plastic bag types too, and you can get creative with them to protect your hands no matter what you’re lifting.
8. Bags Of Pet Food – Bags of pet food are great to work out with before you need to use them to feed your pet. Most often, you can find bags of pet food in lb, lb, and lb sizes. However, bags of pet food generally don’t come with handles, so you may find that a limiting factor in what you can actually achieve with them. Wrapping the pet food bags in 5 or 6 garbage bags ensures it won’t burst open if you drop it, and you can save the garbage bags to wrap the next bags of pet food too.
9. Bags Of Potatoes – Usually found in both 5 and 10 lb sizes, bags of potatoes can work out great as a household item workout tool. Because they’re filled with 5-10 lbs of potatoes to begin with, you can count on nearly anything you fill it with to not break the bag open and ruin your workout attempt, as long as it’s less than 10 lbs.
10. Bag Of White Flour – White flour works great as a replacement for a medicine ball. And flour is something that most households buy on a regular basis anyways. Wrapping the bag of flour in something protective, such as multiple plastic bags, ensures that it doesn’t burst open and get flour everywhere if you happen to drop it.
Get Smart, Get Creative, And Learn To Use Your Homemade Weights Safely!
Remember, each household item that you use to workout with has it’s own “personality”. What does that mean? A 1 gallon jug of water, made from an old milk jug, won’t be ergonomically correct for ALL lifting exercises out there. For certain exercises, yes, but you’ll find yourself getting frustrated or even hurt if you try and “push the limit” of what a 1 gallon milk jug can be used for when working out.
Don’t limit yourself to the exercises you find on the Internet, and feel free to add new ones to your regimen and/or customize the ones already listed. Everyone is different with there own unique physical design, so following example exercise listings EXACTLY isn’t in your best interest. Customize the exercise routines to fit yourself according to safety, comfort, and your current fitness level.
About the author: Michael is an enthusiastic blogger who loves everything about modern gadgets and leading a healthy life. For more reviews and tips, check out his blog!