5 Ways to Workout Without Spending Any Mullah
I used to be a gym rat. I would gladly take 2-hours out of my day, 6-days a week, to bounce into my gym to workout. But after Lyme Disease, and an 8-year forced hiatus from exercise, I think my gym rats days are long gone, and that’s ok with me.
Now that recovery has arrived, I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to return to exercise in a big way. I don’t feel like I need to go to a gym. In fact, there are so many workouts that you can do right at home for free. You don’t have to spend any mullah to get incredible results.
Today, I’m going to share with you my top 5 at-home workouts that have helped me to get my body back into shape after chronic illness.
I started to feel like I was really experiencing recovery, last year, in 2014. Most of my symptoms from Lyme Disease had disappeared, after over 2-years of treatment. I knew it was time to start exercising again, to regain the muscle and cardiovascular strength that I had lost while I was ill.
I knew I had to take it slow. I couldn’t do anything strenuous at first. So, I started with gentle yoga, then by the following year, I worked my way back to heart-pumpin’, muscle sculpting, sweat extravaganza workouts — and, there is so much joy in the ability to do that.
I went from being an out of shape, out of breath, post-Lyme lady, to a fat-burning, beautiful muscle building, dance cardio queen. I’m now back to exercising 5-days a week, and one of the best parts about it is — I’m not spending any money, or having to leave my house, to get the results that I desperately needed.
Here are my top 5 at-home exercise workouts that I’ve been doing over the last two years. Number five is a doozy…it has transformed my body, from the inside out. The list reflects a progression in intensity, from the most gentle and lovely, to the most heart-pumping and body transforming.
1. Dr. Melissa West, Namaste Yoga
Namaste Yoga is real yoga for real people, hosted by the lovely, fellow Canadian, Dr. Melissa West. She has hundreds of free classes on YouTube that are gentle, relaxing, and focused on lengthening muscle and decreasing stress. I started with gentle yoga because my body was in such rough shape. After 8-years of being inactive and seriously sick, I needed a way to move my body that would aid in my recovery, rather than hinder it.
Melissa’s classes are about 60-minutes. You won’t break a sweat, but you will stretch and relax. This type of yoga is perfect to prepare your body for more strenuous activity in the future. I focused in on this type of practice for a whole year. I gave my body the time that it needed to build strength, slowly.
I think many of us get so fixated on the concept of “go big, or go home”. We do workouts that are so over the top, in an effort to quickly get the results that we desire. But, here’s the thing, the body changes so slowly, and we have to give it time to adapt and transform.
So, start your workouts slowly, then build up toward your goal. If you haven’t exercised in a long time, I would recommend starting with gentle, Hatha style, or restorative yoga classes. Check out Namaste Yoga on YouTube.
2. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, with Lesley Fightmaster
After a year of gentle yoga practice, my body began to regain strength and energy. And, that was my signal that I needed to transition into a more vigorous and strenuous form of yoga, to build back my atrophied muscles and to regain my cardiovascular ability.
I started to do free Ashtanga Vinyasa classes by Lesley Fighmaster — classes that you can also find on YouTube.
Ashtanga yoga challenges muscle strength, stamina, and flexibility. Most of the classes I did were about 45-minutes, and they definitely were sweat inducing. After 6-months of practicing Ashtanga yoga, 3 days per week, I regained strength in my upper body, and my cardiovascular stamina improved.
3. The Beautiful Bike Trainer
Building your cardiovascular stamina at home is not an easy thing to do. Unless you’re going to leave your house and take a run or a bike ride, there aren’t many options to choose from. To start building my cardiovascular ability, I wanted to ride my bike. But at the time, it was a Canadian winter. And, besides, I didn’t want to ride my bike around my city neighbourhood, and contend with the cars, buses, and trams.
So, I found a solution…a bike trainer!
Bike trainers essentially turn your bike into a stationary bike. Click here to see an example of one. A bike trainer was a brilliant option for me when I was first starting to build-up strength and stamina, again.
4. Living Room Dance Party!
For about a good two years, I was doing exercises that were gentle to mildly strenuous. None of the workouts were very dynamic, meaning there wasn’t any wild, expansive movement involved. And, by 2015, I was craving bold movement.
I had regained enough strength and stamina that I felt confident enough to start pushing my body to build muscle and endurance. And, what better way to celebrate expansive, sweat inducing movement than dance?
Living room dance parties have become a regular thing at alisonsmith.com headquarters. Just crank the music and shake your booty for 20-minutes, solid.
5. Metamorphosis by Tracy Anderson
I’m incredibly thankful that I stumbled upon Metamorphosis by Tracy Anderson. If you are a person who loves dance and wants to re-sculpt your body into a longer and leaner shape…this program is definitely for you.
A word of warning, however. This program will kick your ass, literally. It will challenge your body in every way, and it will cause the most incredible changes in your body…if you just do the work.
Tracy Anderson is a formally trained dancer now celebrity trainer. Her method is quite unconventional. It focuses on building long lean muscles, through dance cardio and muscle sculpting classes.
For the last 4-months, I have been doing the Glutecentric Metamorphosis program (Metamorphosis is divided into different programs depending upon where you hold your weight the most: glutecentric, hipcentric, abcentric, and omnicentric). I borrowed the DVDs from a friend, but I have seen her classes on YouTube, as well.
This program has totally re-shaped my body. I had a great deal of flabby muscle, especially in my backside. Now, after only 4-months, the changes in my body are jaw dropping. And, the incredible thing is, I didn’t have to go to a gym to achieve results.
The Glutecentric program has 9-levels. I do 10-minutes of dance cardio to start, followed by a 30-minute muscle sculpting class (total of 40-minutes), 5-days a week.
I really can’t believe that I can actually do such a hard workout 5-days a week. Lyme Disease had robbed my ability to function independently, and the fatigue was intense. But, here I am, almost entirely recovered, and back to the wonderful world of physical activity.
I’m so thankful to have movement back in my life.
What’s your favorite free workout? Leave a comment below.