by Bob Greene for TheBestLife.com
Think you need a pricey gym membership or fancy gear or gadgets to get a good workout? Think again. You can work your muscles and challenge your cardio using things you already have around your home or office. Check out these six household, office or everyday items that can double as workout equipment:
1. Stapler/Tape Dispenser
Use these office staples as weights to do arm exercises, including a lat raise: Stand straight up and let your arms hang at your sides. Slowly lift your arms up and straight out from your sides, stopping when your hands reach shoulder height (your arms will form a “T” with your body). Slowly lower your arms back down and repeat 10 to 15 times.
2. A Kitchen Drawer
Strengthen arms with a cabinet curl, a move similar to a bicep curl, using an open (and sturdy) kitchen drawer. To learn how, click here.
3. Your Desk
Lean against it to perform a standing pushup. To do it, put your hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of the desk so your thumb is under the desk and your fingers are on top. Walk your feet back away from the desk about two feet to form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Keep your core tight and your head in a neutral position. Lower your body toward the desk, then push back up to start. You can do it every time you stand up from your desk, or do a set of 10.
4. Playground Swing
Swinging is a workout that doesn’t really feel like one. You work virtually every muscle from your hips down when you kick out and tuck your legs, and you challenge your core and upper body when you lean back and sit back up. Try to do 5 to 10 minutes of intense swinging.
5. A Chair
You can use any sturdy chair to perform a number of different strength training moves. One of my favorites is the dip, which works your triceps muscles.
Hit the stairs to do some cardio (walk up and down, skip steps for a greater challenge) or strengthening moves, like calf raises. To do this move, stand up straight with the balls of your feet on the edge of the step, your heels hanging off the back. Let your heels drop slowly toward the ground. When you feel a stretch in your calf muscles, stop, then raise back up onto your toes. Repeat 12 to 15 times.