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Close up view of a woman's arms and legs as she does a push up in her brightly lit apartment

Apartment Approved: Quick, Simple (and Quiet) Exercises You Can Do at Home

It’s no secret that working out is one of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health. Medical and exercise professionals recommend the average person exercises at least three times a week…and unfortunately, walking down to meet the pizza delivery guy at the front door doesn’t count.

We totally get it: with such busy schedules, it can be difficult to work in that workout, but it’s really not that difficult to carve out some time to get active. Cambridge Oxford’s onsite gym should help—our residents have 24/7 access to a range of fitness, cardio, and free weight equipment. But if you’re more of the introverted, hide-away-and-get-fit-in-private type, there are several exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home. Below are just a few of our favorite quick (but effective), apartment-friendly exercises:

Body Weight Exercises

There’s a reason these babies have stood the test of time. They’re quick, they’re effective, and they require no equipment other than the resistance of your own body.

  • Squats: I know, they’re the worst…but squats are so great for burning fat and increasing body and muscle strength. They can be done with ankle or free weights to make them more challenging, or try any of these variations to change things up and work different muscles.
  • Push-Ups: The great thing about push-ups is—not only do they engage a ton of muscles all over your upper body—they can be modified to your skill level and strength. Check out this article for different ways push your push-up game into overdrive.
  • Crunches: Crunches engage your core and work your ab muscles…but only if you’re doing them correctly. And most people don’t do them correctly. Read this article before you start your workout to make sure you reap all the benefits without the pain.
  • Planks: Planks are one of the best exercises you can do for your core, back, arms, and legs. Try holding the plank for as long as you can and challenge yourself to increase that time with each workout. This guy did it for just over EIGHT HOURS.

Quiet Cardio

We love apartment living for its communal nature, but that can also be a drawback when trying to work in your daily fitness routine. Those 5am jumping jacks could cause some serious friction with the folks who live downstairs…. Fret no more! Here are some great low-impact cardio exercises that will get your heart pumping—without annoying your fellow apartment-dwellers.

  • Bear Crawls: Boy oh boy do I hate bear crawls. But there’s no denying they’re an effective way to break a sweat and strengthen the core! If you’re not familiar with this exercise, watch this video for tips on how to do it correctly.
  • Mountain Climbers: These are probably best done on a rug to minimize the little noise they make. Think of it as running in place…but in plank position. View step-by-step instructions on wikiHow.
  • Shadow Boxing/Kickboxing: This one is super fun if you have a little extra aggression to work out of your system. Punch, jab, and kick your stress away as you whip your body into shape.
  • Make up your own exercises! There’s no end to the ways you can get your body moving. Do a little research online to find exercises you like, then create your own variations to keep yourself interested.

20 to 30 minutes of these types of exercises per day should do the trick. Try working sets of exercises in between episodes of your favorite Netflix shows in the evening. Or better yet, get up a half hour earlier in the morning—as much as your bed may call you back to its warm embrace, you may be surprised by the extra energy you’ll have to face the day. Well worth the shortened snooze time!

Happy sweating!

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