In the winter season, exercising outside becomes a problem because of the dropping temperatures and frosty weather. A better alternative would be to simply exercise in the IMSA dorms. Not only is it an easily-accessible solution to working out, but studies have also shown that exercising can increase levels of serotonin in the brain, therefore serving as an effective stress reliever and mood booster, which I’m sure all IMSA students could use at this time. Let’s dive into some basic exercises that can be done in the comfort of your very own dorm.
Contrary to what some people think, simply doing three to five sets of five to ten push ups per day will have surprising effects. Push ups work the pectorals, deltoids, triceps, and abdominal muscles. Push ups can be easily done in any environment as long as there is a flat surface and enough room for you to lie down horizontally. A good idea may even be to call your roommate and have a push up contest!
Russian Twists are a great way to exercise the abdominal muscles, and, like push ups, it does not require a lot of surface or space to be effective. First, sit on the floor and bend your knees and put your heels flat on the floor. Then, lean back as you feel your body stabilize and engage your abdominal muscles to make sure your back is straight and not curved. Now twist your torso when moving your hands side to side and keeping your feet above the floor. You can also hold weights while twisting for a more challenging workout.
A plank is an isometric exercise in which you maintain a push-up-like position for a certain amount of time. This activity engages the ransversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, and the internal and external oblique muscles. Moreover, because of its constant position, it helps to strengthen the stability of your spine. Other variations include side plank, where you hold the position but on your right or left arm, and back plank, where you hold the position with your stomach facing upwards.
This exercise helps in dynamic strength training and involves several upper and lower body muscles to work together. These muscles may include those used when walking up the stairs or bending down. Squats help to exercise the gluteus maximus, quadriceps, hamstrings, adductor, hip flexors, and calf muscle. To do squats, first start with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Then, look forward with a straight back and transfer your weight onto your heels when pushing your hips back into a sitting position. A vital reminder is to make sure your knees do not go over your toes. Lastly, slowly come back up and repeat.
Lunges are an effective way to strengthen your lower body and leg muscles. Specifically, the muscles it works include the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. Lunges can be done in a variety of ways and does not require much space, making it a popular candidate among dorm workouts. Doing a couple sets of twenty or so on each leg can lead to great results in muscle fitness.
These are just a few of the numerous exercises that can be done without much equipment or space, but are extremely effective in staying in shape over cooler seasons. Apart from strengthening your muscles, exercising is also a great way to relieve stress and is a proven mood booster. It can also be a good hobby or activity to do with your friends or family as well!