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When you decide to begin a workout program, you can find that joining a gym might not be an option. This can be due to many factors, including cost, your schedule, not having a gym nearby, or because you find the idea of going to a gym to be intimidating. If you're unable to join a gym, you can still develop a 5-day workout routine that involves cardiovascular exercises to improve your cardio fitness, and body-weight exercises to increase your strength. Before beginning a workout program, always consult a doctor, especially if you haven't worked out on a regular basis in over a year.
Begin every workout with a warmup session to loosen your muscles and increase the blood flow throughout your body. You can go for a light jog, or do jumping jacks for 3 to 5 minutes. Work hard enough to break a light sweat. Dedicate the first day of your workout to steady-state cardio. This is a type of cardio workout in which you exercise at a moderate pace for an extended period of time, such as ride an exercise bike or use an elliptical machine for 30 to 45 minutes. Weather permitting, you can go running or bike riding outside. This helps develop the slow-twitch muscle fibers in your body, improving your endurance. After your workout, give yourself a cool-down period where you walk or bike at a slower pace, and stretch after you have finished.
Do strength-training exercises on Day 2 of your program. Since using weights is not an option, you can use the weight of your body, and items around your home, in order to increase your strength. After warming up, do 50 push-ups to work your chest, arms and upper back. Take a break in the middle of the set to rest, if needed. Work your legs by doing body weight squats. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, look straight ahead or slightly up, and squat down and return to the starting position. Do 15 repetitions. Follow this by doing 50 situps, and repeat the circuit again. Fill a cloth bag with books or cans of food, and do bicep curls. Do pullups on a metal bar or wooden beam -- but make sure it supports your weight. Stretch your muscles after your workout is complete.
Day 3 of your workout is another cardio day. This allows your muscles time to recover from your strength-training workout, which prevents injury and allows them to begin healing -- and get bigger. Complete a warmup, then begin your cardio workout. Unlike your steady-state workout on Day 1, this time, use interval training. This involves alternating periods of hard, intense exercise with slower, more moderate periods. Interval training burns more body fat than a steady-state workout, and you can burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. If riding the exercise bike, pedal as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then ease off to a moderate pace for 30 seconds. Ride for 15 to 20 minutes. You can also run using fartleks, running at a fast pace -- about 90 percent of your maximum speed -- for one minute, and slowing down to 50 percent of your top speed for 2 minutes.
After a day of rest, do strength-training exercises again on Day 4. Complete 15 inverted pull-ups. Grab on to the edge of a table or other sturdy, stable surface while you're facing the ceiling. Keep your body straight, and lower yourself until your arms are fully extended. Slowly raise yourself up, keeping your body straight, and return to the starting position. Do 15 walking lunges. Take a large step forward with your left foot, going far enough that your right knee almost touches the ground. Take a step with your right leg, going far enough that your left knee almost touches the ground. Work your core by doing 15 Russian twists. Hold an object in front of your body that weighs 5 or 10 pounds, and rotate your body from side-to-side. Repeat this circuit. After you've done two sets of the other exercises, fill a gallon jug with water. Hold the jug over your head, and slowly lower it behind you, then return to the starting position. This works your triceps. Strengthen your wrists by holding a can of fruit or vegetables and moving it up and down and side to side.
Close out your week with another day of cardio. After warming up, do two sets of mountain climbers. Start with your body in the starting position for doing a pushup. Bring your left leg up toward your chest. As you extend your leg back to the starting position, bring your right leg into your chest. Continue alternating the movement between your legs, keeping your back straight to maintain good form. Do this for one minute in each set, resting for a minute between the sets. After doing the mountain climbers, run or bike to complete your cardio workout. Exercise for 30 to 45 minutes for a steady-state workout, or 15 to 20 minutes for an interval workout.