- Exercise refers to the exertion of energy through an activity or bodily movements, which should be carried out continuously until sweating occurs and the person involved feels a degree of fatigue.
- Walking up only 5 stairs burns as much energy as walking 20 steps on a flat surface.
Despite being fully aware that exercise and physical activities have many benefits and should be a crucial part of our everyday lives, many of us instead choose to spend our free time resting or partaking in other less healthy pastimes. However, there are also a great number of other reasons why exercise remains a goal that is just out of reach for large numbers of people.
Just moving is exercising
Many people mistakenly believe that exercise means getting fit in a gym, lifting weights, running on a treadmill and attending classes, but the truth is exercise refers to any activity requiring exertion of energy while moving the body from a sedentary position. Such exercise usually means a sustained effort that could lead to sweating and a feeling of tiredness which, for people unable to join a gym or play traditional forms of sport, may just mean carrying out a range of other suitable daily tasks including:
- Exercising while in bed, just after waking up in the morning, by lying on your back and cycling your legs at the same time as punching the air until you feel fully awake or a little breathless.
- Walking up and down stairs instead of using the lift. We burn an average of around 1 kilocalorie per 20 steps when walking but we can burn the same amount by climbing just 5 stairs.
- Parking your car or getting off the bus farther from your destination so that you are forced to walk the rest of the way, leaving you feeling energized for the start of your working day.
- Riding a bicycle to work is a suitable method of transport if you don’t live far from the office. Not only do you get some exercise, but you also save money on travel expenses.
- Doing housework, such as cleaning, washing the car, laundry and gardening can be beneficial both in terms of working up a sweat and leaving your home looking great.
Transform your home into a gym
There are many exercises that can be done in the comfort of your own home or condominium. The following are examples of simple strategies that require little to no equipment whatsoever:
- Squats: Place your feet about shoulder width apart and hold your arms out in front of you before bending the legs at the knees and pressing your hips backward until you feel the muscles in the thighs tightening. Alternatively, stand with your back to a chair and bend the knees until your bottom touches the seat before raising yourself back up. This exercise can be made more difficult by holding something heavy in each hand, keeping them next to your shoulders as you squat down, and then lifting the weights up above your head as you stand back up. Repeat 10 times, for 2–3 sets.
- Planks: Begin by lying on your front, with your head and neck parallel to the ground. Next, rest on your elbows – which should be roughly shoulder width apart – and gently lift your body and hips up so that your body is in a rigid, straight line from head to heels. Hold this pose for 30–60 seconds.
- Push–ups: Rest with your hands on the floor, keeping them a little wider than shoulder width apart before lowering yourself as you bend your arms at the elbows and then push yourself back up again, trying to keep your body straight throughout. Beginners may place their hands on some steps or a sofa to make the push-up slightly easier. 2–3 sets of 10 push-ups will also go a long way toward strengthening your core muscles.
- Exercise to YouTube: Instead of paying expensive fees to join Zumba, Latin or yoga classes, why not put on a YouTube song or dance video and follow along. Alternatively, you could select a video based on the instructor’s charisma as this could provide the inspiration necessary to keep you going and distract you from exertion.
Transform your local park into a running track
Running is one of the most convenient forms of exercise because all you need is a decent pair of shoes to get started. Finding a local park or space close to work can also help you get into a routine. Start off by jogging short distances, alternating between running and walking if you need to, and then increase distance as you see fit. In addition to the health benefits, running can also open up a new social circle that will provide the motivation for increasing the frequency with which you exercise, as well as ensure you are using the correct technique.
As you can see, exercise does not need to take up much of your time or require you to travel to fitness centers. Whether you’re in the bedroom, bathroom, workplace or on the way somewhere, making some of the simple lifestyle choices mentioned here can have a positive impact on your health. Exercising at these intensities should be done for at least 150 minutes per week to improve and maintain your physical fitness.
Fit for Life Check Up
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