Getting fit does not have to involve going to the gym, or taking up a new sport.
If you are busy and you do not have much time in your daily schedule, you can still fit exercise into your routine. Also, if you have to stay at home for long periods, due to childcare, or other commitments, it does not mean you have to be a couch potato.
After you have raised your heart rate with some gentle exercise, do some gentle stretching exercises
To maintain your fitness, and lead a healthy lifestyle, most people should do at least 30 minutes of physical exercise, a minimum of five times a week.
If you are trying to lose weight, you should build up to about 60 minutes of exercise on most (5-6) days of the week. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is also very important.
Warming up and cooling down
It is important to exercise safely and to warm up before you start exercising.
To warm up, try jogging on the spot for between 5-10 minutes (depending on your fitness level) in order to raise your body temperature and prepare your body for exercise.
After you have raised your heart rate with some gentle exercise, do some gentle stretching exercises. It is also a good idea to cool down after exercising by doing some light jogging on the spot and to gently stretch your muscles afterwards.
You may not realise it, but doing housework can actually help you to keep fit. Vigorous chores, such as vacuuming, gardening, and dusting can burn off quite a few calories.
Alternatively, if you are looking after a child, you could spend some time in the garden playing ‘tag’, catch, or football.
Watching TV can make you fit
If you do not have time to get to an exercise class, you could buy, or rent, an exercise DVD. A wide range of different exercise DVDs are available, covering many different exercise techniques – from salsa to aerobics. There are also exercise computer games that you can buy for the leading games consoles.
Turning your house into a gym
You do not need to buy expensive equipment if you want to work out at home. There are plenty of reasonably priced devices, such as an exercise ball, exercise bikes, treadmills, or weights.
If you do not want, or cannot afford, to buy exercise equipment, you can use things around the house instead. For example, you could try lifting cans of food, to help build your upper body strength. As you get stronger, you can move on to heavier items, such as books, or increase the number of times (repetitions) that you do the exercise each time.
You do not always need equipment to exercise. There are lots of exercises that you can do on the spot. For example, use an exercise mat and do lunges, leg raises, and crunches. However, make sure that you learn how to do these exercises properly before you start, otherwise you may injure yourself. It might be a good idea to book a training session at your local gym and ask your instructor for advice. Try Bannatyne’s Health Club on 01733 292600.
If you workout at home, make sure that you wear the same kit as you would if you were going to the gym. Comfortable loose clothing, such as a tracksuit, or T-shirt and shorts is best. Also, wear a pair of trainers that will support your feet and ankles.
As well as exercising inside, you should obviously make time to exercise outdoors too. Exercising outdoors can be a fun, social activity, and it is good to get fresh air into your lungs – so why not make it part of your weekly exercise routine!