Let’s face it, there’s not much value in a gym membership right now, but don’t let that stop you from getting active.
There are so many free exercise tools at your disposal – I bet you didn’t realise you could get fit for free.
But first let’s look at the type of exercise we do:
Cardiovascular exercise, such as walking or aerobics, is great for heart health, improving circulation, combating osteoporosis, improving sleep and reducing anxiety.
Strength training uses resistance exercises to tone and strengthen muscles. The good news is, muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than body fat, so we want those muscles toned.
It’s important to include both cardio and strength exercises in your weekly routine to keep your body in good shape.
Below are some ideas for both cardio and strength training that won’t cost a cent:
Re-purpose everyday items. There are many things around the home that can double as gym equipment – a can of soup can be a light weight. A dining chair makes a great spot for some tricep dips. A wall can be used to do push ups if you’d rather not get down on the floor.
Head to YouTube. You’ll find loads of workout videos for different types of exercises. Choose something to suit your fitness level.
Use your body. Body weight exercises such as push ups, calf raises and planks require no equipment and can be done any time.
Take the stairs. If you have stairs in or around your house use them for a cardio workout. In fact, why not make it your mission to take the stairs whenever you are faced with the choice of escalators or stairs.
One person’s trash is another’s treasure. Keep an eye out for fitness equipment that’s being discarded in council collections or put a call out on buy-swap-sell groups offering free pick up for unused exercise equipment.
Use council park equipment. Not sure if there is anything in your area? Phone your local council and enquire.
Walk instead of drive when possible. If you’d rather walk as part of a group, enquire with the Heart Foundation to see if there’s a group in your area.
Play with the kids or your furry friends. Kick a ball, throw a frisbee or take them on a bike ride.
Download an app. There’s lots of free apps that will help monitor your exercise efforts and let you set goals to improve your duration or level of activity. Search ‘exercise’ on your smart phone or tablet.
There really is no excuse for not exercising. The key is to make sure you don’t get bored with it. Choose ways to get moving that you enjoy and you’ll be more likely to keep it up long-term.
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