There are so many reasons why people don’t exercise — they’re more like excuses, really.
Some of them include expensive gym membership fees, no space for equipment at home, a very tight work schedule, no time between work and family, the lack of energy after chores, and there’s probably a hundred more if you really think about it. You may not realise it, but you don’t need equipment to get a good exercise. You don’t even need to put on some gear nor change your clothes.
There are two reasons why we put this list together. One, to let you know those excuses are lame, and two, to encourage you to get moving.
1. Hang your car keys, commute and walk fast.
Sitting in you car and getting stuck in traffic will not only get on your nerves, you also lose the opportunity to exercise. Commuting three times a week will require you to walk fast or run even just for a little bit. Walking improves your cardiovascular fitness and helps you burn calories fast. The faster you walk, the bigger the favour you do for your body because it helps strengthen your bones, improve blood circulation and boost endurance.
You read it right. Just stand. Standing will do you good in ways you haven’t thought about. Standing improves your metabolism, reduces your risk for obesity and cardiovascular diseases, tones muscles, helps you burn calories, improves your blood flow, and most importantly, helps burn calories. So the next time you’re in a queue, offer your seat to somebody else. When you’re working, do yourself some favour by standing up every 30 minutes.
3. Make small movements.
Don’t underestimate what small movements like arm raising, feet tapping, shoulder shrugging and drumming your feet can do for your body. Even the slightest movements require energy so it increases metabolism. Move as much as you can, whenever you can. Note: Picking things up from the floor is considered a good movement.
4. Practice mindful breathing.
Have you ever wondered why yogis and Qi-gong practitioners have toned bodies even when they’re just doing slow movements? It has been known for centuries that proper breathing benefits the body in so many ways. It increases energy levels and metabolism, reduces stress and promotes relaxation.
5. Play with your kids.
The energy you use running around with the kids, horseplaying and occasionally playing tag lets you burn as much calories as doing 30 minutes on the treadmill. Only, the former is more fun and the latter gets boring after just the first few minutes.
6. Do the household chores.
We know you don’t need to be told, but just to give you a whole new perspective on house work, you have to know that studies have shown that to 2 1/2 hours of house work per week fulfills the recommended amount for a moderate exercise. The simple movements you make while making a bed, mopping and gardening helps you burn calories. They help tone your body, too!
7. Step up!
If you don’t need to go 20 floors up a building, use the stairs. At home, don’t ask anyone to fetch anything for you from upstairs. Get those muscles moving. Climbing the stairs is one of the best cardiovascular exercises. It also improves circulation. Bonus: It’s a great way to firm up the buttocks.
You need not join a dance class or hire somebody to train you. You just need to play some funky beat (and turn it up a bit more than usual maybe) and lose yourself to the music. It will help you lose weight, improve the condition of your heart and lungs and reduce your risk for osteoporosis.
9. Practice yoga.
Again, you don’t need to sign up for physical classes to practice yoga. There are hundreds of free channels dedicated to begginers and practitioners of all levels. Choose a practice you’re comfortable with and take it easy. Slow movements will help strengthen your core and will significantly improve your flexibility.
10. Do squats.
One of the first exercises they let you do in the gym is the squat exercise. You know what? You can do the exact same thing while watching TV. Lose weight while enjoying the boob tube.
11. Bike to work.
You don’t have to do it everyday. It you bike to work even just twice a week, you can lose 3,000 calories. It also strengthens your core muscles and is one of the best cardiovascular exercises you will ever find.
Chances are you have an old skipping rope collecting dust and hiding somewhere in your house. Grab it and do a few minutes of skipping. It’s a great way to rediscover the fun of skipping ropes while losing weight.
13. Use basket.
The next time you’re out getting your groceries, skip the trolley and use baskets instead. This is a great way to exercise your triceps. Since you’re shopping, it will be easy to trick yourself that you’re exercising, too!
14. March in place.
March while you’re watching TV or talking on the phone or doing a chore or when you’re talking to the kids. It’s one of the funniest ways to lose weight. It looks silly enough that the kids will be encouraged to join in. Make it more challenging by raising your knees higher.
15. Drink cold water.
Always begin your day by drinking a pint of cold water. This will rev up your metabolism and get your internal systems working.
When we said you can get fit without having to don a Jane Fonda outfit, we mean it. You can lose weight by simply standing up or create a work space at home that will require you to stand more. A stand up desk is a great place to begin your journey to fitness. Now that we’ve given you these tips, there are no excuses to not getting fit.