Sunday, 19 August 2018

How to Stay fit Without Ever Hitting the Gym

Oh yes, that gym membership you signed up to along with your main New Year’s resolution all those months ago:  To get fit and stay fit through 2017 and beyond.  Have you been yet or are you regretting it already.  And if you’re still in the ‘thinking about it’ stage you might like to read this earlier post on ‘10 Essentials when choosing a new gym’.

The problem with the gym unless you’re a real fitness addict is finding the time, 5.30 in the morning?  Hahaha.  Likewise 7.30pm when you’re ready for a glass of wine followed by a TV show and something to eat.  I say unless you’re a real fitness addict because nothing stops those whatever the time and wherever they are.

I’ll use any gym on offer when I’m staying in a hotel, and I’m a member of a gym in the US, but in the UK I’m not.  Because your gym can be wherever you are.   Wherever there’s a steep hill to walk up, or dogs to walk, and with just a little equipment at home you can spend a few minutes every day and stay fit.

Fitbit Versa SmartwatchIf you want to get fit, get motivated and stay fit a fitness tracker/Smartwatch is a good place to start.  Fitbit’s new Versa Smartwatch does everything, from monitoring your heart rate, activity tracking and connected GPS to water resistance, on screen notifications and yes, it actually tells the time.  Fitbit Charge 2 HR

The Fitbit Charge 2 HR will give you the same information in a more minimalist way.  Take all the information with a slight pinch of salt and use your tracker and app as a gauge rather than an exact result. 

Then do some activity every day and try and include a hill or walking further – the next tube stop perhaps - and take the stairs rather than the lift.  Anything and everything you do will increase your fitness.  You don’t have to go for a run, you just have to get moving and keep moving as much as you can.  Avoid sitting for long periods as this is not only not going to get you anywhere fitness-wise but is bad for your back.  Most of us sit badly.  I would way that walking uphill is so much better than walking on the flat, particularly if you don’t like to run, which I don’t.

Have some basic equipment at home.  This is not to turn your home into a home gym, but to have the essentials so that you can do different types of exercise which don’t take up too much time when you feel like it.  These are what I recommend:

Exercise MatResistance Band Tube SetAb RollerDumbell Weights Set
A mat is essential for floor based training, yoga and/or pilates and particularly if you’re going to be doing exercises on a hard floor. Don’t skimp on this one.

Resistance bands are good for so many different exercises and you can do a full body workout using resistance bands.  I like this set as it has five different strengths, plus a bag so you can take it away with you.  Here’s a full body resistance band workout – get started by trying a few of the exercises or work through the whole thing and there are loads more resistance band workouts on YouTube including workouts for beginners.

Try this Pilates Perfect Body workout.  It comes in 10 minute sections so you don’t need to do the whole workout in one go.  You need light hand weights and a mat.  Pilates is seriously good for toning, core strength and when you want something low impact.

It’s not necessary to have heavy weights.  Repetitions with lighter dumbells work well.  This is a really good beginners dumbell workout.  You don’t have to start with 3kg as he suggests you can start with the lightest weight until you find it easy.

The ab wheel is to be found in most gyms and it’s an excellent piece of inexpensive kit to have and use at home.  Don’t try and roll out too far to start with and watch this video on how to properly use an ab wheel.

Finally one thing you might also like to invest in is a stretch strap.  One from earlier… How Stretching can Improve your Workout.

Stretch StrapNo one else can get you fit, only you can, regarding of personal trainers or gym memberships but the benefits are huge and long lasting.  Give it a try and you may become one of those fitness addicts too……