“To uncover your true potential you must first find your own limits and then you have to have the courage to blow past them.” - Picabo Street
We often think that exercising requires a load of equipment like trainers, weights, skipping ropes, exercise balls, yoga mat, etc. Then there’s the gym membership on top of that. Wrong!
You can easily do 30 minutes of exercise every day without even realising. Walking, running, taking the stairs, and bringing the shopping in are all forms of exercise. While they won’t be on a fitness coach’s daily workout, it’s still exercising.
Superprof is going to show you how to exercise for free!
Exercise by Moving
Forget the bus and walk to your destination.
Of course, we’re not saying that you should walk 6 hours every day as part of your commute, but if your work is nearby, you could walk there.
What about cycling there?
There are folding bikes, e-bikes, and ultra-light bikes that could help. For much longer distances, e-bikes are a great option and far greener than driving them. Consider investing in one.
It’s never been as affordable to exercise, either. You’ll save on petrol or public transport while also doing your daily exercise without having o go to the gym.
Not bad, is it?
Even 20 minutes of brisk walking can improve your health so consider getting off the bus a stop or two sooner and quickly walking to your destination. Your legs and glutes will thank you.
Urban Training, the New Way to Exercise in the City
For a long time, running has been the only exercise you can do in the city.
For a few decades now, runners have been seen all over every major city. Running is still a useful way to exercise without having to worry about the cost of a gym membership and all you need is a pair of trainers, shorts and a t-shirt, and a decent playlist and you’re ready to start running around your local neighbourhood. You won’t need to invest in an expensive treadmill, either. The only problem with running is that it’s very easy to give up so to avoid this, consider getting a running pal.
Better yet, turn your city into your urban training playground. Urban training is about using the city to exercise. Benches, walls, lampposts, and stairs can all become part of your outdoor gym. Stretch on a bench and use the walls to do your exercise. There are also parks with gym equipment in them that you can use for free every day. It’s a great way to exercise without needing a fitness coach.
Have a look at videos of urban training online to inspire you.
Hiking on the Weekends
Hiking is a great activity and an excellent excuse to get out of the house.
Walking around the great outdoors has benefits for the body and mind and it’s also very low-impact and a great way to improve the muscles in your legs without damaging your joints. Hiking can also strengthen bones, reduce the risk of fractures, improve your cardiovascular system, and eliminate stress. It’s a good combination of exercise and meditation.
Similarly, hiking is something that people of all ages can do so just choose a route that works for you and your level.
To start hiking, you’ll need:
- Suitable hiking boots.
- Water to stay hydrated.
- A hat or cap to avoid sunburn.
- A GPS or map so you don’t get lost.
- Walking poles if you’ll need them.
- A bag to take your rubbish with you.
Regularly hiking can improve your stamina, tone muscles in your leg, and let off steam in the same way a trip to the gym can.
Exercising has never been such a nice experience.
Exercising at Home
Your housework also counts as exercise.
If you hate doing the housework, turning it into exercise could make it more enjoyable as there’s nothing better than breaking a sweat to make you forget about how much you hate cleaning. After a deep clean, you’ll feet it in your arms and legs especially if you put your favourite songs on and dance while you do it. Do some squats as you empty the dishwasher, work your arms as you mop, or get your heart pumping as you do the hoovering.
Exercising at home is quite easy! Cleaning up your home is a great way to work on your physique and it won’t cost you anything. Furthermore, it’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone.
If you have a garden, even better! Gardening is probably even more physically intensive than housework as you’ll be up and down planting seeds, lifting bags of earth or compost, and using almost every muscle group. You can essentially do all the exercises that you’d do at the gym!
Exercise with YouTube
One of the best devices for exercising and losing weight can be found in your living room. Your TV, of course! With YouTube, you can watch fitness videos and routines while you work out.
There are tonnes of channels and videos from fitness instructors that can show you the best fitness routines to do at home. Just find the right routine for you and your fitness goals and you can get started.
Whether it’s aerobics, CrossFit, pilates, yoga, HIIT, Zumba, fitness boxing, or even martial arts, there are workouts for everyone.
Here are some great YouTube fitness channels:
- Tiffany Rothe Workouts
- POPSUGAR Fitness
- Body Project
- Yoga with Kassandra
- Jazzercise, Inc.
- Zanna Van Dijk
- The Body Coach
- Lucy Wyndham-Read
A lot of fitness YouTube channels also offer tips and advice on eating healthily to help you get the most out of the routines so stop watching videos of cats and start using YouTube for your daily exercise routines; the cats will still be there when you’ve finished.
Tips for Exercising Daily
In addition to all the approaches and techniques we’ve already mentioned, there are a few other things you can do to get the most out of your exercise routine.
Take the stairs
Make a habit of avoiding using lifts where and when you can as stairs are an opportunity to work your back, stomach, and legs. You use different muscle groups ascending and descending stairs so make sure you take the stairs as often as possible.
Carry your shopping in a basket rather than a trolley
Of course, if you have too much to carry, it’s better to avoid injury. To balance the weight, consider bringing at least two reusable bags with you or regularly swapping arms if you only have one bag. It’s a good way to engage your biceps and pecs.
Working from home?
Replace your office chair with a standing desk
You burn more calories standing than you do sitting and it’s also good for your posture.
Finally, one of the best ways to exercise is walking. Leave the car at home, put on some comfortable shoes, and walk where you can.
In summary, to get more daily exercise, you should:
- Walk at least 30 minutes each day.
- Take the stairs rather than the lift.
- Do the housework to your favourite music.
- Use a standing desk when you can.
- Carry shopping by hand.
- Dance, laugh, and sing as much as you can!
To give you a better idea of which exercise you should be doing, here’s a table showing how many calories each activity burns on average:
|Activity||Calories Burnt||Physical Benefits|
|Walking for 30 minutes||80 to 110 calories||Cardio and lung capacity|
|Climbing stairs||70 to 90 calories every 4 floors||Cardio and lower body|
|2 hours of housework||Around 370 calories||Full body, depending on type of housework|
|Cycling for||330 to 500 calories per hour||Endurance|
|Hiking||400 to 500 calories per hour||Reduces stress and works most of the body|
The rest is up to you.
You’ve no excuse not to do some of these activities.
If you need help with your personal training, consider getting help from one of the many talented and experienced tutors and coaches on Superprof. You can enjoy personal training face-to-face, online, or as part of a group and since each type of training comes with its pros and cons for you and your budget, you need to think carefully about which is the best solution.
Don't forget that many of the tutors and coaches on Superprof offer the first session or hour for free. You can use these sessions to try out various professionals before choosing the one that's right for you. After all, it's really important that you get on well with your coach as you may be seeing a lot of them depending on how ambitious your goals are.