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It can be difficult to find time in the day to go to the gym to get your daily dose of exercise, and for some, the gym can be too expensive or make you too uncomfortable. Then there are the days when you’re just not feeling it and you don’t want to do much of anything, and the thought of going to another class or running another drill just makes you shudder.
For those days when you’re feeling unmotivated, there are some gym-free exercises you can do that keep you moving, boost your fitness and give you a good workout too.
Because here’s the thing. You don’t need to hold an expensive gym membership to get in a good workout throughout the day. Nor do you need to rush out and buy lots of specialized gym equipment. And you don’t need to spend hours breaking out a sweat to get an effective workout done.
There are many different ways of bringing exercise and your everyday routines together, which not only helps you get in a good workout but also save you time (winning!!!).
Here are some super clever exercise hacks to help you improve your healthy living lifestyle that you won’t mind doing on even the laziest of days.
Sit And Twitch
A large number of people spend the majority of their day sitting down at a desk and performing tasks that require more mental energy and very little physical energy. However, you can be burning calories throughout the day by simply lifting your feet up and down, twitching your knees, and doing seated tap dancing.
These actions not only require extra energy to perform when compared to just sitting down, but they also keep the blood flowing through the legs and the rest of the body. So, don’t just sit there, sit and twitch (like the bend and snap, but way better…)
Walk And Talk
There are so many opportunities for movement throughout the day that we overlook, and a lot of this is out of habit. One of the things you can do is walk and talk. Give a friend a call (yes a call, not a text) or call your family to catch up, and walk around the house while doing it. You could even do this when you’re on business calls with a handsfree phone option.
Walking is a fantastic low impact exercise, which is great for the cardiovascular system and calorie burning. It doesn’t matter where you walk. Go up and down the stairs, wander around the garden, walk on the spot. The aim of the game is to keep yourself moving the entire time you are on the phone.
Cleaning While Crunching
Cleaning the home is a great workout in itself, not my favourite, but it can definitely get your heart rate up. What with all of the vacuuming, scrubbing, sweeping, mopping, and stretching involved, if you pay a little more attention to the muscles you engage, you can really make an effective workout out of your daily cleaning chores.
Think of engaging your muscles in the same way you experience when performing crunches or sit-ups, be engaging your core muscles. For example, pull your belly button toward your spine when vacuuming, tense the muscles and hold for 4 seconds, then release and repeat. This will help tone your core muscles along with the cardio aspects involved in cleaning.
Use Grocery Bags As Weights
There is no need to hit the gym to use the weights there when you can easily do the same by walking back from the store. Take a couple of heavy-duty bags and fill them with some heavy shopping items that you purchase while you are out. Then walk home with them (if you’re within a decent walking distance of the grocery store).
If you really want to intensify this workout, simply lift the bags up level with your chest with every 2 steps you take. This will help build arm tone and lean muscle, while the walking provides great cardio.
Squats With Pots … And Dishes And Pans
Doing the dishes can be a particularly mundane task at the best of times. It also may feel like you could be doing more than just standing there gently washing down the kitchenware, staring out the window and dreaming of Jason Momoa (I wonder if he does the dishes…).
You can add some exercise to the task by washing and squatting. Every time you need to put a pan or dish in a cupboard below waist height, squat as you do it. Every time you place a pot or dish in a cupboard above waist height, stretch to your tiptoes, place it in the cupboard, and then drop to a squat.
In fact, while washing the dishes you can stand in squatting poses and perform a series of them as you go. If you want a more curvy and defined rear, you’re not going to get one by just sitting on it. Bootay.
Don’t Be Scared Of The Stairs
Walking the stairs provides all over body conditioning and makes use of many different muscle groups at the same time. Not only that, but it also burns a lot of calories in the process. 130 of them every 10 minutes to be precise.
Try to use the stairs whenever you can, be it at home, at work, or when out for social reasons. Walking stairs will help tone your butt, calf muscles, inner thighs, abdominal muscles (engage that core), and your lower back muscles.
To up the ante, you can run up the stairs and then walk back down them. And if you want to get even more out of it, why not wear a backpack filled with bags of flour or rice?
Regardless of how you choose to do it, stair walking is one of the best all-around exercises you can perform outside of the gym.
Rake The Leaves – Don’t Blow Them
Getting outdoors and into the yard can give you an amazing opportunity to perform a workout while you work. Switching out automatic methods for manual ones goes a long way in helping you boost your energy expenditure, and this can include using a rake to collect fallen leaves, rather than using a leaf blower.
You could also use a manual push lawn mower instead of an electric or gas fuelled one, shovel up snow instead of placing salt on it, and dig up the weeds and turn the soil instead of simply putting down weed killer.
The garden is also full of useful exercise tools, such as large rocks for resistance training, tree branches for pull-ups, wheelbarrows for endurance training, and secateurs for stretching while snipping. Being outdoors is not only good for the body, but also for reconnecting with nature and getting a healthy dose of fresh air.
Plus, chances are you’ll forget you’re working out and you’ll feel awesome having achieved something along the way.
There are so many ways to bring more exercise into your life while you go about your daily routines, you just have to get a little creative. By simply moving more when going about your day, and taking advantage of some common house objects, you can get a full body workout in the comfort of your own home.
So, if you are looking at getting into shape without the gym, why not give the above a try and boost your fitness levels easily.