Keeping fit should be part of everyone’s daily routine, whether it is a brisk walk, a gym session, a cycle or jog. We all know the huge benefits of keeping fit, from health and weight management to posture and the feel good factor. There really are no negatives to ensuring fitness is a top priority in your life.
There are several aspects of fitness, aerobic, anaerobic, resistance training and flexibility to name a few. Training for an event like a 5k or 10k run or playing a sport requires more specific training but if you simply want to incorporate training in your daily routine for the well being factor, it can be done easily and without too much cost whilst fitting in around the lifestyle that suits you.
Aerobic fitness is all about endurance. Anyone can do it as you work steadily for longer periods of time at your own pace. Brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, stair climbing are all good examples. The idea is to get breathless enough to feel yourselF working (but still able to carry out a conversation), to get a sweat up and to keep going for a minimum period of 30-40 minutes.
Anaerobic training means shorter bursts of activity such as sprints. You work at your maximum heart rate so you can only work effectively for shorter periods. Recoveries are required before you can repeat the exercise. For example if you want to do 10 x 10 second sprints you would sprint for 10 seconds as fast as you can, recover on a light jog or walk for 30 seconds and then repeat the process. This sort of training quickly increases your fitness capacity ensuring that your aerobic fitness improves. It is also great if you want to train for an event or simply want to get faster and more effective during your aerobic workouts.
Resistance workouts use weights, such as dumbbells or body weight. Press ups, pull ups and deep squats use the weight of your own body to work the muscles.
Heavier weights can be used to increase the level to which you are working and to challenge you further, a bar with weights either end and placed across your shoulders will ensure a deeper, harder working squat.
Stretching the muscles will improve posture, reduce injuries and lengthen the body. This is a vital and usually understated part of a workout. A lovely all over stretch will make you feel great and really help to relax you too.
All of these types of exercise can be done inside or outside, alone, with family or a friend. They are also cost effective and can fit in around your personal circumstances.
ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO KEEP FIT
If “exercise” as a discipline feels a bit of a chore and you would rather keep fit without having to don your trainers and go out for a run, then how about trying out some fun alternative ways to get that heart pumping and those muscles working?
Mowing the lawn, raking leaves, cutting back shrubs or simply clearing out the back yard will give you a great workout. Aim to put aside an hour or two for your gardening chores as you will burn heaps of calories, tone and feel suitably exhausted when you are done. Remember to stretch afterwards especially the lower part of your back.
Put your favourite music on and get dusting and vacuuming! The quicker you work, the more benefit you get out of it, and the bonus is your house will also be spotless! Swapping arms when vacuuming every few minutes will balance your arm workout too.
Who says we need to go to a disco to dance? Dance around the living room alone or with a friend. You can check on line for beginners dance moves to practice at home or simply freestyle!
If that’s not your cup of tea, ask around for local dance classes to attend. You don’t need a partner and can find classes locally from Zumba, Street dance, latin or ballroom.
GOLF AND OTHER SPORT
There are plenty of clubs around the country and local to you whereby you can play any sport from tennis and golf, through to bowling, squash, badminton and football. Your local leisure centre will have a variety of facilities, so give them a call and see what takes your fancy.
If you are inside with the children, active games will keep you all moving and having fun at the same time. Try a variety of games, for example: Who is quickest at running up the stairs and back 5 times?
Outside, there are so many ball games you can play, frisbies to throw, or play tag. The list is endless!