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There are several reasons why many of us do not exercise. ‘Too late from work’, ‘Can’t afford gym membership’, ‘No place to jog’, ‘No sidewalks to walk’, ‘It’s raining’, ‘It’s snowing’, 'It’s too hot', ‘It’s too cold’, ‘I don’t have an outfit’, ‘I’m ashamed of my body’, ‘Can’t really be bothered to leave the comfort of my home’. The last reason we are going to debunk. Find below 9 ways to get fit without leaving your comfort zone.
Invest in Home Fitness
You can achieve improved muscle tone and weight loss just as effectively at home as in the gym. Get a couple of barbells, a rowing machine, an exercise bike, a stepper; a home jogger and an abs cruncher. Too many? If you can afford to buy, look at the benefits this way: it’s a one-time investment, which will cost you about $1000, more or less depending on the brand you are buying. Compare the cost with a one-year gym membership subscription. Moreover, sometimes your favourite gym equipment are out of use and not likely to be repaired for weeks. If this happens, you have lost four weeks of your annual payment. Not to mention times when you do not feel up to it until about 9pm, when your gym has closed; or you are an early morning ‘gymer’ (6am to be precise), and the gym is not opened. These are times lost, and times lost means money lost. And if money becomes an issue, get the equipment one at time, until you complete your set. Also remember to use good quality fitness equipment – it will be kinder on your joints.
Iron Your Own Clothes
Sounds wicked? Well not if you look at the benefits. Just 30 minutes worth of flattening creases can burn around 75 calories. But if you use the time wisely, you can burn up to 180 while toning your body. How? Simple exercises. Place a cushion or pillow between your thighs, and as you iron, squeeze and release by tightening your inner thighs. Do this for about 30 seconds and repeat. So next time you pile all your clothes for ironing to give your laundry man, remember to save the toughest shirts and jeans, including your partner's and the kids, for your ironing-workout.
We fight for the remote control in my house. ‘Where the heck is the remote?’ you find me shouting most evenings. Don’t blame me. You know how comfortable it feels to start, stop, and rewind any electronic gadget through a remote. And God helps the son or daughter who moves the remote control from the side stool next to my favourite settee. Now wait for this! From today, get rid of your remote. Give your body the chance for a little movement. How? Get up from your settee and walk to the TV, music, video, radio or whatever equipment you are controlling sitting down. Press the button and go sit down again. For every rewind, stop/start, changing channels, get up. You can take it further. During the commercial breaks (it can be up to 3 minutes), run up and down the stairs a few times, do some stretches or jump up and down on the spot. You can rest when the programme comes back on.
Run an ‘Usain Bolt’ Sprint on the Spot
In the comfort of your living room, jog on the spot for 50 counts x 2, making a 100. And I mean fast jogging, not leisurely. It will get your heart pumping real good and you can burn 600 calories an hour. To remove the boredom, put a fast paced Afro beat or Jazz funky pop and move your body to the music – please do not forget to count. Stop if you feel dizzy or completely out of breathe.
Without getting on other peoples’ nerves, go get your own water to drink, do the tap with your feet sitting down, do jumping jack, wiggle your feet…do anything, but just do not sit still, at least not if you want to stay slim. Research suggests that leaner people tend to stand and move around more in everyday life than those who are overweight. Their constant movement meant they burned off 350 calories more each day, keeping them nice and trim.
Massage your muscles
Pamper your muscles and almost every other parts of your body with regular massage. It can benefit your muscles, bones and joints, your digestive system and, of course, your mind. Enhance your emotional benefits by using aromatherapy oils such as juniper, cedar wood and eucalyptus. Remember to dilute with a base oil (and then lie back, close your eyes, relax), and get your partner or friend to do all the pampering.
Get Your Vitamin D
If your lifestyle makes you spend more time inside than outside, then you may need to top up your vitamin D level. So take a supplement plus calcium and magnesium for bone health if you eat less than three portions of dairy food a day.
Eat for Energy
A healthy balanced diet is just as important to help fuel an at home work-out as it is for at a gym one. And this includes choosing a healthy snack over pastries and cakes. For nutritious energy boost, take a handful of unsalted cashew nuts, a bunch of grapes or medium corn on the cob.
Do Stretches in Bed
Fifteen minutes of stretching in the morning before you get out of bed is enough to revitalize body, mind and spirit. Begin by circling your fingers, toes, wrists and ankles – focusing on the way your body feels. Next lay on your back, lace your hand behind your head, and raise your shoulder enough to see your toes (repeat 10 times). Lie on your side and do leg raises on each side (10 times). Sit with your back resting on the bed panel; try to touch your left toe with your right hand (10 times) and reverse. Lastly, rest your head on your knees and stretch. Finish! Follow up with an invigorating shower. Cool!
Photo Credit: Creative Commons