Many people think that getting fit means you have to join a gym, but that simply isn’t true! There are loads of things you can do at home and during your everyday routine that, when stuck to, could make a huge difference to the way you feel. By putting some or all of the following tips into action, you could enjoy a new you in 2015.
1. Do it at homeWith so many great fitness DVDs and affordable home fitness products available, there really is no need to pay for a gym membership. By exercising at home, you’ll not only save yourself money in the long run, but you won’t have to worry about packing a gym bag or rushing to the gym after work.
2. Be realisticNever set yourself targets that are too difficult to achieve. It’s always good to push yourself, but pushing yourself too far could result in you becoming disheartened with getting fit. Don’t cut out all your favourite foods, and don’t aim to exercise every single day. Eat and exercise in moderation for the best mental and physical results. After all, life is there to be enjoyed.
3. Drink lots of waterRoughly 60% of an adult’s body is made of water, so the more your drink, the more your body will appreciate it. Scientists recommend drinking 8 glasses per day. By doing so, you’ll feel more energetic, have healthier looking skin, and if you replace some of your sugary drinks and tea and coffee with water, you should lose weight too.
4. Park further away from workAlways remember that every little bit of extra exercise helps. So instead of parking as near to the door as possible when going to work, why not park at the other end of the car park? Or in a different car park entirely? I know this probably isn’t the most enticing idea on a cold Monday morning, but it will help! If possible, you should also try to dedicate one day per week to walking or cycling to work. Public transport is also better than driving as you’ll probably have to do more walking to and from your stops.
5. Take the stairsWalking up and down the stairs is one of the best forms of exercise. It gets the heart pumping and it works the muscles in your legs. So unless you work on the 300th floor of a skyscraper, you should also consider taking the stairs instead of using a lift or an escalator. And it’s not just at work when you should put this into practice; you can take the stairs in hotels, car parks, leisure centres and more.
6. Make a regime – track it and stick to itTracking you progress is an important part of getting fit. A good idea is to make a spreadsheet or buy yourself a journal, and note down exercise regimes for different days, your start weight, target weight, weekly weight loss and other key indicators. This will not only give you extra motivation to keep on exercising and eating right, but give you the satisfaction and pride of seeing how much progress you’re making.
7. Get a dogLooking for an excuse to go outside for a walk every day? Then a dog is your answer. The health benefits of owning a dog are well documented; they give you more exercise, help lower your blood pressure and make you a generally happier person!
8. Take up yogaYoga is an ancient form of exercise that has been tried and tested for over 5,000 years! It focusses on postures and breathing to help improve strength, flexibility and balance. Yoga is particularly good for lowering blood pressure, easing joint pain and relieving the symptoms of mental health problems. Best of all, it can be done in the comfort of your home via a DVD or YouTube videos, and can be enjoyed by any age group too!
9. Switch to whole grain foodsWhole grain foods are high in fibre, making them a healthier alternative to processed grains. Common whole grain foods include whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, bran flakes and whole grain cereal. By eating whole-grains every day, you could reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. They also make you feel full for longer, so you’ll be less likely to snack on junk after meals.
10. Take up sport once a weekTaking up a sport is by far one of the most enjoyable ways to improve your fitness levels. You could play 5-a-side football, badminton or squash. You could take up swimming or join a tennis club too. There are so many options! Not only do these activities improve your health, they’re sociable too, so you could even end up meeting some new friends.
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