Get Fitter for Free
Health and fitness has fast become a burgeoning industry and it can be difficult to find a cost effective way of getting the exercise you need. Gym memberships are always getting more expensive and fitness equipment isn’t cheap either and often gets stored in a cupboard, never to see the light of day. Getting fit doesn’t have to be expensive though, and we have compiled some great things you can do to get exercising for free.
Do you really need to take the car? A good, brisk walk will raise your heart rate and begin to improve your cardio vascular fitness. A good walking pace is about four miles per hour, so if you have a trip of just a few miles, why not just set off a bit earlier? In just one hour you could have covered four miles. Doing this regularly would greatly contribute to your overall wellbeing.
If you’re going to the supermarket, why not carry your bags back to the house? This with exercise your upper body, while you get all the benefits from walking. If you’re nipping out for lunch, go somewhere further away. Stretching your legs during the working day really helps to get your energy levels up and keeps you focused. You never know, you might even build up the motivation for that evening run you have been promising yourself!
There is no need for the weights at the gym when you realise that your own house is full of objects that can be used for your resistance training. For muscle toning, you need a relatively light weight that you manage a lot of reps with. Bags of sugar are often perfect for this, but if that’s a little too light then why not try sets of ten reps of arm curls with a bucket filled with water? You can hold a bucket in each hand, and bend your knees repeatedly to work them leg muscles too! Just don’t forget to keep your back straight. Any reasonably heavy object with a suitable handle will do the job. Also, don’t forget that nobody can charge you for doing sit ups and push ups in your own living room!
All over this fine land of ours are hills that offer staggering views of the countryside, and these are natural fitness trainers. The differing inclines and terrains offer unique interval training opportunities, and nobody will ask for cash when you arrive at the top of a hill. Admittedly you do have to be prepared with the right footwear and clothing, but the smaller hills can be a good challenge without so much chance of being stranded in poor weather conditions. A good tip, however, is to get yourself a set of hiking poles. These not only save your knees and thighs from the repetitive footfall impacts but also include your upper body in the workout.
The great thing about climbing the small hills in particular is that you can get some fantastic exercise without really thinking about it – you’ll be too mesmerised by the stunning views - and it's free too!
Hand-Wash Your Clothes
Admittedly, this one is a little off-the-wall, but if you wash your clothes by hand you will get a good work out. Just fill up the bath with warm water and washing powder and put your clothes in. You’ll need to really give the garments a good going over. This will force you to work all the muscles from you abdomen to your forearms. Keep scrubbing and squeezing your clothes while raising them up out of the water and pushing the back into the bath. The raising and lowering action actually works a bit like vertical sit ups!
After a good 15-20 minutes your clothes should be clean, but your work out doesn’t stop there. You need to ring out all the water, which takes quite a lot of effort. The ringing action works your forearms, biceps and triceps, and after you have finished you will really feel like you have worked hard. It also helps improve the dexterity of your fingers!
These are just a few examples of how you can get fit without spending a fortune. There are many other exercises you can do – just use your imagination! However, when you are in the comfort of your own home, or you’re taking on a keep-fit household chore, it can be easy to forget to warm up properly. Make sure you remember to stretch properly and get good and warm before you get started. Nobody wants any unnecessary injuries! If you have any more ideas on getting fit for free, why not leave them in the comments?
© 2015 Jonathan M J Henderson