We all know exercise is good for us, not just physically either, it can help lower stress and make us feel happier as certain ‘happy hormones’ are released when we exercise.
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Yet often with busy lives we find all sorts of reasons (excuses) not to exercise. We’ve all done it, saying things like ‘I’m too busy’ or ‘I can’t afford it’ or even ‘I’m too unfit’ – well here are some exercises that everyone can start doing right now.
It’s free, everyone who is physically able to walk, can walk for exercise, and you can start today. It is a great calorie burner and even a short walk can be good for you if your life is otherwise sedentary. You can walk in parks where there are other people or you can head off to the countryside, or as many people do, you can enjoy walking routes around towns and cities.
It’s especially good for anyone who hasn’t been doing a lot of exercise – and if that is the case you can start with a fairly short and slow walk. If you do it a few times a week you will find that very soon you will be able to either increase the distance you walk or do it at a faster pace.
There is also the added bonus that being outdoors is generally something that is good for us especially if we are out close to nature. It can be a great way to spend time with a friend as well – try it instead of meeting for a coffee. But if you are planning to walk alone make sure you always take reasonable steps to ensure your safety.
2. Climbing Stairs
Gyms can be costly but climbing stairs is another activity that is free and for anyone who works or lives in a building with several floors it is another great way to start exercising. You may not realise it but often you will burn more calories climbing stairs than jogging!
There is also an ‘app’ that lets you track the steps you climb, and the calories you burn and there are also activity watches that will count the steps you take. Even if you just do it once or twice a day you will start to feel the benefits quite soon.
3. Technology Aided Fitness
Quite apart from applications that can record or measure what you have done there are also a whole host of ways you can use technology actually TO exercise. There are ‘apps’ for everything from Yoga to intense but short aerobic workouts that are designed to be done at home.
There are also YouTube videos for almost any exercise you can imagine. Yes it may take a bit of motivation but if you don’t want to go the gym or if it’s pouring with rain outside then this can be a good alternative. Usually they are designed so you don’t need any equipment and if necessary you could find one that only takes a minimum of space, if you live somewhere a bit cramped.
So for this one, I acknowledge that you do actually need a bike – there are plenty of places where you can hire one but that is an expense. Many people will have one tucked away or will know someone else that has a bike, unused and long forgotten in a garage somewhere.
Even if you do have to buy a bike there are usually a lot for sale on internet sits or via local papers and with a bit of searching it is perfectly possible to pick up a use-able bike for under £50. It is an initial expense but the more you use it the cost per exercise session starts to rocket downwards.
Most towns these days have cycle paths or parks you can ride around to keep you off the road. It can be a great way of discovering some of the hidden gems of your local area. It is really good exercise and can be kinder to knees than jogging on hard surfaces.
This is another one that will probably incur some expense. There are of course some places you can swim for free but you must be cautious if you are not a very strong swimmer or have not been swimming in a while don’t start by swimming in seas or rivers opt for the safety of a pool!
There is usually a charge for using a pool but many councils operate a leisure card system where for a relatively small outlay there is a discount every time you go swimming. It is especially good exercise for anyone that has joints that are stiff as they can be moved without weight bearing – which is one of the reasons why hydrotherapy is used a lot in recovery.
But it can also be a good cardio workout and many people say that with lane swimming it gives them a chance to think and be reflective.
So if you want to exercise you absolutely can, and you know it will do you good, so what is stopping you? You can start today.