We all know that we need to keep active and exercise regularly for a healthy, happy lifestyle. Yet for some of us it's not something that we find hugely appealing and for lots of us it's something that it can be hard to find the necessary time for.
I kind of fall into the not really liking exercise category myself, if I'm really honest! As I've probably mentioned more than once on this blog, I trained in Musical Theatre many moons ago so that meant quite a lot of my youth, teens and early twenties involved dancing in one form or another. Yet I never really considered this to be exercise because I enjoyed it so much. Plus I never really considered myself to be that fit - but looking back now ... !
However today, despite not being a fitness expert or anything, I have a few ideas to share with you for upping your exercise routines both in the home and outside of it. Tips for both gym-phobes and fitness fiends alike that might just bring a little freshness to your weekly movement regime.
One thing I also want to share, for those of you who perhaps don't enjoy the thought of working out but are trying to get moving more and improve your fitness, is that I personally very much believe that working out should be about progress and not about immediate perfection.
If you have the drive and motivation to go at it hard day after day then that's amazing and don't let anything stop you. Yet if you're not that way inclined then don't let that 'all or nothing' feeling put you off. Get back into exercise gently and make small steps and progress towards your own personal goals.
We all get told that we should be working out at least 3 times a week - well we get told all sorts of different things but it's something along those lines. However if you aren't doing anything at all at the moment but feel you could progress to doing something once a week then that is indeed progress and it's better than nothing. Build it up slowly and don't let the idea of quantity put you off or make you feel as if what you are able to achieve isn't worth it. Yes you will see greater results the more you do, of course. Yes regular exercise is something you should be working towards, but if just making a start is a huge step for you then that is a fantastic start to make.
SOME IDEAS FOR UPPING YOUR EXERCISE OUTPUT
1. WORK OUT AT HOME
Try Rebounding: I've recently invested in a mini trampoline and whenever I get a moment I try and spend around 10 minutes gently jumping up and down on it. Rebounding is great for getting your lymph system working and clearing out the system - so to speak. As well as being a reasonably low impact way to get yourself moving. It's also a great feeling to bounce around to your favourite tunes and embrace your inner child!
As I have some lower back problems I have to be careful doing this and if you fall into this category then please also do the same. Speak to your GP or Physio before giving it a go and even then, if given the go ahead, build up slowly and gradually so as not to shock your back and your body in general. It's best to start with just 2-5 minutes at the most and then build up from there.
To find out a bit more about the many benefits of this type of exercise take a read of this article: Rebounding Good For The Lymph System plus when it comes to learning a bit more about the best type of equipment the advice in this article is pretty useful: Rebounding Benefits.
2. UTILISE TECHNOLOGY
YouTube It: There are some really great channels on YouTube these days that offer a range of workouts that you can tap into in your living room - for free! I have two personal favourites to share. The first is the Blogilates Blog and YouTube Channel by Cassey Ho and a great source of motivation, resources and ideas. My second is BeFiT which really is a one stop shop for any kind of workout and for pretty much any kind of body part that you can possibly think of!
Pick An App: Ok so there are hundreds of apps out there all promising to help you do all sorts of things. For today I've picked out two that, although I haven't personally tried them yet myself, have read and heard very good things about. If you have any further views on these please don't hesitate to comment below.
Couch to 5k - Part of the NHS Change4Life initiative, the couch to 5k plan to get you up and running for the first time has had great reviews from many of my friends and family. For that reason I've recently downloaded the app with a view to giving it a go myself and I shall let you know how I get on! You can read more about the plan here and find out how to download the free app here.
Strava - Is a great performance based app for any of you running and cycling enthusiasts. It offers an effective way to measure how far you've travelled using a compatible GPS device as well as compete against others within their online community. It aims to connect you with a likeminded tribe and is leading the way when it comes to online social fitness. Find out more on their website www.strava.com.
3. TRY SOMETHING NEW
Find an unusual exercise class and give it a go: There's no shortage these days of unusual fitness trends and crazes and seemingly a new class of some sort pops up every week. I mentioned the other day that my other half and I gave Thai Kick Boxing a go recently which was great fun, however I currently have a number of other fun sounding classes on my 'to try' list. Here are just a few that I personally like the sound of:
HulaFit - I don't know about you but I used to hula hoop out in the garden for hours and hours over endless summers when I was a kid! Little did I know how much good I was actually doing. Well now you can get back to those summer days and pick up a hula hoop once more in one of the newest crazes - HulaFit. Sound like fun? Check out their website hulafit.com but make sure you book in advance as the classes sell out fast.
Ravercise - I've had this on the list for a while so I really must book myself in and go. Billed as the 'original underground fitness mashup' this is a dance workout with a difference. Live DJs play energising bass music as you mash it up and get your rave on! Visit www.ravercise.me for more information.
Voga - A cross between Yoga and Voguing - enough said, sounds like great fun! Find out more on their website: vogalondon.co.uk
Try out a new (or an old and forgotten) activity: A few things spring to mind here - ice-skating, roller-skating, dancing, badminton, tennis. Or why not get involved in an obstacle course just like you used to in your back garden as a kid - except adult style and a little tougher?!
Things like Tough Mudder and Dead Drop Fitness are incredibly popular these days and these themed races and intense challenges will certainly get your heart pounding and bring out the daredevil (and the secret spy) within you!
4. TEAM UP
Persuade a friend or your other half to join you: Working out with a friend or a partner is a great way to maintain motivation. If one of you is lacking the get up and go, hopefully the other one will provide the push to get you moving. Typically my husband and I try to go Spinning on a Sunday morning and it's a great way to spend time together but also make sure we commit to getting moving. Although to be fair it's pretty much Dan that has to provide the majority of the motivation!
Join a club: There are many clubs around the country for teaming up with others in order to get fit especially for things like running and cycling. Making a date with a team to go on a run or to hop on your bike can really help push you to get moving as well as be a great way to socialise.
Check out Parkrun UK who organise free weekly 5k runs all over the country (world I think in fact!) in which anyone can take part. Nike also operate a number of running clubs nationwide that are open to all. Find out more on their Facebook Page.
For cycling and socialising take a look at the brilliant www.goskyride.com a resource for finding nationwide, traffic free, social cycle rides that offers all sorts of routes and rides for whatever you're personal cycling style!
Book a few sessions with a Personal Trainer: I know this might not be an option for everyone because of the cost but if you're really struggling to find motivation, or you just generally need someone to push you that little bit further as well as advise you on your technique, then finding a good trainer could be really beneficial. Even if you just sign up for a few sessions to get you going.
As someone who had completely let her core strength go and was finding it hard to build it back up, investing in some time with a great trainer with specialist knowledge in that area has been a real help. Make sure you do your research and find someone who knows exactly what they're doing and who you trust to look after your wellbeing whilst motivating you to keep going and push yourself a little harder each time.
My sessions take place in my living room and you'll be surprised just what you can get done with a few hand weights and an exercise ball! Plus once you're feeling confident you can start to work out by yourself be that in the gym or once again in your own front room for free.
Well there we are - a little round up of thoughts and ideas that I hope might spark up your activity muscles! Plus remember all activity is good activity and concentrate on making progress in whatever way works best for you. Do you think you'll give any of these ideas a go? Or do you have any tips of your own for getting moving that you'd be happy to share? Let me know any thoughts or tips in the comments below and thanks for reading everyone.
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