If you’re busier than a bee, you probably don’t have time to even think about the gym, let alone actually get there. The gym itself can be vastly intimidating, and if you go alone, it can be worse. So, why not skip the gym altogether and workout from home? Here are some ways you can keep yourself fit and healthy without even stepping foot in the gym.
Walk Your Dog
If you can’t squeeze in time for the gym, why not take your dog for an extra long walk? You can take it slow but take it further. Rather than just going around the block, why not take it an extra two? It won’t just be your body that’s grateful, but your dog too. So, reach up and grab those pet supplies, and take your furry mutt for an extra long walk after work today! You can take your dog to a park, and sneak some fitness in for free. Andre Slade from Free Outdoor Fitness offers the best parks across Australia and New Zealand for working out. "Whether you're complementing your current gym or group training membership, looking for fill-in training options when away from home, or you've decided that outdoors are the only way to go, there are loads of free outdoor training options available. Whether it's equipment-based training at outdoor gyms, fitness stations and fitness trails you're looking for, or it's free yoga classes, ocean pools or running clubs - there are hundreds of opportunities to train every day, in nearly every way." Find the best place to work out near you by following Free Outdoor Fitness on Instagram.
Clean Your House
Did you know that you can burn up to 170 calories per hour just by doing some light cleaning? That’s almost an entire Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut, (which is 190 calories). You can watch an episode of Game of Thrones, clean your dishes and burn 100 calories all at once. I bet Daenerys couldn’t do that. Scratch that, of course, she could. Even the smallest tasks, like vacuuming, can burn 100 calories per hour. Smaller tasks, like changing your sheets and pillowcases can burn up to 70 calories per hour. So if you’ve been meaning to clean your house for ages but you just can’t convince yourself, remember that you can basically get a workout at the same time.
Park Bench Workouts
You don't have to go to the gym to get your body pumping, you can get yourself up and going using just a park bench! Head trainer for Step Into Life Craigieburn, Veronica Cipriani offers her workout tips for those who want to work out, using just a park bench.
10 minutes of jogging
High knees, heel flicks, etc..
Perform 10 reps of each exercise
Repeat for 3 rounds
1. Step ups
2. Tricep dips
3. Single leg lunge
4. V sit bicycles
5. Push ups" Find out more about Step Into Life by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
If you're enjoying the park, why not try some of these tricks, thanks to Andrew McKee from Personally Trained. "Map out a walk or a run in your local streets or park. Time how long it takes to run around the block, or complete 4 laps of an oval (most overs are approx 300m+ around) so if you complete 4 laps it would equate to 1km run. When you register the time, next time you go to complete the task try to improve your time." Find out more about Personally Trained by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
For those who have injuries that are preventing you from working out, don't fret. Julia Chai from Minds Ease can offer you tips to keep yourself fit without the risk of further injuries. "you can do 20 minutes of Qigong at home in the garden in the park. Great for people who have had injuries and know they want to move but are scared of hurting themselves again. Can be done standing sitting or lying on back. There are plenty of videos here is one I made that can be followed. Qigong moves gently stretch open the joints and allows for lengthening between the spines vertebra decompressing them. With each long deep breath, you take the energetic field is rebalanced and joints re-align. The body loves rhythmic movements done at a speed where observation awareness and learning can take place rather than mindless frenetics. Norman Doidge has looked into Taichi which is a sub branch of Qigong and outlined its benefits it his book on Neuroplasticity. Exercises typically involve gentle stretching, gathering, releasing, spiralling and condensing actions. The pace is slow so as to avoid tens ion in the muscles and to allow full unity between the different parts of the body and intent (grounding you in the Now). The benefit is that the body burns fat becomes more oxygenated (less acidic) and chronic tension stuckness or stiffness is released leading to greater suppleness, flexibility and ease of movement." Find out more about Minds Ease by following them on Facebook.
Keep Your Dental Hygiene On Pointe
You can always find a way to sneak exercise into your routine, even if you don’t realise it. In the morning, when you brush your teeth, why not include some these moves in with your current routine? Lizzy Williamson from Two Minute Moves offers great advice for those who are busy to get out to the gym. “I am constantly recommending this workout to people who feel they have too much going on to get exercise into their day. My guess is that you probably don’t leave the house unless you’ve brushed your teeth? Okay, so let’s take this ingrained habit and add on a new one with some killer moves for your thighs. Not just the front of your thighs either: these moves involve some serious activation of your inner thighs, an often neglected area. If you need some help with balance, hold onto your bathroom sink. Keep going with these moves until your two minutes are up.
Grand Plié x10
A fancy ballet term for a full bending of the knees. Stand with your toes turned out and feet apart, wide enough so that your thighs will come close to being parallel with the floor when you bend at your knees (but don’t worry if they don’t go that far straight away!)
1. Bend your knees over your toes and try to slightly scoop your bottom under so that it doesn’t stick out.
2. Straighten your legs back to starting position.
Thigh Dancing x20
Okay, this is kind of a crazy move, but it should give you (and anyone you live with) a bit of a laugh. It targets your inner thigh muscles better than any other move I know. Get into the deep bend position of a grand plié.
1. Bring both knees in towards the centre of your body.
2 Open them back into your starting position. Once you get the hang of this move you can go as fast as you like
Grand Plié Heel Raises x10
You’ll be feeling the burn by now, but finish off this workout by staying in your deep bend.
1. Raise both heels off the floor together.
2. Lower both heels together.” Find out more about Two Minute Moves by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
When you begin weight training, you should consider the different types of exercises. Chiropractor, Dr Miki Humphrey, recommends this. “When weight training, I recommend functional resistance training over machine based exercises. I’ve found that functional resistance training is a great way to build strength and function without the creating the muscle imbalances and injury patterns seen with machine based weight training and chronic cardio sessions. Our bodies are designed to push, pull, twist, lunge, squat and jump. Functional movements focus on how the body is designed to be used in everyday movements rather than working certain muscles in isolation. Isolation exercises ignore how the body naturally functions and unless you dream of becoming a bodybuilder I think it is better to focus on functional, full body training. This type of training will help to improve strength, balance, mobility and get you looking lean and fit for summer. Some examples of functional movements are below.
- Push Ups
- Pull Ups
- Box Jumps”
Find out more about Dr Miki Humphrey by following her on Instagram and Facebook.
A Little Can Go A Long Way
You don't have to work out for hours to reap the rewards. It can take only a few minutes for your body to feel the benefits. Physiotherapist, Kusal Goonewardena from Elite Akademy offers his advice for those who only have a few minutes to work up a sweat. "I initially designed this gym-free three-minute workout for people who were on the road and wanted something they could easily do in their hotel room.
Research shows that working out for as little as three minutes at high intensity can have greater impact than longer forms of moderate exercise:
• The Norwegian University of Science and Technology conducted a landmark study, demonstrating the benefits of high-intensity training
• The ABC’s Catalyst program showed surprising results from short exercise routines
• And of course, Dr Michael Mosely has explored this as well
While three minutes may sound small, it is not easy: the key is pushing yourself to 85% of your capacity – think of 85% as one step below going flat out. Going 100% only invites injury, so take it back a step.
The three-minute workout involves:
30 seconds of Shadow Boxing
30 seconds of Push Ups
30 seconds of Squat Jumps
30 seconds of High Knee Running (on the spot)
30 seconds of Star Jumps
30 seconds of Sit Ups
Using these exercises gives you a balanced workout, impacting the core, upper and lower body, and the aerobic and anaerobic systems – no gym required!
They can be done in any order. If you need to take a short breather between each 30 second set, that’s ok." Find out more about Kusal by following him on Facebook.
Be Your Own Gym
You don’t need weights to get your body nice and toned; you can use your own body weight! Jennifer Gale from Fit ‘n’ Fifty Plus offers her advice for getting toned without weights. “ In our high tech world, we often forget that some of the best improvements in our physical health and fitness can be had just by using your own body weight, with some simple bodyweight exercises. Not only are they the easiest place to start they cover off a multitude of beginning excuses.
Bodyweight exercises mean there is:
No need to buy expensive items, or in fact any items at all really.
No need for expensive gym memberships.
No excuses when you are away from home or it is too hot, too cold, raining or snowing because they can be done just about anywhere.
They are also a really good place to start if you’ve been out of exercise for a while.
To get you started I’ve put together a quick circuit you can do anywhere anytime.
Of course, all of the general exercise rules apply…..
Warm up first,
Take a moment at the end to cool down and
Make sure you stretch EVERY SINGLE TIME.” Find out more about Fit ‘n’ Fifty Plus by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Contrary to what you might think, Tabata is not a type of bread. Penny Tomkinson from Step Into Life Ocean Grove explains what Tabata is, and why it's so great. "Tabata training is a high-intensity interval workout (HIIT) featuring exercises that last 4 minutes. Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a group of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.
A Tabata program consists of a set of exercises repeated 8 x; 20secs of work followed by 10 secs of rest. During the 20secs of work you work as hard as you can, you then get 10secs to rest. The 20secs seem like an eternity and the 10secs fly by. You can do virtually any exercises you like - this sample program uses bodyweight exercises however you can add variations by using medicine balls, dumbbells, kettlebells, fitballs etc. The only equipment you need is a timer; you can download a Tabata app or use a timer such as a gymboss. I like to change from upper body exercises to lower body exercises after each 4 minutes to allow my muscles to recover, however this isn’t essential. Allow a minute or two recovery between each 4 minutes to get a drink and prepare for the next round; this will depend on your current fitness level. Before commencing the program prepare your body by doing a warm up; include some walking or running, arm circles, punching up in the air, squatting down and touching the ground etc. at the end of the program bring your heart rate down by walking and make sure you stretch." Find out more about Step Into Life by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
So, When To Work Out?
It seems almost impossible to figure out the right time to start your workout routine. Dean Haynes offers his ideal weekly routine.
"Monday: cardio long intervals 5x3min medium pace, 1min recovery pace
Tuesday: body weight circuit: squat, push up, V u, 2x15mins, 2min rest between - cycle through 15 reps each
Wednesday: cardio shorter intervals 20 x 30s on 30s off - or rest
Thursday: body weight circuit: lunge, commandos, inverted bar row 2x 10mins 2min rest between - climb as high as possible starting from 2 reps, 4,6,8.. etc on each exercise cycling through
Saturday: cardio long run, designated distance- record time
Find out more about Dean Haynes by following him on Facebook and Instagram.
Push Yourself A Bit Further
For those who want to push themselves that little bit harder, why not follow Brett Muller's tips? Tight schedule? Little to no equipment? Want a fun workout? No problem. Try this simple yet super effective 4-minute Tabata workout, on the floor. You’ll need a stopwatch. It’s going to be 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds recovery. Repeat that 8 times over.
• 20 seconds Ab Crunch, 10 seconds rest
The first exercise we're just doing a simple ab crunch. Put your hands to your temple and bring your chin to your knees. Slowly reduce back keeping your lower back on the ground and repeat, repeat, repeat.
• 20 seconds Plank, 10 seconds rest
So your next position is going to be on the reverse, so you're going to flip over onto your front, elbows underneath your shoulders, curl your toes, push up so you've got a surfboard long back and hold that. It’s just 20 secs guys. If you need too, if you're hurting in your lower back, come done to your knees but, challenge, stay on your toes.
• 20 seconds Opposite Knee to Elbow, 10 seconds rest
Your next one is your opposite knee, opposite elbow which looks very similar to your last one. It’s going to be on your back, knees and ankles starting there, hands on your temple... elbow to knee, elbow to knee. Now if this starts to hurt your back you can just tap your feet on the floor.
• 20 seconds Mountain Climbers, 10 seconds rest
You should be getting hot and sweaty by now so this one we're flipping back to our front onto your hands and toes, driving your knees into your chest and then once you've got a nice secure torso lets go into speed it up.
• 20 seconds Out’n’Ins, 10 seconds rest
Let's go onto our back again. We're going to lift our feet, hands extended behind your head, then crunch it all in, take it all out, in out in out in out. Now if this starts to hurt your back you can do a regressed version which is just toes down.
• 20 seconds Left Side Plank, 10 seconds rest
This exercise now you can just do on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Laying side-on to the ground lifting your hips into the air. Now with this one if your hips start to sink you have to keep it up. Imagine someone's giving you a side wedgy.
• 20 seconds Reach & Grab, 10 seconds rest
Now for our second last exercise, we're on our back again and we're doing the reach and grab. So ankles in the air, reach up above your head one hand at a time as if you were climbing a rope.
• 20 seconds Right Side Plank, 10 seconds rest
The last exercise you have archived on the opposite side. You're taking your hips off the ground again on a side plank. Remember to keep those hips off the ground like someone’s giving you a side wedgy and hold, hold, hold." Find out more about Brett Muller by following him on Facebook and Instagram.
You don’t need the fancy equipment to get fit, you can get fit all by yourself! You don’t even have to dedicate specific time to working out, just live your life and stay active!