Never let your circumstances be a weight that pulls you down; use them to be a weight that helps you develop your strengths.
The sad reality of society today is many of us want to start exercising and eating well; we want to join the gym, eat healthier and look good. One of the major problems I have heard many complain of is how expensive it is to join a gym. Girls like myself, who want to train and exercise in female only environments, find it even more difficult given the limited places there are available that offer this service. Many of us have loads of commitment: work, kids, school, and university. It is not always feasible to find time to travel and pay for an expensive gym to work out. We often see motivational quotes telling us to be more productive with our time; productivity does not mean the day will have more than 24 hours!
I have come up with 10 easy ways to build up habits that will add to your fitness. These are great for those who are starting out their fitness journey and are equally beneficial to those who want to develop a fit lifestyle outside of the gym! All are feasible, easy and on a budget. Pick one each week or fortnight and develop it slowly into your way of life! Let me know what you choose and how you get on!
10 Tips To Get Into Tip, Top Shape!
1. Change of route!
If you are one of those people who takes a bus to work or school, why not walk instead? If not to and fro, maybe just on your way home. If the journey is too far to do this, perhaps get off a few stop earlier so you get a 5-10 minute walk out. Gradually build it up so you are getting off earlier each fortnight to help increase the amount of walking you do. Equally, be honest with yourself if you are a driver; do you really need to drive to the corner shop or cinema or post office? Save the petrol and kill some calories!
2. Stairs vs. lift!
Do not be that person who takes the lift/ elevator for one floor! Walk the stairs regardless of what you are carrying and how many floors you are going up (though if you are carrying a piano, I think the lift is a valid means of transport!). This is a great bit of exercise that does not require much effort; sometimes the time it takes me to wait for the lift at university, I could have walked up and down the stairs 5 times!
3. Do your chores!
Turn those daily chores into a workout! Give yourself a set time for cleaning the whole kitchen or bathroom without taking any rest. Sprint your way through washing the car; set a personal best and aim to break it each time. Never forgetting the actual cleaning part of course!
4. Do a good deed!
So many of us have elderly neighbours, often whom live on their own. In conjunction with number 3, offer to do their cleaning, gardening or shopping for them. If you have no elderly neighbours, offer to babysit for your family and friends. Kids do nothing but keep you on your toes. Do a good deed and crop that waist line!
Maybe not my best invented word, but use some of your social activities as a form of exercise. If you have a games console, buy games that require you to get up and be on your feet [would insert examples if I was a games geek, evidently not!]. This is a great way of bring social interaction and exercise together. Get your children, partner, siblings or friends on board!
6. Home sweet home!
There are loads of workouts that can be found on youtube – easy, simple and suitable for beginners.This is great for those who want to save on money or have not got a suitable gym near them. One of my favourites is Fitness Blender; check them out and see what you think. It is also a good idea to invest in some basic home exercise essentials, such as a stability ball and exercise mat, to push your exercise one step further. Start of with simple workouts that you can easily fit into your schedule and build on that.
We really are busy people and, on some occasions, can not find enough time for a full workout. Sometimes, I do 3 sets of 10 squats in my kitchen whilst I am waiting for my eggs to boil. In the adverts between your favourite TV show, do continuous jumping jacks. For each shirt and trousers you iron, do 5 push ups. Blending in your exercise with daily activities can make it easier to make exercise workouts seem less daunting and time consuming. A mansion is not built in one day; slow progress is better than none.
8. The great outdoors!
Our best gym is indeed free. Become a lover of the outdoors and go for a run or walk in your local park. If you have any interesting walking trails or hikes in your local area or somewhere easy to get to, do it! Organise a day trip with friends to places further out – another great way to fit-alise!
9. Car park tragedy!
Those who drive are lucky – no smelly armpits on the train or bus. Though, amongst drivers there is a deep desire to have the parking spot closest to their destination. STOP! Inconvenience yourself and park the furthest away you can. Force yourself to walk with your 10 bags of shopping to the corner of the car park. Sweat off the calories before you even eat them!
10. Back to class!
Look for local fitness classes – zumba, yoga, gymnastics, karate, kickboxing. Find groups that go different sports. There are so many different activities you could be part of; be active, be cool and get involved!
Final, important words: Do things you enjoy, be happy and don’t push yourself too far. The body has limits, know yourself and build from there! Though looking at other people’s achievements is great for motivation, be balanced in how you take things on board; do not belittle yourself due to other people’s success and do not pressure yourself to obtain the same. Enjoy your fitness journey and take small steps to build sustainable habits! Also, have fun 🙂
About the Author
Based in London, Aishah is a medical student who is due to complete her studies next year insh’Allah. Aside from her studies, she likes to blog on anything related to personal development of sisters including productivity, fitness and health. Connect with her through her blog www.grainsandgains.com
**This article is an original Grains and Gains post, published with permission by the author.