We all have commitments that can get in the way of exercise. Be it work, exams, or a new series on Netflix. But even when we manage to carve time out of our hectic schedules there are still excuses that can keep us out of the gym. “Gyms are far!” “Gyms are boring!” “Gyms are expensive!”
What if I told you that the most important equipment needed for a fit body is motivation? Everyone knows that greatness starts within your mind and having the belief that you can succeed. Similarly physical greatness starts with desire, desire turns into motivation and motivation drives action. So whether your goal is to lose fat, get stronger or move faster (or all of the above) you can do this all without the gym.
Do you even lift?
There is a myth that to get stronger you need weights. But contrary to popular belief, your own body can provide all the resistance needed for strength training. Bodyweight exercises also help you to gain better balance and flexibility.
Push ups, lunges, squats and planks are great building blocks for strength. Each one of these basic exercises can be modified to suit individual fitness levels and stop you from getting bored. For example the static straight armed plank can be transformed into a dynamic spider plank.
The idea of following a rigid routine may not appeal to you, but there are so many other ways to strengthen your muscles through more natural movements. For the more adventurous, rock climbing is a thrilling total body workout. This activity literally takes you to new heights as it challenges your core, legs, arms and back. There are indoor facilities that allow you to develop your climbing skills in a safe environment. Once you are more confident you can also venture on climbing expeditions, scaling walls and mountains all around the world.
For those that prefer to keep their feet closer to the ground, cycling and rollerblading are great ways to explore new areas while working on your cardiovascular fitness. Although gym machines can help your muscles practice the motion of these exercises, they cannot mimic the benefits of the outdoors. Exercising in nature not only allows you to soak up an extra dose of vitamin D but is also shown to be more effective in reducing stress levels.
Save time, get results
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) offers similar results of long workouts without the same time commitment. HIIT is characterised by its short rest times and intense bursts of activity. The activities can range from punching to burpees. However for this to be effective you are required to give concentrated efforts at a higher intensity than steady state cardio. For example sprinting for 30 seconds and walking for 15 seconds, then repeating this round 4 to 8 times. The beauty of HIIT is that it can be done absolutely anywhere. You can do it in your hotel room, front room or back garden.
Time ticks on regardless of whether you are working on your goals or not. Don’t let expensive gym memberships or tedious workouts hold you back from a healthy lifestyle. There are so many ways for you to live your fittest life now. So get up, lace up and get on with it!