Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Top Tips to Getting Fit For Free: No Gym Needed

Let’s face it; going to the gym isn’t for everyone. In fact, 80% of Britains don’t do the recommended 3 hours a week of planned exercise recommended by their government and 40% of Americans are obese. While there’s a raft of research looking at diet and exercise and an army of guru’s who make their living selling programs that will get you thin, the western world seems to be getting fatter.
Top Tips to Getting Fit For Free: No Gym Needed
Many people start exercise programs and stop before reaching their goals. There are many reasons for this; time, will power, injury, chocolate cake. For some a punishing workout regime, combined with a strict diet - while recommended - is just too much and they give up.

There is another way

The fundamental game in the battle against the bulge is energy balance, with the final objective to burn more calories than you consume. Believe it or not, you don’t have to put yourself through a punishing exercise regime to achieve this.

New research is finding that by simply doing more physical activity during the day, you can burn more calories and become healthier. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, or NEAT, is the practice of moving more through the course of daily activity. Research is showing that by simply walking more each day, you can double your metabolic activity and burn around 500 calories more than you would if you were sitting all day and then getting on a stationary bike for 20 minutes. That’s just from taking the stairs over the lift every time you need to get somewhere at work; standing during a discussion, rather than sitting or walking home instead of taking the subway.

What other activities increase your NEAT?


This activity isn’t as refined and relaxed as it looks. Digging engages the whole body, while weeding and planting asks you to hold a squatted position for more than just a few seconds. A few hours of gardening in the sun will leave you feeling sweaty, yet satisfied. It’s also a goal orientated activity.


Yeah, I hate this one too, but I have to say that running the vacuum cleaner around my flat is quite strenuous. So is cleaning the bath. And the oven. It’s not called elbow grease for nothing.


This one of the few exercises in life where man and machine work together to go places. It can be your commute to work and your quality time with the kids. It can be your trip to the supermarket (bring a rucksack).


The constant back and forth of distance swimming can be laborious and while it’s important for cardio vascular fitness, it isn’t the only thing you can do in the water.

When I was young my Dad and I had a game. He would lift me out of the water and throw me as far as possible and I would swim back to him for more. He’d do it about 20 times before getting tired. The average eight year old weighs 60lbs, 27 kg, or 4.2 stone. My Dad never went to the gym, but he loved throwing my Sister and I around the swimming pool at the weekend.

I’m certainly not against targeted exercise and training for results. But if you’re someone who finds it hard to keep up an exercise regime because it’s painful, time consuming, or both, think about shifting your focus toward physical activity you enjoy. Do it every day. Use every opportunity available to you to move.

Maybe, one day, in a year’s time, you’ll realise you’ve lost a lot of weight without really noticing.

Guest post By Sally Shaws, a freelance writer interested in healthy living and keeping fit. She also regularly blogs about the clinical trials UK volunteering process as a means to boost your income alongside her health and fitness interests.


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