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How to get fit without the gym

The first glimmers of sunshine have started to break through the clouds, and as thoughts tentatively turn to summer, you might start considering that long-neglected gym membership. The pressure to be “beach ready” means that many people will splash out on expensive membership fees, even though there are already many ways to keep fit without the need to pay out.

Lady joggingPhoto: Flickr.

Go for a run – it is that simple. All you need is a pair of good trainers and a motivational playlist. Find a route near to you that you like, and as time goes on push it further and further. Setting yourself a goal like a charity run is also a great way to keep you inspired. As an added plus, this way you get all the benefits of being out in the fresh air rather than in a sweaty gym.

Do a home exercise video. These are effective as you can work up a sweat in the comfort of your own home. There are also lots of routines that offer a fun alternative to working out, like samba dancing and kickboxing. If you are going for a celebrity-sponsored workout, pick wisely. It is surprising how quickly you will get infuriated with chirpy encouragement coming from the other side of your TV screen.

Do home weight training. Getting yourself a routine of home stretches and workouts is easy, and there are loads on the internet. Find one that suits you, and all you need is a bit of floor space. You can use food tins or filled water bottles as weights if you do not have any of your own. This is also a great way of fitting a workout in if you are pushed for time. Just make your way through as many squats, push-ups and crunches as you can before morning lectures.

Go for a walk. If you are going somewhere you would normally travel to by bus, leave yourself the time and walk instead. It will save you money, and you will be burning calories without thinking. If you have got a spare hour at the weekend, go for a walk around the lake – it is beautiful in the sunshine and will help clear your thoughts. The same also counts when shopping – retail therapy is also a great cardio workout. You will not even notice how far you have walked in a few hours wandering around Chapelfield.

Buy a skipping rope. With this old playground favourite, you could actually burn around 135 calories from jumping rope. It is a great cardio workout and tones up your arms, stomach and legs. Best of all, you can pick up a skipping rope for under £10! It is simple, quick and lets you relive your childhood – much more fun than sitting in a gym. It is also easy to transport; no more going home and missing out on a week’s worth of workouts. Just stick your rope in your suitcase and keep going.

19/03/2013

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