Fitness Without Trying

We spend a lot of time sitting down — on the work commute, in the office and back home slumped in front of the TV or games console. With the constant sitting and lack of physical movement, energy levels slump and come 4pm it’s Snickers O’Clock for that quick fix boost that fizzles out by 6pm. Time is limited with the 9–5, travelling, social engagements and family commitments. So where is the time to get exercise and reap the physical and mental health benefits (according to the NHS, exercise has proven to decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 50% and depression by up to 30%)?

If you can’t afford the gym or the treadmill just bores you, here are 5 little ways to get exercise into your daily routine which takes little to no effort and often costs nothing:

Running

This is one of the most popular free exercises around. For those who are not inclined to dedicate much time to running, do daily little sprints at intervals of your commute — run rather than walk to the bus stop or train station and feel the endorphins rush!

Walking

A Sunday afternoon favourite of mine. Also a great lunch break activity that will help you to feel more refreshed when you return to your desk. Walking also offers the opportunity to make the most of your nearest park or woodland and take time to appreciate nature and its calming effect away from the urban noise and chaos.

Grocery Shopping

I don’t do online grocery orders. A trip to my local Lidl involves a 15 minute walk there followed by the same journey back but with the added weight of shopping bags laden with tins and bottles. With a particularly heavy load (but avoid overdoing it and risking a back injury — know your limits), set yourself challenges such as carrying the bags to the nearest lamp post before stopping for a moment and moving again. A great toning up and strength building exercise without a personal trainer.

Dance

There is a great choice of drop-in dance classes, from classical ballet to breakdance, in dance studios and community centres. Classes are ideal if you want to learn a particular style and drop-ins make it easier for time-pressured students to commit when they can.This is also a great opportunity to meet new people (classes can be full of a diverse range of ages and backgrounds) or something to do with like-minded friends.

If classes are too intimidating, dance is something you can do for absolutely free. Put your favourite upbeat tune on and dance around the living room like you’re Beyoncé (or insert preferred pop diva here) when nobody’s around or learn a routine from a youtube video. Games such as Dance Central Spotlight are great dance-based cardio workouts, as well as a bit of a giggle, which you can do from as little as 10 minutes to an hour.

Sex

Even if you’re not particularly acrobatic in the sack (or on the sofa, in the shower, etc), NHS studies have shown that sex in general is a great stress buster. That cheerful person who skips into the office on a miserable Monday morning? Yep, they’re getting some.

Everyone’s different and tension relieving pleasure can be sought with or without penetration. For those who enjoy penetration, some women may find that it’s also a pretty effective abdominal workout — My former belly dance teacher would compare some stomach moves to those used during intercourse.

Sex can also make the skin glow and the cheeks blush by improving the blood circulation — Beats a makeover at a cosmetics counter any day.

From lifestyle blog Paint It Fuchsia

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