Sport is just one route to fitness
13 May 2020
By Hayley Carmichael
If we are fit and healthy our bodies are best equipped to look after us in times like this when the world faces a global pandemic. But we can get fit without the need for sports…
Improve physical fitness with ease...
Many people would like to be in better shape physically but lack any real desire to do much about it. Not everyone is cut out to join a gym or take up a team sport like football or basketball. Even the solo sporting efforts like kayaking, or jogging can be off putting for some folk.
But fear not. A lack of interest in all things sporty does not mean you are doomed to low levels of physical fitness. We have discovered several ways to burn calories, get the blood pumping and tone those muscles that can be done as part of your normal day with no need set foot near a gym or playing field.
Five ways to build fitness into your daily routine
If you are looking for inspiration to get your fitness levels up we have five great ideas that won’t trouble your aversion to anything sport based!
Fitness tip one – don’t sit still
It is calculated that being a bit of a fidget can burn up to 350 calories a day. Tapping, pacing, shifting about in your seat all add up to micro movements that require energy and eat up calories without you even trying very hard.
A standing desk can be another way to build some fidget time into your day – you use more energy standing than sitting and it can help improve posture too.
Fitness tip two – walk the walk
We can’t emphasis enough how truly amazing walking is. Really. Not only is it free (and allowed in these covid times) but it creates no pollution and gets your blood pumping and endorphins flowing.
You simply use it to get from A to B instead of a car/bus/train and voila, you are improving your fitness just going about your day. If distance makes it practical, it is the ideal way to commute.
Walking can be fun too, have you tried a geo-cache? It’s like a treasure hunt outdoors that transforms your walk into a mission to discover hidden gems!
Our #takeawalk pledge is perfect to help you build more walking into your day – you can make it here.
Fitness tip three – climb the stairs
While the lift may be a tempting offer, if you are able, take the stairs and your body will thank you.
Climbing the stairs is a more vigorous form of exercise than walking, it increases cardiovascular fitness and gives leg muscles a work out too and helps boost bone density.
Amazingly, if you spend just 7 minutes per day climbing stairs over a 10 year span you can reduce the risk of a heart attack by 50%.
Fitness tip four – clean your home
While most people don’t relish the prospect of scrubbing the bath or mopping the kitchen it generally needs doing at some point each week. So you’ll be pleased to know that doing it is a sneaky way to have a free workout.
A study by the Lancet revealed that housework can help you stay heart healthy. The important bit is to do it with some vigour so you get a bit sweaty and/or out of breath; that way it counts towards your recommended daily exercise. Hoover, rake leaves, mow the lawn, polish the bookshelves, scrub the bath, mop the floors and change the bedding with energy and purpose and you will reap the rewards.
Fitness tip five – shopping
While the trip to the shops has taken on a different flavour during the pandemic, it can still be a great way to improve fitness without really noticing.
The trick is to carry your shopping home – which means no car. The benefits are many; you aren’t adding to air pollution, and shopping with local smaller suppliers may be more tempting than walking to a further away supermarket but either way you are walking too (see tip two). If you really do have to drive to do your shop then park as far away as possible and walk your shop back to the car rather than use the trolley (admittedly this works best with a weekly shop otherwise it may be too much to handle).
Carrying a load of shopping helps build muscle and bone strength, works your core muscles and burns calories too. All while you are doing a simple weekly chore – win-win.