Exercise doesn’t always have to entail the gym. Everyday activities can give you the workout and toning you need. The bonus: No equipment or special time needed.

  • Divide it up: Most experts recommend at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. That amounts to just over 20 minutes a day. If you can’t even find that time, break it up into chunks. Walk around the house while doing chores such as dusting, folding laundry or putting away groceries.
  • Take more steps:  Walking 10,000 steps a day is said to significantly improve your health. So put one foot in front of the other to build stamina and excess calories. Use an app like pedometer to stay motivated.
  • Kitchen drama:  Practice your ballet moves when waiting for the milk to boil. Stand in front of the counter and place your hands on it for balance. Stand on your toes to work your calves, or do plies by turning out your toes and lowering your knees over your toes. Aim for a set of 10.
  • TV break:  With most of us watching about two hours of TV every day, aim to get in your quota of movement by walking or doing floor exercises as soon as the commercials come on.
  • Sofa squatting: Use your sofa for something other than lounging. Squat down until your butt touches the sofa, tighten the muscles around your core and stand back up again.
  • Try a chair dip: At work, take a break every other hour. Sit on the chair, your hands holding the edge of the seat. Move ahead so your butt is on the edge. Lower yourself off the chair and bend your elbows.
  • Stair push-ups: Angled push-ups on the stairway will strengthen arms. Place hands shoulder-width apart on a step and keep your body at a 45-degree angle. Keep your body straight and abs tight, lower yourself slowly, and push back up.
  • Intense bursts: Pump up the volume all of a sudden. While walking, make an effort to step up your fitness level and raise your heart rate. Simple to-do: Jog up the stairs in the evening and then lunge side to side before you enter the home.
  • Sing along: Singing burns 130 calories an hour so sing as you work. Sing and tighten your core as you do daily chores like vacuuming and mopping. Exaggerate your movements and change hands to give both sides of your body a workout.

 

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Written by Meenakshi S.

Meenakshi S.

“Fitness begins at home, the food we eat and daily core activities like sleep and mind, body and spirit relaxation,” says nutritionist and physiotherapist Meenakshi S. Along with a master’s degree in physiotherapy from Oxford College, Bangalore and MD in alternative medicines, Meenakshi is also a child birth educator, pre and post-natal fitness expert and ACSM health and fitness specialist. Attributing the root cause of most lifestyle diseases to today’s sedentary pace, she shares HealthifyMe’s vision that healthy habits must be incorporated into your existing lifestyle. “Do not think of diet and exercise as sacrifice, make it a habit and enjoy it instead,” she says, recommending small changes to ease the mind and body towards a more wholesome life. Being skinny isn’t a sign of being fit or healthy, says Meenakshi, of the opinion that it’s important to test other physical fitness parameters like muscle strength, endurance and body composition. She’s charged for change – are you?

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