Getting fit without going to the gym

Do you struggle to fit a gym membership into your schedule or budge? Don’t despair, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still get a workout and tone your body every day.

Welcome to our at-home fitness plan. It allows you to fit your workout in while you’re doing something else, and best of all, is free!

The chore challenge

Next time you’re giving your house a clean, use the time to give yourself a full-body workout and get your heart pumping. Here are a few simple exercises that you can do at home:

Vacuum squat-lunges: Rather than just merely running the vacuum cleaner over the carpet, do lunges while you push. Try holding these a moment before continuing to vacuum. Sure, your carpets may take a bit longer to clean, but your leg muscles will thank you for the workout.

Floor workout: Forget the mop and get on your hands and knees with a rag to work out those arm muscles.

Washing-folding calf-lifts: As you fold clothes, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and balance on the balls of your feet. Lift your body up to your toes and back down again while you fold. This will strengthen your calves and help take your mind off the boringness of folding washing.

Dishwashing thigh toner: While at the sink, stand up straight and lift your right leg out to the side, then lower it. Do this 10 to 12 times with the right leg, then repeat with the left leg. Try not to lean as you lift.

Clothes peg core: Put your peg and clothes basket on the ground when you hang out the washing and engage your core each time you bend down to pick up an item or pegs – this is a great way to protect your back too.

Using your own mini personal trainer

If you’ve got a young child, then there’s no need to fork out on personal training sessions! Head to the playground and your mini PT will make sure you workout until you’re exhausted with these ideas:

Swing lifts: Head out to the backyard swingset, or the local park, for a set of swing lifts. This exercise works best with baby swings. Stand in front of your child as they sit in the swing (face to face). Rather than just pushing the swing and letting go, hold on to the swing and push your child as high as you can hold the swing above your head, then keep her there as they giggle wildly. Slowly bring her down to rub noses and then push her back up again.

Seesaw squats: This exercise is great for your thighs and triceps. With your child on the other end of the seesaw, squat facing the seesaw and place both hands on the front sides of the empty seat, thumbs on top, fingers underneath. Point your elbows out and then push the seesaw down and up, repeatedly. Keep your knees over your toes and your back straight to prevent back and knee strain.

Hot tip: If the seesaw is low and you feel confident with your balance, put one foot on the empty seat and push down and up to work your legs.

Monkey bar chin-ups: While your child is playing nearby, use the monkey bars to give your arms a good workout.

Hot tip: Try both overhand and underhand chin-ups for a full workout.

Slide stairs challenge: With your kids close by, tackle the slide steps for a good calf and leg workout. Climb the stairs up and down for at least 5 min at a time and then repeat.

Another great stair workout is to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart on the edge of the step facing the ascending steps, then position your toes on the edge, so your heels hang off. Lift and lower your weight up and down off the balls of your feet as you go from tiptoes to heels down.

Hot tip: Climb steps with your tiptoes to work your calves, or point your heels down to work the back of your legs.

Everyday workouts

Your own home offers an array of workout opportunities. Here are some examples:

Climbing stairs: If you live in a split level or multi-storey home, you’ll already get your daily workout just by rushing up and down stairs all day long!

Gardening: Lugging bags of soil and potted plants, as well as raking, hoeing, and weeding work all sorts of muscles.

Playing with your kids: Chasing runaway toddlers and playing in the backyard are fun ways to get fit. Enjoy a run-around at the park or sprint-walk relay races in your driveway. Pace changes like walk-run-walk work your body better than walking or running at a steady pace.

Written by Sophie Aaron

An avid yogi and free spirit who, this babe loves all things health and fitness related. When she isn’t eating something strange and healthy looking, you’ll find her thrift shopping or getting out in nature.

Favourite place she’s travelled to: India

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