We challenged busy mum and blogger Michelle from The Purple Pumpkin Blog to try some simple exercises for a week using just her living room and the great outdoors – no gym in sight. Here’s how she got on
1. Turn housework and chores into exercises
Run or cycle with the dog instead of walking, carry your shopping up two stairs at a time and set time targets for slow household cleaning tasks – guaranteed to work up a sweat.
2. Work out with video games
Burn calories dancing around your living room with Just Dance or try the Nintendo Wii Fit, a favourite with Michelle.
It really didn’t feel like I was exercising.” she said. “My favourite was the ski slalom game which tests balance – it’s challenging but fun and ideal if you only have 10 minutes to spare.”
“There are lots of other games according to your fitness level and the scores are also recorded, so I can keep track and improve them over time.”
3. Use your body weight to work out
The plank can strengthen your core – lie face-down while resting on your forearms and push up off the ground, holding the position for as long as you can.
To tone up your legs and bottom, try plié squats: hands on hips, feet turned out, align your knees to your toes, squat then repeat.
4. Exercise through TV adverts
Squeeze in a few sets of sit-ups, bicep curls or tricep dips (using the sofa as support), during each three-minute interval – that’s roughly 10 solid minutes for a regular hour-long TV show.
“I got up and did a quick marching on the spot, side-steps and kicks to get my heart rate going – I felt super energised afterwards,” said Michelle.
“By the end of the day, I managed almost 30 minutes of exercising without really noticing.”
5. Walking for health
Walking needs no membership or specialist equipment, and can be done anywhere. Make a stroll more exciting by using fitness apps or listening to podcasts, audiobooks or music.
“I love walking – it’s easy, low impact and I do it most days. I take my camera with me, which makes the walk much more interesting,” said Michelle.
6. Try online yoga
Get healthy using tutorials on YouTube from yoga masters around the world. YouTube yoga pros like Dr Melissa West and Lesley Fightmaster are a great place to start; also check out the free video classes on Yoga.com and download the Daily Yoga app on Android or iOS.
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