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Exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do for your general health and wellbeing. But let’s be completely honest – there are some of us who just do not enjoy it no matter how hard we try. We know that it releases endorphins and supposedly makes us feel great but no matter how many hours we pound it at the gym and regardless of how often we go for a run around the park, it just never feels fun.
How to get fitter without going to the gym
If you’re quite certain that you’re a gym-phobe but still have a desire to be the healthiest, fittest version of yourself, there are still a few good things you can do for your body. Of course, none of these things will leave you with a six pack or 5% body fat, but consistently taking small positive steps can make a significant impact to how you feel in the long run.
Improve your diet
We know you know this one but we can’t discount the important of improving your diet to boost your health and fitness levels. It’s the most important factor when it comes to fitness – you could spend hours every day in the gym but if you’re cramming in the doughnuts and pizzas when you get home, it won’t make any difference to your health. Try cut down on your consumption of processed foods, and foods with a lot of salt or sugar. Try to eat more vegetables and drink plenty of water as a good starting point.
Improve your posture
Bring more awareness to your posture when you sit and stand. Having a good posture not only makes you look taller and slimmer but keeps your bones and joints in the correct alignment and ensures your muscles are being used properly. It can help prevent neck or back pain in later life and promotes good circulation and bloody flow.
Get a pedometer
Getting a pedometer or using the step tracking function on your smartphone can make you much more aware of how physically active or inactive you are. It’s recommended that you get around 10,000 steps a day and by tracking your activity, it will be easier to set goals for yourself and work towards improvement.
Take your car less
In Ireland, we can sometimes be slaves to our cars. Walking can be too much of a risk – it could be sunny one minute, then the next there’s a downpour and you’re absolutely drenched. To help get your steps up to that magic 10,000 mark, try to replace short car journeys with walking – even if it’s just to the shop and back.
At home exercises
If it’s the thought of the gym that you just can’t stomach, then embrace exercising at home. If you have the space, you could try yoga with some YouTube tutorials or you could buy or download some exercise dvds to do in your living room with your partner, room mates or family members.
Try a standing desk
If you have an office job, or spend a lot of your day sitting down or behind a desk, you could benefit from adopting a standing desk. Over the past few years, the phrase ‘sitting is the new smoking’ has been uttered more frequently due to growing researching showing the link between spending a long time in a sedentary position and the development of health issues from obesity to diabetes and cancer.
Clean your house
Exercise doesn’t have to involve putting on work out gear, lifting weights or doing intense repetitive cardio. A good cleaning session is a great calorie burner, with vacuuming, moving furniture and sweeping among the best activities to get the heart pumping
Get an outdoor hobby
Having a hobby you love can change your life – it gives you greater purpose, can benefit your mental health, can open your social circles and can make you physically healthier. Joining a spin class, a running group or some sort of exercise programme aren’t the only hobbies you can take up to improve your fitness. Doing anything outdoors or involving physicality, like gardening or clay making, for example, will get you moving more.
Just like improving your posture, stretching regularly is incredibly beneficial for your body. It can improve flexibility, help prevent injury and most importantly improve your blood flow to aide cell growth and your organ function. If you’re feeling tired, a good stretch can also give you a boost of energy to help you move more and be active for longer.
Have more sex
While some of us fundamentally don’t like exercise, there is one physical activity that most of us would enjoy doing more off. Sex isn’t just a lot of fun; it’s also great for your health; it increases your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure and burns calories too.
What are your top tips for improving your everyday health and fitness? Let us know using the hashtag #MyIrishLife
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