For many of us, going to the gym after a long day of work isn’t always a priority. Some have to take their children to hockey or ballet practice while others may simply not have the motivation or energy to go to the gym.
However, going to the gym isn’t the only way to lead an active life.
With many of us working at a desk all day, it’s important to bring activity into our lives. Our bodies are made to move frequently, and leading a sedentary lifestyle does more harm than good on our bodies. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay active when you can’t or don’t feel comfortable going to the gym.
Start with Stretching
We’ve all been instructed from a young age to stretch before and after workouts. Why? Because it helps make our muscles more pliable and relaxed before and after strenuous physical activity. For those of us who are looking to introduce physical activity into our lives, stretching is a great place to start. Stretching before and after work loosens the strain our bodies feel over the course of our days. Stretching your body can help minimize the aches and pains that work induces while encouraging you to begin moving at home.
Try Resistance Training at Home
One aspect of the gym that is hard to replace are the machines. Most of us don’t have access to a bench press, chest flye, leg press or a lat pull-down machine. So how can we incorporate strength training at home? Resistance exercises can help strengthen your muscles and improve mobility. Squats, sit-to-stands from a sturdy chair, lunges, or single-leg step-ups on stairs are great exercises to begin resistance training without relying on a machine. Also, there are many items around your house that can be used as weights such as bags of rice, canned goods, or bottled water. If you don’t own a physio band, a woven hand towel is another way to build resistance in targeted exercises while protecting your joints.
Work in Cardio Everyday
Cardio is an essential exercise activity that we benefit most from by doing regularly every day. Many flock to the gym to use the stairmaster or treadmill to raise their heart rates while burning fat and calories. However, there are many other forms of cardio that you can work into your day. Whether you schedule a walk with a friend over lunch, or go for a run or bike ride after work, simply getting up and moving around your neighbourhood or house is another way you can stay active without relying on the gym.
Follow Exercise Videos
There are many fitness influencers on the web who have created libraries of exercise content. These online resources that range from yoga, pilates, aerobics, strength training, and circuit training can be completed in the comforts of your own home. Experiment with these exercise videos to curate your own fitness library to help achieve your workout goals on your schedule. Be sure you have a fundamental understanding of whichever exercises you choose as well as the limits of your body because you are liable to hurt yourself when exercising without instructor supervision.
Make an Exercise Schedule
One reason many of us neglect our exercise routines is because we aren’t motivated to do the same exercise over and over again. With so many exercise options available now, we can negotiate what type of exercise we want to do and when through a schedule. When you make a schedule, it’s important to listen to your body and adjust your schedule according to your needs. If you had an intense core workout one day, it might be prudent to stick with light stretching the following day. You know your body best, so don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t always stick to your schedule. Schedules change often, so learning to adapt and pivot your schedule is necessary. Think of your schedule as a guideline not a deadline and have self compassion on the days or weeks when you weren’t being as active as you would have liked. There’s always an opportunity to make a change to your exercise routine at any time.
Making An Active Choice
Leading an active life is a lifestyle choice. While some of us prefer going to the gym, it’s not the only way to lead an active life. It’s up to you to discover the best ways of incorporating physical activity into your life.
Written by Eleni Zaptses
Pomp and Sass’s woven towels are lightweight, absorbent, and get softer over time.