Get fit without joining a gym
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get fit. Just make these five small adjustments to your daily routine and get fitter faster (and for free).
1. Use your heel when climbing stairs
Most of us instinctively climb up stairs on our tiptoes, but this actually strains the calves muscles without doing your legs much good. By distributing your weight along your whole foot, you are giving your legs a complete workout. It may take a bit of getting used to at first, but you’ll feel the difference almost immediately.
2. Change your gait
A lot of us tend to literally ‘put our best foot forward’, creating a slight imbalance in our gait as we put more weight on one leg than the other. Stand in front of a mirror and shift your weight from side to side until you are comfortable. It should be obvious where you are placing most of your weight. Try to correct this by making a conscious effort to lead with your ‘weaker’ foot as often as possible. Better posture will help you improve your core fitness.
3. Don’t sit still
It goes without saying that sitting behind a desk all day is not good for your overall fitness. Incorporate some leg exercises into your routine to keep your muscles active. Even a few sets of mini leg lifts a couple of times a day will help improve your strength and flexibility.
4. Watch your steps
Recent data from the NHS suggests that taking 10,000 steps a day will “significantly” improve your health. This equates to around one hour of brisk walking each day. This isn’t difficult to achieve – try taking a longer route to the bus stop, or just move around the office or the house a bit more.
5. Stretch yourself
Stretching helps to activate your muscles and improve your flexibility. If your body is more limber, you will have fewer cramps and stitches when you ramp up the exercise. Stretch from your head to your toes before getting out of bed in the morning, and a do a few gentle stretches a couple of times during the day.