When you think of managing your weight, do you think of dieting and running for miles? Does it put you off even starting? The good news is that you don’t need to do this to start managing your weight and reduce the risk of obesity. We often think of ‘exercise’ as some hugely intense thing, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of thinking exercise, try thinking of staying active instead. What do we mean by this? Read on.
You Don’t Need the Gym
No, really – you don’t. Don’t feel like you need to go out and buy a gym membership that you’ll probably never use, because there are other ways of staying active. The gym can be quite intimidating if you’re new to this – though it does have its advantages in that people can help you. There’s plenty of stuff you can do at home to keep active, and it’s all pretty cheap too.
Invest in Some Equipment
When people think of saying active at home, they often get images of expensive home gyms, with exercise bikes and rowing machines. Just like you don’t need the gym to stay active, you don’t need this either. However, investing in some equipment can definitely help. Good things to pick up that won’t cost a fortune include a yoga/exercise mat and some small weights. Having a good yoga mat will give you a nice surface to work on, and the weights can be useful for a quick ten minute workout on busy days.
Learn Bodyweight Exercises
As we mentioned, you don’t need a lot of equipment, and that’s because exercise that involves your own bodyweight can be incredibly efficient. They can be difficult to pick up, but they’re also great for measuring your progress as you will be able to notice the difference within weeks as you get stronger and stronger. Body-weight exercises include things like push-ups and squats. With sites like YouTube, it’s easier than ever to find tutorials for these.
Download a Running App
If you find running hard to get into, try downloading a running app. Our favorite is Zombies, Run – a story-based app that’ll keep you coming back for more. With a ‘couch to 5k’ version, it’s great for those of you completely new to running, and the added pressure of zombies chasing you can encourage even the least active of people.
Help Your Body Out
Exercising can put some extra strain on your body, so why not help it out by making sure you’re giving it enough of its essential needs? If you’re starting doing any kind of strength training, you’re going to want some protein to keep your muscles healthy and repairing themselves. This can be done in two ways – change your diet to incorporate more, or (the easier way) take it in supplement form. Other great things to add in (whether in diet or supplement form) include vitamin C, vitamin D and calcium.
Little and Often
It can be tempting to do one big workout a week, but this is one of the less efficient ways of staying active! Rather than doing one big intense workout, try to do it little and often. You’ll build your strength and abilities far quicker this way, plus it’s easier to fit into your schedule on a regular basis. It can be tricky at first, but if you get into the habit of spending ten or twenty minutes each day doing a little bit of work, you’ll easily get the hang of it!
Small Changes Make Big Differences
Alongside all of the rest of this advice, think about the rest of your day. Staying active doesn’t have to be relegated to a brief bit of exercise each day! Little changes to your daily routine like taking the stairs rather than the lift, or getting off the bus one stop early and walking the rest of the way, can have a big impact.
All of these things will help you manage your weight, and they’ll also help decrease the risk of obesity. Studies show that just a twenty minute walk a day can decrease the risk of early death by thirty percent, for instance! Whilst managing your weight via your diet is also worthwhile, it’s important not to neglect the exercise – especially when staying active can have such great benefits.