Whether you hate the gym, cannot afford a membership, or don’t have the time, there are convenient alternatives to fit some action in your life! Here are a few tips.
Climb The Stairs
Forget the lift and use the stairs. And not just climbing – brief, intense climbs. They qualify as exercise! It turns out, short, intense bursts of stair climbing have major benefits for heart health, according to a study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. “Stair climbing is a form of exercise anyone can do in their own home, after work or during the lunch hour,” says Martin Gibala, a professor of Kinesiology at McMaster, and lead author on the study.
Gardening qualifies as exercise. If you’re wondering about the intensity, researchers from Konkuk University and Hongik University in Seoul, South Korea, worked it out for you: transplanting seedlings , mixing growing medium, watering, harvesting, sowing, hoeing, mulching, raking, and weeding qualify as moderate intensity exercise, while digging is high intensity.
Do Your Chores
You need 20 minutes of cleaning around your home, and you can claim with a straight face that you’re a healthy person…at least mentally. A study that evaluated 20,000 men and women in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that just 20 minutes of any physical activity, including housework, in a week is enough to boost mental health.
Convenience sometimes comes at a price. Instead of emailing a co-worker, walk over to their desk and talk to them. Your health depends on it. Fidgeting at your desk, walking around, contributes to cardiorespiratory fitness. “It’s encouraging to know that if we just increase our incidental activity slightly– a little bit more work around the house, or walking down the hall to speak with a co-worker as opposed to sending an email–we can really benefit our health in the long-term,” said Ashlee McGuire, a lead researcher of a study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. The study established an association between incidental physical activities with cardiorespiratory fitness. She added, “Best of all, these activities don’t take up a lot of time, they’re not difficult to do, and you don’t have to go to a gym.”
Walking will give you the same benefits you can get in a gym. In November last year, a group of researchers from Binghamton University, State University of New York established that walking, for one, can reduce the risk of heart disease. So, if you’re using public transportation to work, alight one stop behind, and walk the rest of the way. That’s a good way to start!