Five easy activities to keep you fit, healthy and in shape
Not a fan of the gym? You’re not alone, but suffering from “Gymphobia” doesn’t mean you can’t stay fit and in great shape! Harvard Medical School’s special health report says the following five easy (and economical) activities can help you get and stay in shape and lower your risk for disease. They’re suitable for any age or fitness ability, you can do them anywhere and they don’t cost a fortune in monthly gym membership or personal trainers.
1. Swimming. This is known as “the perfect workout” and if you live near the sea, pool or sports centre, then it’s an easy one to do. Why is it so good: According to Dr. I-Min Lee, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, the buoyancy of the water supports your body and takes the strain off painful joints so you can move them more fluidly. Research finds that swimming can improve your mental state and put you in a better mood.
2. Tai Chi. This Chinese martial art incorporates movement and relaxation and is good for both body and mind and it’s been called “meditation in motion”. If you don’t fancy going out on your own and feeling a little self conscious practising in the park etc, go to a Tai Chi class. Tai chi is made up of a series of graceful movements, one transitioning smoothly into the next. It’s particularly good for older people or people recuperating from an injury or illness.
3. Strength training. Strength training isn’t just for those who like staring at themselves in the mirrors by the free weights or doing pull ups in highly visible outdoor gyms and it doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly develop bulging biceps. You don’t have to use any weights at all. There are plenty of strength training exercises that work simply with your own bodyweight and you can do them anywhere (Click here for a good workout diagram). If you want to do weights though, lifting light weights won’t bulk up your muscles, but it will keep them strong. “If you don’t use muscles, they will lose their strength over time,” Dr. Lee says. The added bonus is that muscle also helps burn calories. “The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, so it’s easier to maintain your weight,” says Dr. Lee.
4. Walking. Who doesn’t love walking? It’s SOOOO very easy and relaxing. It’s simple yet powerful and if you put a little bit more effort in than just strolling along aimlessly, it can help you stay trim, improve cholesterol levels, strengthen bones, keep blood pressure in check, lift your mood and lower your risk for a number of diseases (diabetes and heart disease for example). According toe Harvard Medical School, “a number of studies have shown that walking and other physical activities can improve memory and resist age-related memory loss”. Start with 10-15 minutes at a time, then build up to 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week. If you walk instead of driving or getting a bus it also saves you money. Double win!!
5. Kegel exercises. You won’t really notice any outward muscular change with these exercises (although they can really help with posture and do help train stomach muscles), but they do a hugely important internal job and that is to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder. Strong pelvic floor muscles are incredibly important for us girls. They help with childbirth and recovery and they can go a long way toward preventing incontinence and bladder weakness in later life. To do a Kegel exercise correctly, squeeze and release the muscles you would use to stop weeing or prevent you from passing wind! Teachers sometimes say to imagine you’re trying to do a zip up on a particularly tight pair of jeans! Do alternate quick squeezes and releases with longer contractions that you hold for 10 seconds, and the release for 10 seconds. Work up to three sets of 10-15 Kegel exercises each day.
Aside from the above activities, the trick is to simply stay active. Daily activities like cleaning, vacuuming, sweeping, walking up and down stairs (instead of taking the lift), gardening, dancing in the bathroom or bedroom, stretching or doing sit ups while you’re watching TV – it all helps.
5 Simples Ejercicios Para Estar: Delgada, Saludable y en Forma
¿No eres fan de ir al gimnasio? Pues no eres la única, pero sufrir de “gimfobia” no significa que no puedas mantenerte delgada y en forma. El reporte especial de salud de la Universidad de Medicina de Harvard indica que cinco simples y económicas rutinas de ejercicios pueden ayudarte a mantenerte en forma y bajar tu riesgo de enfermarte. Estas rutinas son aptas para cualquier edad y capacidad física, también puedes practicar estos ejercicios en cualquier lugar y no te costará una fortuna en cuotas de gimnasio o de entrenadores personales.