The period after Christmas is often a good time for making New Year’s Resolutions. In many cases, the resolutions are related to diet, lifestyle and fitness. Around 12% of gym members sign up in January each year, but whether they stick to their membership is another matter.
Joining a gym can be a great motivational method to make positive changes to your lifestyle and improve your fitness. But the gym isn’t for everybody. Instead, there are plenty of other ways you can improve your fitness, which doesn’t necessarily have to impact your bank balance either!
Walking is a great way to get fit. Plus, it’s free, simple and easy to not only get fit but improve your health and if needed, to lose weight.
Ten minutes of brisk walking has a vast array of health benefits, as well as counting towards the 150 minutes of recommended exercise per week. Walking can also be a very social event. If you have a dog, this can be a good excuse for getting out and walking or it can be a great way to exercise and socialise with friends.
Walking requires very little specialist equipment – comfortable shoes or trainers are necessary. If you’re heading out on a long walk, you might want to take a healthy snack, sun cream, sun hat and definitely a bottle of water. One of our reusable water bottles is perfect for long walks!
In terms of speed, a brisk walk is around 3 miles an hour – if you can talk and walk at the same time but can’t sing without getting breathless, then you’re walking at the right speed.
If you think walking isn’t for you or your joints won’t cope, swimming is a great alternative. The water helps to support your joints while you move in the pool. If you are overweight, swimming can help you to lose weight and once you have, the pressure on your joints will reduce meaning you may be able to take part in other activities.
If you find swimming lengths boring, check to see if your local leisure centre/swimming pool runs exercise classes in the pool to make it a little more interesting.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated, too. Just because you’re in the pool and you might not notice you’re sweating, it is important to stay hydrated and drink lots of water – preferably not pool water!
Join a class
Fitness classes are increasing in popularity and with the shift in technology, some are even being run virtually via apps and websites, so you may not even have to leave your home. Fitness classes are a great way to meet new people while at the same time improving fitness and/or losing weight.
There are all sorts of fitness classes available too, so you should find one which appeals most to you.
If your New Year’s Resolution is to get fit, you don’t have to join the gym. There are many other adventurous and more social ways to improve your health and get fit. Remember, you will be losing more water through sweat, so you will need to replace your water loss to avoid dehydration.