by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer
Considering all the money issues worldwide, spending money in a gym is not one of the top priorities for many of us. Therefore, I decided to look into new options to keep fit and provide you with the alternative to work on your body without a big investment. There are no excuses for you not to workout and stay in shape.
First, you have to look at your surroundings and see what´s available for you. Evaluate what options you have. You can workout with anything from a towel to using the stairs in your apartment building. You will be surprise of the amount of exercises you can do, with something as simple as a towel or a broom stick. Yes, you are probably thinking of Karate Kid. Remember that movie, the exercises were focus on repetition using the elements provided by the environment.
Once you have chosen what to use, you can start on your daily routine. Daily routine and discipline on doing your exercises will take you to accomplish a healthy, fit and a beautiful body.
Just to give you an idea of what to use, I recommend the following:
- The beach: For those who have the beach close to you, jogging on the sand is an incredible way to have your cardio going: If you want to increase the level of difficulty, try jogging inside the water. Aside from that, the results you get from the level of difficulty the sand provides you, helps to keep those legs and butt nice and firm. And why not you can also go for a swim afterwards. Remember swimming is another option you have to exercise, relaxes you and has all your body working. The amount of oxygen you get in your lungs is another health benefit you get. An excellent option for you!
- Mountains, hills: Walk, walk, walk. You don´t have to climb the Everest, but you can take advantage of those small hills that you probably even have at your own neighborhood. Mountains and hills have the same level of difficulty that the walking machines offer you in a gym. Some of us have the privilege of having a real mountain close to us, so why not go for a nature walk.
- After you have your cardio going either by walking or jogging at the beach, your neighborhood or mountains/hills you can start exercising your arms, legs and abdomen. Here is how. Exercise with towel. You might be asking yourself how to do it. Pick a dishtowel a medium size one will be sufficient. Start by working out your arms.
- Stretch your arms and hold the towel with your hands and then bend your arms towards you. Try to keep your arms tense, so you can feel the workout. You can do 3 sets of 15.
- Lie down on the floor and hold the towel with your arms stretch in front of you. Lift your body up and down, so you can exercise your abdomen.
- Sliding with two towels. Start in a plank position with a towel under each foot. Slide one foot up, bringing that knee to your chest. Then change leg.
- A broom stick: You can use this to shape your waist. Sit down if you want to be more comfortable or do it standing up and hold the broom stick behind your neck and move it sideways. Remember to keep your sitting position straight. Also do 3 sets of 15 on each side.
- Another way to have your cardio going and also exercise your legs and butt is using the stairs. If you have an elevator, stop taking the easy route and take advantage of the stairs. You can do this daily. As a workout routine try to walk up and down the stairs at least 4 times, until you start feeling the workout.
Like I said there are many exercises you can do, without spending a penny. Just pick an element from your surroundings and start working out. You have no excuses! It is as easy as picking up a towel and putting your mind to it.
Benefits of an Outdoor workout
Most gyms are crowded, full of people sweating and breathing the same air. Yes, they breathe and exhale and released toxins from their bodies. Working out outdoors is a much more pleasant experience.
You can get many benefits an outdoor workout such as:
- No membership fees from the gym.
- The air is cleaner.
- You flex ankles more.
- Training with uneven surfaces. You run downhill which you can´t do on a treadmill and it stresses differently than running uphill.
- Provides a total body workout.
- You get to enjoy the outside. This will also help you mentally by helping you increase your vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure, self-esteem and decrease tension, anger, confusion, depression and fatigue. Will put you in a better mood.
- You will exercise longer period of time. A Calfornia Pacific Orthopedic and Sports Medicine released a study that showed that people who exercise outside tend to have more success with weight and body fat loss.
- A limited amount of sunlight is a great source of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps you reduce the risk of getting rickets, asthma, thyroid disease and autoimmune disorders. It also helps the body absorb calcium therefore reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- It is not monotonous since you get to enjoy your environment.
There are many different exercises or sports you can play outside, and even better you can do this with your family members. Exercising in groups outdoors has become more appealing because of its diversity. You can practice yoga on the beach, bike trails, walking or jogging in your neighborhood, dance lessons, or a boot camp. No matter what you choose, the important thing is to start your routine and start moving. Group exercise offers both a workout and fun!
You can play from anything as a 30 minute basketball game, a fun beach volleyball game or just go for a bike ride. A game of basketball or volleyball is a great way to release some stress and another option you have to a cardiovascular workout. You get to exercise your heart and lungs, increase your flexibility, and strength while burning fat.
Some of the fitness benefits from bike riding are: the increase in strength, the increase of your cardiovascular fitness, increase in endurance and stamina, balance and flexibility, and an increase in calorie burned.
If playing a sport or riding a bicycle is not something you don´t enjoy too much, there are games you can also play outdoors. There are both entertaining and a good way to exercise. Keep in mind that games also stimulate your mind.
There are various games that I use to play when I was a child. Classic games like Capture the Flag, Hide and Seek, Jump Rope, Tag, Marco Polo and Jacks or Marbles. Like you see there are many to choose from. All games can help you also spend quality time with your family members.
Capture the Flag: In this game you need two teams and two flags. The larger the group is better. The objective of the game is to run into the other team´s territory, capture their flag and make it safe back to your own territory. You can tag your enemy players and send them into jail. They can be release if tag by members of their own team and running to their territory.
Hide and Seek: One of the members of the group counts while the others hide.
Jump Rope: In this game you have the option of playing by yourself or with others.
Marco Polo: Is a game you can play in the water. You choose a member of the group who closes his or her eyes and yells Marco: The other members yell Polo. The objective is for the member that yells Marco tries to tag the other players.
I have mentioned only some of the many benefits you get from an outdoor workout and variety of games and sports you can start. You can combine routines to make your daily workouts both entertaining and fun while getting fit!