Non-traditional Workouts

Kristin Hirai

Photo courtesy of MCT

Finding time to squeeze in a fitness routine into the day may not be quite as hard as it may seem. With a little ingenuity, it’s easy to work with the resources around us rather than hitting the gym.

With the current economic cutbacks, it’s no wonder that gym memberships are decreasing. After all, it is a cost that can be sacrificed after organizing our financial priorities. However, after following these five tips, there is no excuse for not maintaining our physical health and looking our best day after day.

Keep in mind that the goal for all workout exercises is to enhance our health. Exercise reduces risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other life threatening conditions. It’s also a great stress-reliever, and known to even improve one’s psychological well-being.

Therefore, whether we’re busy with school, work, or our personal lives, with these tips, there’s no reason why we can’t find time in the day to improve our heath.

Think outside the chair

If stuck at work behind a desk for hours upon end, try sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair all day. While trying to balance on the ball, one will find that they are subconsciously strengthening their abs and back while improving their posture in the process.

James Walters, former personal trainer, has tried the chair substitution after switching professions, and has really noticed the results.

“Going from a personal trainer to a insurance agent, I had trouble sitting behind a desk everyday when I was used to moving around and working out so often,” said Walters. “But as soon as I switched my chair with an exercise ball, I noticed I was working my abs and back without even trying.”

Enjoy the sun

Instead of heading to the gym on a bright, sunny day, why not take advantage of the great outdoors. Try swimming laps in a pool. Swimming is an excellent source of cardio that works many key muscles. Biking riding, rollerblading, and hiking also offer calorie burning workouts.

Mix it up

Change daily routines that will increase physical activity. For example, instead of using elevators, use the stairs whenever possible. Keep a pedometer in the sole of a shoe and try to reach a goal of about 10,000 steps per day.

“About 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day is a healthy amount of walking to accomplish,” said Walters. “A person will be surprised with how little effort they will have to exude to be able to achieve it.”

Make it social

Incorporate both our personal life with our physical health. Instead of staying home and watching workout videos, go out and make exercising fun. Go to a club or lounge with friends or a significant other and go dancing. Jumping around and swaying to the fast-paced music is a sure way to work in cardio into an evening.

Keep it a game

Do exercises at home that don’t require gym equipment. With today’s ever-increasing technological advances, we have countless workout options at our disposal without leaving our living room. Nintendo’s Wii game console has exploded with popularity over the past few years, and luckily it involves more physical activity than just moving our thumbs. Nintendo has released a variety of different sports to partake in, as well as, the Wii Fit program which is designed to promote physical health while being entertained.

“I play with my Wii all the time,” said Walters. “I have friends come over and we make a night out of it. It’s really a fun way to work up a sweat and socialize, without spending a Friday night at the gym alone.”