Time and money are two currencies that are becoming more dear every day and even when it comes to our health, we’re loathe to spend any more than we need to. It is also so universal, that they can also become a good excuse to not exercise. Time will always need to be spent, but if you’re serious about getting fit, you can find things that will cost little or no money.
Here are some of the easiest and most popular forms of exercise, no matter your age or fitness level:
We are walking less every year yet the benefits are tremendous. Walking improves the condition of your heart and lungs (cardiovascular fitness) and works the muscles of the lower body. It’s a weight-bearing activity, so it may improve bone density, yet it’s also low impact, putting less stress on the joints than some other forms of exercise.
As long as you’re healthy and take it easy to start with, anyone can run. It is arguably one of the most accessible and therefore the most popular form of exercise in the world. As a high-impact activity, running can increase bone density, but it can also put more stress on your joints than lower impact activities such as walking and cycling, especially if you’re overweight.
Swimming is a great way to tone up and trim down and is an effective fat-burning exercise. Just swimming a few lengths involves most of the major muscle groups, giving your body a good workout. Water supports your weight and takes the stress off your joints. This can also make it a great exercise if you’re recovering from an injury that means you can’t run or play your normal sport.
Many of the short trips we make by car are ideal for a quick spin on the bike, plus you’ll be helping to protect the environment. Cycling promotes a healthy heart and burns about 300 calories an hour, so if you do it twice a day, the numbers soon add up. It’s also good for people with certain bone and joint problems because it puts very little pressure on them.
Dancing is largely an aerobic activity that improves the condition of the heart and lungs, as well as testing your balance. To dance for any length of time also requires muscular endurance and motor fitness.
The only thing required is to enjoy moving to music, so dancing is suitable for people of all ages, shapes and sizes. As well as keeping you fit, something like a salsa class is an easy way of meeting other people.
If high social interaction and competitiveness is your ‘thing’, why not join a local team? There are clubs that offer soccer, softball, basketball, indoor cricket, volleyball – the list goes on. Leagues are organised through sports and social clubs, health clubs, schools and businesses. Ask if your office or local pub has a team! They are usually accessible to players of all levels, from social to professional and varying degrees of fitness are required, but these sports will usually encourage high levels of aerobic fitness.
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