Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Exercising Without The Gym

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I have a love-hate relationship with exercise. I love the feeling I get once I’ve done it, but depending on the sport/workout I’m doing, I might just hate it while I’m doing it. As much as that is the case, the worst thing is feeling like a slob because I haven’t done any sport at all. And, let’s be honest, is this not most of the time? I never go to the gym, it feels like such a chore and people can be put off of working out altogether. This isn’t me, but some feel self-conscious working out around those confident athletes with bodies to die for. I say this, but exercising can be fun, you just have to find a way to do it that suits your workout style.
To help you with your fitness motivation, here are a few ways you can work out/exercise however you want.

1. Yoga is a great way to exercise that requires zero fitness. Yoga at home is as simple as setting up your phone propped up in front of you and grabbing some workout clothes. You don’t even need a yoga mat - before I got one my carpet worked a treat. I find this is perfect for reducing stress and working your muscles slowly. The FitStar Yoga app is my go-to as it has different routines specific to what you’re in the mood for. You can push yourself with the positions, but if you’re a beginner this is also a great way to get some muscle stretching in.

2. Running feels amazing. OK, maybe not while I’m doing it, but I feel so proud of myself and renewed once it’s over. Running on a treadmill can be so mind-numbingly boring, so get outside into nature and go for a jog around the park. I actually don’t run with music as it can mess up my rhythm and leave me in stitches (literally - I get a stitch), so I prefer running to the sound of nature’s song...how poetic. Running is a brilliant tailored-to-you way of working out, as only you can choose how fast to go, for what distance and for how long. Start slow, and once you’ve got into a routine, set yourself goals. When I go running, I always use the Nike+ Running app, as it tracks my speed, route and distance.

3. Insanity is a killer workout - emphasis on the killer. I’m sure you can find some videos of workouts on YouTube, but for the most part I think you have to order DVDs. Nevertheless, if you’re planning on going hardcore and getting some serious muscles, this is for you. Stick a workout on in your living room and get going, there’s no one watching you. Sean T, the trainer who created these workouts, does everything for you; choosing the exercises, keeps a timer, he even yells at you! All you need to do is throw on some workout clothes and bring a litre of water with you - you’ll need it.

4. Workout apps are basically gyms on-the-go. Wherever you are, as long as you have your phone with you, you can workout. My favourite workout app is the Nike Training Club. This is an app for all fitness levels and targets any muscle you’d like or some intense cardio action, and it even tracks how many calories you’ve burned. These workouts range from short, around 5+ minutes, to over 40 minutes, so you can find a time that works with your schedule. Whether you’re a complete beginner or workout every day of the week, this app has something to push you to your limits.

5. Blogilates is a great step up from yoga. Blogilates videos, which you can find on YouTube, are short, intense workouts focused on a specific area, like abs, legs, arms or bum. 15 minutes is plenty of time to work any muscle if you put in the effort. The trainer, Cassey, can sometimes get on my nerves a little with her everlasting enthusiasm, but she’s great at designing workouts that fit into any schedule you might have. Just like with yoga, all you need is some workout clothes and if you like, a yoga mat. When I do these workouts, I’ll do a few consecutive short workouts that really hit the spot. Feel the burn!

What are your favourite ways to exercise?

Niamh x

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