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Get fit without going to the gym

05 January 2015

Try these 10 fun alternatives to going to the gym.

Couple walking a dog to get fit
Dog walking is a great way of getting daily exercise

1. Break it down

If the idea of exercising for 30 minutes at a stretch sounds daunting, or you just can't fit it into your daily routine, break your work-outs down into 10-minute slots. They'll be just as effective.

2. Learn to fidget

As Mayo Clinic scientists showed, the amount of small movements you make can be the difference between fit and fat. If you're not a fidget, teach yourself to be one. When you're doing nothing particular, try drumming your fingers, changing position, pacing up and down and tapping your feet.

3. Get out in the garden

Researchers at Kansas State University say gardening can strengthen limbs, help the cardiovascular system and develop flexibility. So get out there and start digging. Take the opportunity to have a good stretch after you've been kneeling down. 

4. Borrow a dog

Walking is easy, free and a great way to stay fit. If you need an incentive, borrow a dog or hire yourself out as a dog walker. Walking for an hour can burn more than 400 calories, depending on how fast you do it. Animal rescues are always looking for volunteers to take their dogs for walks.

5. Do the big beat

For a quick get-fit fix that should easily qualify as moderate exercise, look to your carpets. "Put your rugs over the washing line and give them a good wallop," advises health expert Anne-Marie Millard.

6. Increase your steps

Take the stairs instead of the lift, leave the car at home and get off the bus a stop before your own, use the upstairs loo rather than the downstairs one, hide the remote controls and get up to switch your appliances on and off. Buy a pedometer to count your steps.

7. Do it to music

Put on a lively CD and do your housework in time to it. You'll be working out without even knowing it.

8. Clench and stretch

Tone your muscles while doing the ironing by clenching your buttocks while you work, Anne Marie Millard suggests. "Clench your pelvic floor muscles as you clean your teeth. Always think about your posture. Pull your tummy muscles in and stand up straight."

9. Walk the talk

Buy a cordless phone and walk around the house when you're talking.

10. Have more sex

Sex is a calorie burner and can be a good aerobic workout too. So feel free to indulge yourself. Read more about the health benefits of sex.


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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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