I get asked weekly “what gym do you belong to, you look so fit”. The very premise of that question is incorrect, it’s like asking someone what type of oven they use because they are a good cook. I do understand the question, but it’s not the “gym” that makes you fit, but what you do while you’re at the gym.
The fact is a lot of people are uncomfortable with the gym. The reasons vary from lack of knowledge of the machines, the setting is intimidating or just the fact that they don’t like being around so many people. Others just don’t want to be “social” while they are hot & sweaty.
The good news is a majority of what you need to do to stay fit can be done at home or in a park. I have selected a few basic exercises that work several different muscle groups, that are simple, but effective and they don’t take up much space.
Walking around the block
Many people find it monotonous to walk on a treadmill. Others have that fear of falling. Walking, or even “Speed Walking” around the block can be just as effective and you may meet some new neighbors or smell some flowers while working out.
Chair squats can be done with a chair (hence the name), a sturdy table or a low outdoor wall. The idea is to go down to almost a sit, then stand back up. This exercise is great for legs- quads, hamstrings & glutes. As simple as it seems, after a few repetitions, there will be no doubt which parts you are working!
Most people are familiar with push-ups, however not everyone can do one (or twenty). Starting slowly is the key; you will work up to many in a short time. Start in a plank position, or bent knees, if necessary. Press down & up. Do as many as possible and rest. Try 2 or 3 sets. The more you do the better you get at them. Push-ups work your chest, shoulders, triceps & some back muscles.
No, these are not all you need to have a flat tummy. Yes, they help, but you also must have solid eating habits, which we will discuss more in detail soon. Elevate your feet on a chair or wall. Scoot your tush down so your legs are at a 90 degree angle, taking pressure off of your low back. With finger tips touching behind your head, crunch your abs and sit up as far as you can without “throwing” your shoulders up or pulling your neck too hard. REPEAT AS NEEDED! Ok, that could mean a long day for some of us, but try to do as many as you can for 3-5 sets. Again, the more you do them, the easier they get then do more!!
Of course there are many more exercises that can be done at home and lots more you can do in a gym, but remember, there are numerous ways to get fit and at home or in a park is a great way to start at any age.
(As always when beginning any new exercise regimen, get clearance for your doctor for the activities you are thinking of trying)