Fitness. We all want it, but what exactly does it mean to be “fit”? While there is no definitive answer to this, there are some benchmarks. Can you run a mile in under 10 minutes? Can you stand up from a sitting position on the ground without using your hands? Can you push and pull and contort your body? We know that going to the gym, running, playing sports, or engaging in other high-intensity prolonged activities are the best, most reliable ways to stay fit. But what if you can’t afford the gym? What if you hate sports and its too cold to run outside? Or maybe your schedule is just too hectic to carve out a regular time to exercise. Are you doomed in your attempts at fitness? Not with a little creativity, some hard work, and a lot of discipline. Here are a few things you can do that will help you get and stay fit:
Core Strength: Spend three and a half solid minutes working your abs and core per day. This might sound like to little time to produce results, but believe me, you’ll feel it the next day. Choose five exercises that work your core in various ways—leg lifts, bicycles, crunches, etc—and do each for 30 seconds. If you eventually need more exercise, take a break and do the set again. And for the iron men and women out there, do two sets in a row. The results are amazing and the time commitment is minimal.
Legs: Instead of jogging, run up and down some stairs. Running up stairs increases your heart rate and burns calories a lot faster than jogging on a flat surface. If you can spend 5-10 minutes running up and down stairs in intervals, you will be surprised how tired you get. Or do Box Jumps. Similar to stairs, this exercise is deceptively simple. Just choose a steady surface or object that you can comfortably jump up to, and do so repeatedly in sets of 5-10, taking breaks in between.
Arms: Don’t forget about push-ups and pull-ups! There’s a reason that these exercises are timeless classics. Pull-ups are hard for many people and it can be difficult to find a place to do them. But if you have a place, don’t be shy about just doing one at a time. Eventually you will gain the strength to do more. Push-ups can me made easier by doing them against a wall (instead of the ground) or pivoting on your knees instead of your feet.
Increase Daily Activities: Make a conscious effort to stay active. This means the little things—take the stairs, walk to the grocery store, don’t ride the escalator, walk to lunch—keep activity in your mind at all times, even if its just a short walk. Constant, low-level activity will make a difference.
Written by Hunter Ellis for bodono