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Not everyone is super duper pumped for exercise. I get it. I’m not on my A-game all the time, my workouts are a bit lame, a little “low eb” at times and then it got me thinking, there must be loads of women who feel the same as me. You don’t necessarily want or need the big transformation and you’ve tried the gym thing and it’s just not your thing (totally understandable), you want to exercise but you don’t really want it to feel like exercise? So rather than continue to dodge it why not try these options. They are tried and tested and whilst won’t give you “OMG” kind of results they still count as exercise, they will make you feel great and combined with some great dietary changes will make a difference come summer. Come on, grab hold of my hand…
These days you don’t even have to be co-ordinated (I’m certainly not!). There’s the straight out dance classes, such as hip hop, jazz, salsa, tango etc or try fitness type dance classes. All gyms offer them, as they are so popular with the “I don’t really want to exercise hard crowd” or just try your local dance spot. Check out Retro Sweat or Morning Glory (a fitness rave!) for the ultimate in fun dance fitness.
2. Paddle boarding/Kayaking
These fun, anyone can participate type water sports are such a good way to get moving and get outdoors. If you don’t have your own, hire a board or equipment and spend an hour (if not more) out on the water. Paddle boarding is great for your core and legs while kayaking gives he upper body and mid section a decent flogging. Don’t forget your sunscreen. A rash vest is a good option over your bikini or cossie. No one wants to flash an onlooker now, do they?
3. Core Workout While Watching TV
If you don’t include core into your workout routine, you can say goodbye to decent posture and a tight middle. Try these super quick core exercises in the ad breaks of your favourite show. P.S Make sure you ditch eating that block of chocolate you normally scoff too. Either go for 60 secs each or you can count reps of 20. Do it in every ad break (so aim for 4 or 5 rounds)
a) Plank hold
Try knees and elbows if feet and elbows are too hard, pull your abs in tight and don’t forget to breathe. Have your phone timer handy
b) Butt squeeze
Balance on both arms (slightly bent elbows) and knees, position one leg back and squeeze the butt whilst lifting your leg. Use your hamstring and glute to lift the leg and hold for 3 secs and lower to repeat. Do both sides
c) Hip thrusts
Lie on your butt, engage your glutes and lift your hips as high as possible, hold for 3 and slowly return to start position. Keep hands facing ceiling and neck long with chin slightly tucked in.
d) Heel taps
While still on your back, lift both heels off the floor and keep knees bent in a 90 degree position. Slowly lower one heel while keeping over knee bent. The aim is not to let your lower back peel off the floor, pull your spine towards the floor at all times. Alternate legs half way (either 30 seconds or 10 reps)
4. Bush Walk
Get exploring around your local national park or “bush type” area. Spend 45 mins+ walking through streams, checking out the wildlife, hidden beaches or peaceful stillness. You won’t even think your exercising, just be prepared with water and healthy snacks (nuts, fruit or low sugar muesli bars) and check the weather before you head out.
5. Cycling To & From Work
Think about how much the environment will love you! Not to mention your body. A 20 minute bike ride as part of your commute can burn in excess of 200 calories. That’s your generous glass of red wine for the night covered.
6. Get Horizontal
No, no no! Not that kind of horizontal, I mean mat work! Try yoga or pilates as an alternative to a weights or cardio session. Work on your core stability, posture, arm strength, flexibility and stress levels.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know many that would jump at the chance to clean the house instead of have a workout, housework is literally a form of torture in my eyes. However, there are some that actually enjoy it. 30 minutes of hard scrubbing will earn you 2 squares of dark chocolate (70%). WIN!
8. Workout With A PT
Ok, so I know I can’t fool you with this one. Technically this will feel like exercise but working out with a trainer is such an easy way to turn exercise into boring to exciting, worthwhile and result driven. You don’t always have to work out for aesthetic reasons. What about goals of getting stronger, or faster or more co-ordinated. Check your local area via google. Something along the lines of “Awesomeville (that’s your city by the way) Personal Trainer”. My clients always tell me they rather instructor lead workouts versus working out by themselves
9. How’s The View?
Get motivated by your surroundings. I’m the first to admit that four walls can be incredibly uninspiring, so why not move outdoors or get moving to a particular destination? I love a workout/walk/stretch by the water. It’s important to free your mind from the constraints of indoors and when you find the modality that suits you (sand, surf, park or sun), you will never look back. I always find inspiration in the outdoors, it’s always changing and exciting. There are endless possibilities
10. Rest Sufficiently
A lot of women start to detest their workout plan because they simply go too hard too soon. Yep, I know you have every intention of fitting into that little black dress you brought two sizes too small by the end of the month but perhaps it’s fair to say you where a little over ambitious to begin with. For newbies, start off with 3 times per week of activity. Lock it in (eddy), Monday, Wednesday and Friday (or whatever days suits best) and stick to it. Don’t cancel, don’t make up fake excuses or let others derail your appointments with your body. Resting properly will mean greater desire to move more in the long run, less injuries and you’ll the dreaded burnout. Once you meet your 3 times per week schedule and if you feel you need an extra boost, start with extra day at a time. We are going for a lifestyle change here ladies, not some lame fad.