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Back to Exercise. Walking is one of the easiest ways to get more activity into your day, lose weight and become healthier. Research shows people who fit moderate activity, such as walking, into their daily life burn more energy than those who make weekly visits to the gym. Try to fit walking into your routine by not using the car for short journeys, walking all or part of your journey to work, getting off the bus or train one stop early, and planning longer walks at the weekends. Couch to 5K is a free running plan for absolute beginners. Running is great for weight loss, improving heart and lung function, strengthening bones, and giving you a general sense of wellbeing.
The Couch to 5K plan involves 3 runs a week, with a day of rest between each run and a different plan for each of the 9 weeks. Fancy a personal trainer, but cannot afford one? Download our Strength and Flex exercise plans and get a fitness coach for free. The virtual trainer will guide you through a series of equipment-free exercises deed to improve your strength and flexibility.
The workout instructions and pace are easy to follow to ensure you do each exercise correctly and in time. The 5-week Strength and Flex plan consists of 5 podcasts, each 35 to 45 minutes long, which are available as a mobile download for smartphones and some wearable fitness trackers. Whether you're cycling to work, school, the shops or just for fun, the humble bicycle is an easy way to be more active.
Cycling to work is one of the easiest ways of fitting exercise into your day. It'll also save you money on petrol or public transport costs. If you do not have a bike, you may be able to get an affordable bike through the government's Bike2Work scheme. If you're looking for an easy way to add more activity into your day, take the stairs. Stair climbing burns more calories per minute than jogging and counts towards your recommended minutes of weekly exercise.
Research shows that regularly walking up stairs is good for strong bones, cardiovascular fitness and weight management. It's also a safe, low-impact exercise that requires no equipment. Remember the games you used to play in the playground? Games like hide-and-seek, "it" and "stuck in the mud" are not only good fun, they're an excellent way for all the family to be active, too.
These types of games involve short bursts of intense activity and periods of rest, which are very effective for improving fitness, especially if you're not usually very active. Burn calories, lose weight and feel great with our selection of equipment-free home workout routines, including:. Just a few minutes of skipping brings a range of health benefits, including heart and lung fitness, stronger bones, balance and flexibility. The average person will burn up to calories during 15 minutes of skipping.
Skipping is a strenuous exercise, so start slowly at first. Try skipping for 20 to 30 seconds, marching on the spot for 30 seconds, and then repeat. As your fitness improves, you can increase the time you spend skipping. Once you have perfected the basic moves, you can make your workout more interesting by trying different jumps. Trim trails also known as outdoor gyms, fitness trails or activity trails are made up of simple pieces of exercise equipment, such as parallel bars, leapfrog blocks, inclined press-ups and balance beams and are found around parks, recreation areas or alongside cycle routes.
The free equipment can be used to do various exercises, including step-ups, sit-ups, lunges and press-ups, to develop balance, strength and co-ordination. Search online to learn how to do the exercises properly to get the most from them and avoid injury. Contact your local authority to find out if there's a trim trail in your area. Improve your health and the environment at the same time with the outdoor alternative to the gym. Work up a sweat digging, planting, lopping and clearing paths at one of 95 free Green Gyms around the country run by The Conservation Volunteers.
Experienced leaders guide volunteers through a range of practical projects, giving you the opportunity to tackle physical jobs outdoors. This can improve your strength and stamina, and boost your practical skills and confidence. There are sessions for all fitness levels, and no gardening or conservation experience is necessary.
Find a free Green Gym near you. Look around you: the world is your gym. With this in mind, the National Trust and outdoor exercise specialists Eco Fitness have produced a free outdoor fitness programme you can follow, whatever the weather. The day plan has been deed to ease people into being active outdoors and make exercise fun rather than a chore. No equipment is needed. Exercises in the challenge include power walking, tree press-ups and "spotty dogs" stepping backwards on the spot using opposite arms and legs.
Find out more about the National Trust outdoor gym programme. Military-style fitness classes are happening in parks around the country. There's no reason why you cannot create your own boot camp-style workout for free, and without someone barking orders at you. Just plan your routine, mixing running with a series of exercises such as jumping jacks, squats, lunges, running up and down stairs, press-ups, bench dips and squat thrusts. Do some research online to make sure you're doing the exercises correctly before starting.
For extra motivation, try to enrol a friend to do the boot camp sessions with you. People often give away fitness gear, such as weights, skipping ropes or exercise balls. They are the kind of things people buy with high hopes and the equipment then lies around gathering dust. Check community freebie websites such as Freegle and Freecycle and send s saying you're looking for exercise equipment. Search regularly and you might get lucky.
Another option is to swap your own unwanted exercise gear for some different sports equipment using websites such as Swapz. The idea of walking up to a group of strangers during a game of football and asking to in may sound slightly unnerving, but this is both an excellent way to get fit and make friends.
Choose a group of players of a similar age and ability to you who seem like they're just starting their game. If the game's already started, the goalkeeper is probably the best person to approach. More often than not, you'll be welcomed and it will open up the possibility of getting a regular game and a free workout. A local leisure centre may be offering initiatives such as free exercise classes or a free swim on certain days of the week to encourage people to get active.
Many local authorities also have outdoor gyms, which include the same type of equipment you would find at an indoor gym, as well as basketball hoops, tennis courts and football pitches that you can use free of charge. You may also be entitled to free leisure services if you're under 16 or over 60, or receive benefits. Contact your local authority to find out what is available in your area.
If you want to give a gym a try or you're developing withdrawal symptoms after cancelling a membership, take advantage of the free 1-day gym passes many chains offer. Many non-profit gyms, such as the YMCA Community Gyms , offer discounted gym membership and facilities for people receiving benefits, such as Universal Credit or housing benefit.
The Money Advice website has more advice on getting a cheaper gym pass. last reviewed: 30 December Next review due: 30 December Get fit for free - Exercise Secondary How much exercise? Benefits of exercise Why we should sit less Physical activity guidelines: children under 5s Physical activity guidelines: children and young people Physical activity guidelines: adults Physical activity guidelines: older adults Exercise as you get older. How to stretch after a run Knee exercises for runners Knee pain and other running injuries. Safe exercising Get active with a disability Fitness advice for wheelchair users Why do I feel pain after exercise?
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