Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Years Resolutions: Exercise and Losing Weight

Today's post will be focusing on the first of the top 10 most common New Year resolutions which is to exercise more. As I discussed in my introductory post yesterday, you need to make your goal specific, write everything down and be properly prepared to make this commitment to your body. Just reading this post is one step toward preparing yourself.

How much do you exercise already?
You need to assess where you are in terms of your health and fitness at this present moment. For me, I would say that I was quite sedentary as I walk everywhere but do little else in terms of additional exercise. Assessing where you are right now will help you to make your resolution specific. Do not set yourself the task of exercising for an hour a day if you do not do some sort of exercise already because this is simply too much and will lead you to failure and feeling crappy about yourself which is never ideal. That doesn't mean to say that for an entire year you must only do 30 minutes of exercise a day, when you come to review your goals later on you can increase this number. As you get fitter you will be capable of doing more.

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How will you exercise?
There are many ways to exercise which do not involved a hefty gym membership.

Blogilates - free 
I've been trialling the Blogilates app and youtube channel in perparation for this post and I have to say I am extremely impressed with what I've seen so far. Blogilates is run by Cassey Ho a professional Pilates instructor, Pilates is like a more energised version of yoga. At first I was sceptical, I'd always heard that cardio was the best form of exercise but actually for someone who is just starting out this can be a great way to start to love exercising. There are some cardio videos available and they are extremely fun! Cassey is bubbly and talks to you as though she is your friend so it makes it feel less like a work out and more like a social occasion. The only essential equipment you need is a yoga mat but you could easily substitute for a towel or a comfortable floor. The app is the triumph of Blogilates though as it means you really can exercise anywhere! Blogilates also has recipes and work out calenders so it is easy to follow. Pro Tip: the beginners calender is available for free here (it costs 69p on the app).

Jogging - free
Unadulterated exercise. Perfect for those who already have an okay level of fitness and want to do more cardio than toning but it could be used to supplement other forms of exercise too. Jogging is an excellent stress reliever and will allow you to see results daily. It might be a good idea to get a couple of your friends to jog with you so it can be social as well or you can just put in your headphones and jog away. The only things you need are some decent running shoes, socks and sports bra which can be picked up cheaply from Sports is great for route planning and can tell you how many miles you will run for and estimate how many calories you will burn based on your weight.

Free gym passes - free
If you still can't keep away from the gym then make use of these free gym passes!

Couch to 5k - free
Couch to 5K is a completely free podcast produced by the NHS to get people into interval training. I did this for a couple of weeks but I personally found it very hard because I wasn't able to commit to it fully. The suggestion is that you train for half an hour every other day but I struggled to motivate myself because I hate running! I think Couch to 5K is great if you aren't really sure where to start with jogging and really want to monitor you progress and push yourself.

Outdoor Gym - free
Throughout the country there are several outdoor gyms that are free to be used by members of the public. Find your nearest one here.

PayAsUGym - <£10
The most expensive of my suggestions but great if you want to supplement other exercise you are doing at home. PayAsUGym gives a list of facilities in your area with prices so you know exactly how much it will cost. This is prefect for engaging in activities that you wouldn't be able to do at home, like swimming or using expensive equipment.

Let me know your suggestions for cheap exercise in the comments below or on twitter or facebook. To see all posts in this series click here

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Did you know that in the film Toy Story, Sid's hallway carpet is the same design as the hallway carpet in The Shining? That's well creepy.

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