Although it might not feel like it, what with the rainy weather we’re having right now, summer is going to be here before you know it. Come June, the average daytime temperature is going to be in the mid to high 20s and we’re all going to be dreaming of jumping into the sea! With beach days around the corner, you might be thinking about getting into shape. In Malta, most of us tend to spend half the summer in our swimsuits. It’s completely unnecessary to worry over getting yourself ‘beach body ready’. Having said that, it’s really hard to ignore all the adverts on TV and social media. Already, pictures of men and women with perfect, airbrushed bodies can be seen everywhere, modelling the latest trends in swimwear.
Getting fit doesn’t have to be about competing with or comparing yourself to models. Exercising, if nothing else, makes you feel really good. Get in shape for no one else but yourself! It will boost your mood, your sex life, your physical and mental health and, in turn, boost your self-confidence. Don’t worry about other people on the beach, or whether they’re looking at you or not. You don’t have to get in shape for them. Don’t even make it about your bikini or your swimming trunks, make getting fit about you and improving your overall health.
According to the World Health Organisation, just 150 minutes of moderate exercise is enough for you gain a myriad of benefits. These include a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression. That’s just over 20 minutes a day! Luckily, you don’t even have to join a class or sign up to the gym to start exercising. You can get fit in your apartment, in your living room, whilst watching your favourite TV show. You don’t have to buy any fancy, expensive gym machines or equipment for your flat. Here are some great exercises you can try at home that don’t cost much or anything at all, for that matter. Put your favourite episode on in the background and get going!
When you think of skipping, your mind probably goes straight to the school yard. For decades, children have been jumping over ropes, reciting rhymes and laughing with their friends. However, skipping shouldn’t only be an activity that’s done by young kids! Skipping gives you a fantastic full-body workout. It works the muscles in your arms and your legs, as well as your core. Skipping ropes aren’t expensive, either. You can pick one up for less than ten euros. If you want to get yourself a decent speed rope, you’ll need to spend a little bit more. If you are someone who travels a lot, this is a great sport to get into. Your rope will pack neatly into any handbag or suitcase, so you can carry on your exercise routine even when you’re away.
You don’t have to skip straight for 20 minutes a day - in fact, anyone who could do so is probably a demigod! Just do 1 minute and rest, 1 minute and rest, and keep going for as long as you can. You’ll definitely trip over the rope in the beginning, but they say that practice makes perfect and they’re right. Eventually, you’ll be able to skip for longer without tripping, your endurance will improve, and you can start doing some more advanced steps. If you are thinking of taking up skipping to work out at home, do take your neighbours into consideration. If you don’t live in a ground floor apartment and you have downstairs neighbours, then perhaps try to skip while they’re out. If not, they will wonder what on earth is going on when you start jumping on their ceiling!
This is yet another exercise that you most probably associate with your childhood. You can use a hula hoop to tone any part of your body. Not an ordinary hula hoop; to do a hula workout, it’s best to purchase a weighted hoop. Low-budget hoops go on Amazon for anywhere between 8 and 20 euros. You don’t just have to circle the hula hoop around your waist. There’s so much more you can do with it! Like skipping, you can use your weighted hoop to tone your arms, your legs and your core. Unlike skipping, on the other hand, a hula hoop doesn’t travel nearly as well as a skipping rope. There are collapsible ones on the market, but they are much more expensive. To find hula workout inspiration, you can go on YouTube and even Instagram. Watch some videos and start hooping!
If you don’t want to spend any money on equipment, you don’t have to. You can get some serious aerobic exercise in every day without using a single piece of equipment. Except for, perhaps, your gym clothes. You don’t want to be working out in jeans! At home, you can do a variety of different exercises that don’t need much room or any expensive equipment. Think sit ups, press ups, planks, burpees, mountain climbers, lunges, squats, jumping jacks and more.
To get inspiration for your zero-equipment home workouts, you can use Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, along with dedicated blogs and other websites that offer free advice. If you’re watching a workout video, do skip through and make sure you’re not going to need weights for an exercise half-way through. Water bottles are a pretty awkward replacement, just saying. The beauty of working out at home is that you can do it in private and no one will be there to watch you. One thing this might lead to is you doing certain exercises incorrectly, however. So, although you may be loath do to so, try to work out in front of a mirror. That way you can keep an eye on your form. If you’re watching a decent video or reading a good guide, you should get some tips on how to do the exercises correctly and what not to do.