Tuesday 17 June 2014

Why you don't need to go to the gym to be healthy

With holiday season upon us, many of us will be striving for the perfect beach body. However gyms are costly affairs and not all of us can afford it. L&G recently conducted a survey and found that when faced with financial difficulty, one of the first cuts that people make is their gym membership. However there are other ways to have a glowing complexion, stay in shape and generally be healthy. And it doesn't have to cost the earth. Here's my guide to living a healthy lifestyle on the cheap: 

1) Go for a walk - walks are not only good for the body, but they're also great for the mind. I find that if I visit a picturesque place, this will keep me distracted for hours and I'm more likely to walk a farther distance.

2) Get that vacuum cleaner going - studies show that with regular housework you can burn 50,000 calories a year!

3) Sex - exercises every muscle in the body and keeps your heart rate up. As if we needed an excuse(!)

4) Buy less takeaways - make your own! Takeaways can be packed with salt, so by making your own you can control what goes into it. Whilst I do still indulge in takeaway pizza every so often, there's nothing better than creating your own pizza dough:

5) Cut back on booze - drink in moderation. I only drink occasionally now and my complexion is so much better for it.

6) Find out about free clubs / groups in your area - look for ads in the local paper or enquire around at work. My company offers free activities like football, tennis and yoga. I attend the yoga classes and it's had such a positive impact on my physical and mental health.

7) Don't deprive yourself - if want that doughnut, have that doughnut. If you deem something is "forbidden" you'll keep snacking on rubbish - and lots of it - to satisfy that sugar craving. Save yourself a lot of time and torture, and just have the doughnut. Having one once in a while doesn't hurt anyone.

8) Borrow fitness DVDs from family and friends - rather than going out and spending money, I've had a night in before with friends and we've done one of those dance-yourself-fit DVDs. It's a great laugh. Remember, laughter releases endorphins - "feel good" hormones.

9) Get an early night - studies have shown that staying up late can affect the way your body burns fat. It's important to get a good night's sleep as this is the time when your body repairs core muscles. An article I read the other day suggested that staying up late with a" blue screen devise" such as a smartphone or laptop, could induce hunger pangs making you prone to late night snacking. Allocate time before bed to "wind down". Switch off the electronics, treat yourself to a relaxing bath, light some candles and read before bed. This is as change I've made lately and I feel better for it.

10) Make simple changes to your diet - reduce the number of sugars you have in your tea. Order hot chocolate without cream. Go for tomato based pasta sauces rather than creamy cheese based ones. But as I pointed out in bullet point number 7, remember not to deprive yourself. You can still eat these things, just in moderation. I still eat biscuits like no one's business however I make sure I have fruit and unsalted cashews with me at work to snack on when I hit my afternoon slump.

11) Take the stairs - I rarely take the stairs at work, but it's the best way of toning those glutes!

12) Never skip meals - especially breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It establishes your energy and blood sugar levels for the day. Porridge is great as it will slowly release its energy across the morning, keeping you fuller for longer, so that you're less likely to indulge in as many snacks before lunch.

13) Bring a packed lunch rather than buying on the day - that way you can control what goes into your food. Lots of people mean well when they go for a salad - however most shop salads / restaurant salads aren't that low fat because of the high sugar levels in the dressing they use. I prefer to create my own salads and wraps, using a splash of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice for flavour.

How do you keep fit?


  1. Eurgh yes, I've vowed never to join the gym again - they're so costly!! All really great points. I don't even realise how much I'm working out when I'm hoovering but by the time I switch it off I'm LITERALLY sweating. And the point about not depriving yourself - I always use the motto "ONE unhealthy meal won't make you fat just like ONE healthy meal won't make you thin." I probably abuse it a bit too much but yes, it irks me when I'm with someone who won't have that one tiny treat, just makes me feel worse myself!

    Jade | The Jade Aesthetic.com

  2. number nine is so true, it's amazing the difference making all these small changes can make :) Great post
    H x

  3. These are great tips - going to the gym DOES NOT appeal to me at all. I need to go for longer walks and sleep earlier for sure! x

    Josie’s Journal

    1. I'm working on getting to bed earlier - almost succeeded last night, then the Zara sale happened... :P x x

  4. I really enjoy reading this! Great tips :) I definitely agree with number 9. Last summer I went without internet for a while so I read books before bed instead of sitting on my laptop and I noticed a huge difference! xx

    Under Blue Lights


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