Health

No gym? No problem!

No gym? No problem!

We all want to sculpt a fabulous body, toned arms and precise muscle definition, but going to the gym, being costly and time-consuming in a day and age where every second (and every cent) counts, is not always possible.

The good news is that you really don’t need to go to the gym to get that summertime look, in fact, you don’t even need gym equipment – your own body weight is perfectly capable of doing the job on its own.

Burning fat and toning your legs, arms and abs are as easy as one-two-three, and a mere 15 to 20 minutes away, two or three times a week, working your way up to five sets. The ultimate goal is to do three sets consecutively, well and good. You are bound to get tired, especially in the beginning, don’t push too hard or force it, rather stop and rest for a few minutes.

Let’s get started
Remember to warm up. Getting your heart rate going and muscles primed is especially important to avoid the chance of injury later on.

Jog on the spot, stretch, twist and swing your arms and legs or run up and down a few stairs, that is all it takes to get the blood pumping. Do this for about five minutes but don’t wear yourself out before you have even started your exercise regime.

1. Jumping jacks x30
Stand with your feet close together, hands at your sides.
Raise your arms above your head and jump simultaneously, spreading your feet wide as you land.
Without stopping, swiftly reverse the movement and repeat.

2. Squats x20
Stand with your feet spread shoulder-width apart.
Place your fingers on the back of your head, just as if you had been arrested.
Slowly lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees.
Pause, then gradually push yourself back to the starting position and repeat.

3. Side plank x10
Hold your body in a straight line from head to heel as if you were doing push-ups.
Keeping your core engaged and arms straight, gradually shift your weight onto your left arm, rotating your torso to the right and raising your right arm towards the ceiling.
Your right foot should now be on top of your left and your body in the shape of a T.
Hold for three seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. That’s one repetition.

4. Walking lunges x15
Stand with your hands on your hips and your feet hip-width apart. Step forward with your right leg, and then slowly lower your body until your right knee is bent at least 90 degrees.
Pause, then rise up and bring your back foot forward as if you were walking a step. Repeat, alternating the leg you step forward with each time.

5. Push-ups x20
Go down on all fours, placing your hands directly under your shoulders on the floor, which helps to work your triceps harder.
Lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor and pause.
Push yourself back to the starting position as quickly as possible, keeping your elbows closely tucked in as you lower your body.

6. Bicycle crunches x15
Lie flat on your back with your hands behind your head.
Lift your knees towards your chest.
Rotate to the right and touch the left knee with the right elbow while extending the right leg.
Repeat on the other side with the right knee and left elbow.

Points to remember
• After your workout, it’s time to wind down with a few stretches. This helps the muscle to recover faster as well as reduce muscle fatigue.
• It’s a good idea to alternate your routine with a cardio regimen, this improves your heart health and targets multiple muscle groups.
• If necessary, use a chair, bench or a similar support to help with balance.
• You can supplement your exercises with dumbbells, and if you don’t have any, full water bottles do just fine.
• Take it easy. Going slowly will work the muscle harder and make you stronger.
• The most important part of any weight loss program is to eat correctly. No amount of exercise will help you if you plan to lose weight but don’t eat properly; 80% of weight loss comes down to food choices.

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