For every person who loves the sound of gym shoes hitting a treadmill, there’s another who actively hates it. Loud, bustling and busy, gyms are not everyone’s cup of tea – or protein smoothie – but thankfully, they’re not the only place to get your health kicks.
Here are six enjoyable ways to improve your health without setting foot near a gym. Because life’s too short for exercise you loathe!
6 ways to improve your health without going to a gym
1. Eat properly
“You can’t outrun a bad diet” is a sentiment that many people have to learn the hard way. While half an hour of running may burn 400 calories, one takeaway meal with a fizzy drink could easily pack a 1000-calorie punch.
So, while exercise can be excellent for weight loss and heart health, you’ll be undoing all your good work if you don’t pay attention to what you eat.
Bottom line? Eat healthily. Include five fruits and/or vegetables in your daily diet, switch from white carbs to brown, and trim back on the sugar. There are so many small and easy ways to make healthy dietary changes that could reap massive rewards.
2. Take 90
Three half-hour sessions of exercise a week is all you need to improve your overall mental, physical and emotional health – and there are so many ways to get active!
Talk a half-hour walk or jog three times a week. Walk to work; walk your dog; play with your kids! Do some gardening or vigorous household cleaning. Exercise at home by following workout DVDs or YouTube videos, or do bodyweight exercises while watching your favourite series. There are plenty of ways to fit three 30-minute sessions into your week.
3. Sleep more
Figure out what your ideal amount of sleep is – for most adults, it’s around six to eight hours per night – and do your best to achieve this most nights of the week. Insufficient amounts of sleep have been linked to higher stress levels, mental health issues, obesity and other serious health issues.
4. Use your legs more
Walking and running are two of the easiest ways to improve your health and fitness without spending a cent. Start parking further away from where you need to be, and walk anywhere where it’s safe to do so. Can you walk to college or work? Can you run for half an hour after work? Are there park runs in your area? These are some of the simplest ways to bring massive health benefits to your body without getting anywhere close to a gym.
5. Wash your hands
Keeping your hands clean and sanitised is one of the most effective ways to avoid illness. After all, we’re more likely to become sick from touching an infected surface (or person) than by inhaling something from the air.
Always wash your hands after you’ve visited the toilet, as well as before and after changing tampons. You should also aim to wash your hands every hour or two with warm water and soap, even if you haven’t gone to the loo. Spritz on some waterless hand sanitiser for an extra layer of protection.
6. Drink less alcohol
Alcohol is linked to a whole range of health problems including high blood pressure, heart and liver disease, certain types of cancer, and more. It can also lead to sleep disturbances and mood swings, and it can aggravate existing mental health conditions. Plus, alcohol is laden with calories, making it one of the worst things for your waistline.
Drinking less (or cutting out alcohol altogether) can only bring great benefits your health. If you’re worried about how much you drink, or if you think you’re unable to stop, help is available. Find out if Alcoholics Anonymous is for you.
Get a complete health check at your nearest Marie Stopes
Book your women’s wellness check-up at Marie Stopes, and we’ll be able to help you identify the most effective ways to achieve better health. We’ll also perform all your essential annual health check-ups.