If lack of time and financial resources are your excuses not to get fit this year, toss them aside. Neither are legitimate barriers for keeping you from feeling and looking great.
“Don’t deny your body the benefits of exercise just because you don’t have a large block of time or can’t find time for a formal gym workout. Keeping it simple is OK, ” said Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., professor and director of the Division of Cancer Etiology at City of Hope.
Bernstein published her first paper linking physical activity to lower cancer risk two decades ago.
Even 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week can improve your mental mood, lower your stress level, help you sleep better, strengthen bones and muscles and reduce your risk for serious chronic illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It has been established that regular exercise (about 3 to 4 hours per week) can lower the risk of colon cancer and, for women, the risk of breast cancer,” Bernstein said.
Here’s seven ways to get fit without joining a gym, and -- guess what? -- some cost nothing but a little ingenuity and your TV time. So pitch your excuses, get off that couch, and start moving.
Take a Walk
If jogging sounds too intimidating, take a walk instead. A small 2005 Duke University study showed that a brisk walk can be just as beneficial as jogging, especially if you’re only starting out.
Besides improving your cardio fitness, a brisk 20-minute walk can calm you as much as taking a mild tranquilizer. Exercise triggers the release of endorphins — brain chemicals that can relieve pain and stress. If you want to boost your walk try Family Circle’s Walk Challenge.
Boot Camp Workouts
If you love an intense challenge, a boot camp-style workout is for you. Organized fitness boot camps have sprung up across the country, so chances are there’s one close to you.