By now, we all know the U.S. general population is suffering from lack of physical activity. Technology has moved more jobs from being on the feet to sitting in a chair all day.
Sitting syndrome, as it’s called, can be extremely hazardous to your health. Numerous studies from UC Davis Integrative Medicine and other educational institutions have found sitting for hours on end every day can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes type 2, obesity, and premature death.
There are a number of factors that get in the way of dedicating time to physical activity. Lack of funds may be an issue when it comes to healthy eating, but you can stay physically active without a gym membership.
But before you hit the ground running with the activities below, do two things:
● Get the right equipment. Even something as simple as baseball socks can make a huge difference as far as comfort and safety are concerned.
● Honestly assess your physical fitness level. Trying to take on activities that are too strenuous can lead to an injury. It’s better to start slow.
Once you’ve got those two things figured out it’s time to get physical.
Running, Jogging, and Walking at the Park
Being out in nature is very good for your mental health. If you add a little physical activity it’s also good for your physical health. Public parks with paths are the perfect place to run, jog and walk without having to pay to use the property. Bonus if the park paths have mile markers to help you note the distance.
Too hot to make it through your entire workout? You can always speed walk through the mall to make sure of the air conditioning.
Yoga is another way to enjoy the outdoors while exercising for free. In many cities, you can find MeetUp groups that organize free yoga sessions at least once a week.Of course, you can always find a shady spot in your yard or a public space and do yoga poses on your own. On a grassy knoll or beach, you don’t even need a yoga mat.
Swimming in Natural Bodies of Water . . . Or a Public Pool
Swimming is a great all-around workout. All it takes is a swimsuit and a body of water that’s big enough to do laps. If you don’t live near the ocean or a lake (or the thought of swimming with animals freaks you out) see if there’s a public pool nearby.
Bicycling in Place of Driving
Help the environment and your physique by biking rather than driving. More and more cities are investing in infrastructure that encourages people to bike when possible. For cities, the goal is to alleviate traffic, but for individuals, it means you’re being active in transit rather than sitting idly.
Use Your Own Body Weight
For many exercises, you don’t need a machine or weights. You can use your own bodyweight as resistance for some of the most tried and trued exercises that exist. Squats, push-ups, sit-ups and a number of other calisthenics use nothing more but your body.
Want to increase the intensity? Get a set of resistance bands to make each rep more intense.
Use Actual Stairs for Stair Stepping
One of the best ways to torch calories and get the heart pumping is stair stepping. Some people spend thousands of dollars on a fancy stair stepping machine when a free alternative could be right outside the door.
All you really need is a single flight of stairs to get a great workout. Aim to go up and down the flight of stairs for a minute and then rest for 30 seconds. It’s easy to overdo it so make sure to give yourself enough time in between sets.
Play Ball on Public Courts
Almost every city has public basketball and tennis courts that anyone can play on. As long as you have the necessary equipment that’s all you need to have fun while exercising for an hour or two.
Staying fit and healthy doesn’t require monthly membership payments. There are plenty of ways you can stay physically active by utilizing public resources and a few key pieces of equipment.