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At home exercises to get you moving

Whether you’re trying to save money, live in a remote area, or simply can’t spare the time to work out, there are lots of ways that you can get active from the comfort of your home.

No matter whether you have a half hour while your baby naps, a few minutes during a tv ad break, or an hour out in your garden, here are some simple ways to squeeze in some extra movement to your day:

Yoga

Yoga is an excellent way to get moving because it combines physical fitness with the exercise of mindfulness. By moving in time with your breath, you can calm the body and mind and bring some peace and tranquillity to your day. There are lots of different styles of yoga, from restful yin yoga to vigorous power yoga, so there’s something for every personality and level of fitness.

Yoga is easily accessible to everyone – there are books with illustrations and movements that you can buy online or from a book shop, or borrow from the library. You can also access free yoga video classes on the internet, such as Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube.

Dance

One of the best things about dance is that anyone can do it – all you need is music. Lots of different people can enjoy dance, including children, couples, people who live alone, and people of all different age groups.

Not only is dancing great for your body, but it’s also an excellent way to bring some joy and laughter into your daily routine. Pop on your favourite album, clear some space and get moving.

Gardening

Any experienced gardener will tell you that it can be a very physical hobby. Walking around the garden, kneeling and bending to tend garden beds, stretching out to reach branches or water different plants – all of these movements add up over time.

Not only is gardening a good way to keep moving, but there are lots of other benefits that come with it. It’s an immensely rewarding experience that provides relaxation, fresh air, sunshine, as well as access to fresh fruit and vegetables. Children especially can benefit from learning about fresh food and nature through caring for a garden.

Bodyweight exercises

Another free and easy way to get moving is through some simple bodyweight exercises. These can be done at any time – for example, you can do some squats while you’re brushing your teeth or on the phone or do some crunches while you’re waiting for ad break to finish. It only takes a few minutes of movement to make a difference. Here are a few ways of doing different exercises to make them work for you:

Squat/sit to stand

Beginner: find a stable chair and sit down with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Pushing up through your legs, raise yourself to a standing position, and then repeat.

Intermediate: From a standing position and with your feet hip-width apart, sit back as though you were going to sit in a chair, keeping your spine neutral and chest up. Lower yourself down until you feel comfortable, keeping your feet firmly and evenly planted on the ground, and then push yourself back up to a standing position.

Advanced: Repeat the above movement, using hand weights, two-litre bottles of water or hugging a bag of rice or potatoes to your chest.

Push-ups

Beginner: Facing a wall, position yourself at arms width. Place your palms on the wall and keeping your back straight and head neutral, bring your face and chest forwards between your palms. Once you have nearly reached the wall, straighten your arms and push yourself back to an upright standing position, then repeat.

Intermediate: Lie flat with your stomach against the floor. Place your palms flat against the floor on either side of your chest and, keeping your elbows close to your body, straighten your arms. Bring your chest up, keeping your knees on the floor, until your arms are fully extended. Lower down in the same position, and then repeat.

Advanced: Repeat the above movement, except instead of resting on your knees, keep your legs straightened and support your body through your toes.

You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to stay fit and healthy. Use the resources and time that you have available to you, and remember that small pockets of activity add up over the course of the day.

You may also be interested in the following:

5 healthy recipes for the whole family
6 effects stress has on your body
A smoothie bowl recipe for healthy skin

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