Wed | May 31, 2023

'Tis the season to lose that weight

Published:Saturday | January 9, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Randy Bowman, Gleaner Writer

We're all guilty of overindulging at Christmas — an extra large slice of pudding here, a big piece of ham there and alcohol everywhere.

So it's no surprise that most of us choose weight loss as our number one resolution at the beginning of each year.

It is also the season when gyms and dietitians pump up the advertisements for fancy diets and weight-loss programmes leaving us feeling worse.

And now that everybody is feeling the pinch of tough economic times - not to mention the demands of family life and other obligations - sometimes the gym just isn't an option.

But that's no reason to skip a workout! There are plenty of ways to break a sweat and get fit in and around your home. And you don't have to buy expensive equipment to do it.

Get creative and put to use common household items, such as soup cans and water bottles, as exercise equipment.

Saturday Life found a few ways to help.

Interval walking/running. Add some cardio to your morning routine with a run, a brisk 30-minute walk around the neighbourhood or a quick jump-rope session alternating periods of fast with slow. Working out in the morning, though, is a great way to wake yourself up and boost your energy for the entire day.

Stair climbing. If you live in a multilevel house, start climbing. Stairs are the most readily accessible exercise tool. Make it a point of duty to climb up and down them an extra five times each day. If you do not have stairs at home, make use of the ones at the office. For example, finish eating ten minutes earlier and sneak this quick mini-workout into your lunch hour.

Weightlifting. If you own a set of hand weights, you can easily do two to three sets of each of your favourite arm exercises. If you don't, cans of corned beef, condensed milk or water bottles make great stand-ins.

Off-the-couch crunches. Keep your abs in shape with this simple technique: Lie on the floor with your butt against the couch and your legs at a 90-degree angle on the cushions. Put your hands behind your head and crunch up towards the couch. Perform two to three sets of 15.

Push-ups. This is a classic exercise that will tone your chest, arms, and back; the lunge is also fantastic for strengthening your lower body.

Play. Yes, this might sound absurd. But trust me, playing football, basketball, netball or swimming gives you a good cardio workout, and cardio represents weight-loss bonus points, so add it in whenever you can.

Yoga. If you don't know any yoga exercises off the top of your head, go online and find a video or two. Yoga not only calms you during these stressful times, it also improves strength, flexibility and balance.

If you're fit enough to be reading this article you're fit enough to start. What are you waiting on? Move it!

Additional info from