HALE W18 Masthead

No frills fitness

Ashleigh Went

When it comes to getting active, some of the excuses you’ll hear are “I don’t have time”, “I can’t afford it” or “I don’t have the equipment”. 

What’s a busy, frugal lady to do?

Luckily, workouts actually don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. There are plenty of ways to move your body that do not require much equipment and can be slotted in around your schedule.

TAKE THE HIGH ROAD

Hill sprints are my go-to workout when I have lots of energy to burn and really want to challenge myself. All you need is a pair of decent running shoes and a steep hill.

My favourite spots are the bridge between Civic Pool and Commonwealth Park, or the grass slopes on Reconciliation Place.Start at the bottom of the hill and run as fast as you can to the top. Walk back to the base for some active recovery, and then repeat.

SKIP A BEAT

Remember all that skipping you did back in primary school? As it turns out, it’s actually a great way to burn calories and get your heart pumping.

There’s a reason why it’s so popular among boxers: skipping helps increase your aerobic fitness. You can either skip as a standalone activity—try skipping for two minutes and resting for 30 seconds to a minute, for as long as you can—or as part of a circuit mixed with other exercises.

PUT ON YOUR DANCING SHOES

If you’re not game to sign up for a whole term of dance classes because you’re too busy to work around a timetable—or just skint— make your living room your dance floor and let loose.

Choose whatever music gets you moving, pump it loudly and get your freak on – just make sure you shut your blinds or you may find yourself with a captive audience.

GET BENDY

Yoga classes are wonderful but it can be challenging to fit them around your schedule. The solution is to roll out your mat and try yoga at home.

If you’re a more experienced yogi then you can practice some sun salutations solo, but if you’re a beginner or looking for some guidance, you can find yoga instructors sharing sequences for free on YouTube. Lululemon offer some good ones or try Yoga with Adriene – her 30 Day Yoga Camp is excellent, and her Yoga for Anxiety and Stress is the ultimate cure for overwhelm.

RING THE BELL

This one might not be ‘equipment free’ but it only uses one piece that’s super versatile and fairly inexpensive – the kettlebell. Kettlebell Swings are a fabulous exercise that gets your heart racing and engages your glutes.

Goblet Squats, Kettlebell Deadlifts and Turkish Get Ups target lower body, while Bottoms Up Presses, Single Arm Rows and Upright Rows help strengthen your upper body. Add in some Russian Twists for your core and you have yourself a whole body workout!

FREE FORM

The ultimate piece of workout equipment – your body! Bodyweight exercises are fantastic for perfecting your form and building up base strength before moving onto weighted exercises.

Push Ups, Prone Holds/Planks, Side Planks, Squats, Lunges, Handstands, Bridges, Dips – these are all really effective bodyweight exercises.

Mix and match your favourites to make a circuit or take to Google or Pinterest for some inspiration.

This article originally appeared in Magazine: Back to Basics for Autumn 2017, available for free while stocks last. Find out more about Magazine here

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Ashleigh Went

HerCanberra ACTIVE Editor Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. As someone who loves champagne and cheese almost as she loves a sweaty workout, she's all about living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She can usually be found with her nose in a book, planning her next adventure, in the gym or updating her Instagram @wentworthavenue. More about the Author

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