If the pandemic — with its onslaught of restrictions and isolation measures — has brought out your inner couch potato, just know you’re far from being alone. And, if now that the world is opening back up, you find yourself excited (but totally unsure) of how to get up and moving again, we’re right there with you.
When it comes to starting up a fitness routine, practice and patience are key — but so is having the right tools. Being active is good for both your body and your psyche, giving way to a deluge of stress-relieving benefits, which is why it should be accessible to everyone.
Don’t be fooled by the host of extravagant fitness classes and lavish athleisure out there. There are tons of ways to stay fit without sacrificing quality, and we’ve narrowed down a few of our favourites for you to try.
Get a membership
Free digital resources are a great option if you’re working with a non-existent budget, but if you have even a little cash to spare, the community and hands-on expertise you gain access to with a gym membership can be invaluable. Oh, and air conditioning. There’s also air conditioning.
“Aren’t gym memberships expensive?” This may be the question you’re asking yourself right now. Not at Fitness World, where low-cost (we’re talking $8.99 bi-weekly) meets high-value fitness solutions. For the summer months, the local fitness chain is hosting the Great Summer Melt Off. By partnering with local brands, the gym will be offering a slew of incentives for new members in the spirit of encouraging people to melt off the stress and anxiety built up over the past year.
Additional perks include The WORX, a small group training program that’s inspired by High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for a sweaty, good time, as well as Fitness World’s hydro-massage amenities where you can relax and relieve muscle soreness.
Get creative with your weights
When it comes to doing strength training and finding things to lift, you can forego professional equipment in favour of cans of soup, wine bottles, heavy books, or anything else, really. Bonus points if you bench press your pet and/or baby.
Just as well, stretchy things, like pantyhose and leggings, can double as resistance bands or help you get a good stretch in. With the Fitness World app, you can also access a slew of different virtual workout classes and put your quirky weights to the test.
Leverage your body weight
While getting creative and using random objects around your house as weights can be fun, you may not even need the extra resistance. Forms of exercise, like yoga and pilates, allow you to leverage your body weight (hello, planks!) to challenge yourself physically, get your heart rate going, and build lean muscle.
Other exercises, like pushups, burpees, squats, and jumping jacks also use your body as its own form of resistance for a satisfying (and totally free) workout.
Make housework a workout
Next time you’re having difficulties summoning the energy to clean your house or tend to your garden, remind yourself that all that vacuuming, dusting, and getting into the nooks and crannies can add up to a pretty decent sweat session.
Explore your city on foot
Instead of hopping on a ride-share or taking the bus, take the scenic route to your next destination — on foot. The truth is, being active can be as simple as making your legs your number one source of transportation.
If on any given day you’re feeling especially energized, you can also pop on your running shoes and get to where you need to go faster (albeit, maybe a bit sweatier) by jogging or running.
Give yourself a carrot
Sometimes, you need to know there’s a reward waiting for you at the end of your workout. By giving yourself a “carrot” in the form of a new experience or treat — like that new ice cream place you’ve been meaning to try — you can overcome your reluctance and access the mental fortitude needed to get through a vigorous session.
This applies to your Fitness World membership, as well. With brand new HydroMassage loungers now available at all FW Club locations, they’ve got your post-workout recovery covered.
Turn to free resources
If you’re working with a minimal budget (or none at all) but have big fitness-related aspirations, it’s totally doable. From YouTube videos to free apps, lots of movement instructors turn to free-to-use platforms to teach things like yoga, pilates, strength training, aerobics, and more.
As a Fitness World member, you also gain access to the free resources and classes available on the Fitness World app. Plus, you can pull them up virtually anywhere — whether it’s your living room or the park.
To learn more about Fitness World’s low-cost, high-value memberships, you can get started with a free trial by visiting fitnessworld.ca/freepass.