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4 Tips that’ll Help You Master Your Home Workouts


POPSUGAR United Kingdom (blog)

4 Tips that’ll Help You Master Your Home Workouts
POPSUGAR United Kingdom (blog)
In a rush to reach our fitness goals, a lot of us join the gym and see it as a fix-all option, but it’s not a quick fix, and if you know your wavering motivation may not justify the spend, then opting instead for home workouts is a great choice. But

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How To Up Your Fitness, Fast – Without Spending On A Gym Membership – HuffPost UK

Summer might be coming to an end but that doesn’t mean your workouts have to slow down. When autumn rolls around and the evenings get dark, it’s nice to head to a warm gym to keep fit. But what if you don’t fancy giving a third of your take-home pay to your local gym?

Never fear. There are alternatives that don’t involve fighting another gym-goer for the treadmill. You don’t even have to get dressed to try out kettlebell exercises at home in your pyjamas. Take your fitness to the next level and save pennies while you’re at it.

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Kettlebells

When you’re short on time and you don’t want to get dressed to workout, try kettlebell exercises at home. A kettlebell is a cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle. You can use them for strength and cardiovascular exercise. Swinging a kettlebell around is seriously hard work. You’ll work up a proper sweat while burning calories and toning muscles.

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Wild swimming

Swimming pools can be pricey and they are often filled with screaming children. If you don’t mind braving the cold, find your local wild swimming spot and go for a dip. Hampstead Ponds is a famous wild swimming lake in London and is a lot cheaper than regular pool, at £2 a dip. 

Swimming is a low-impact workout so it’s great if you are recovering from an injury, plus you’ll start to see your fitness improve in a whole new way. Take a look at the Wild Swimming[1] website for local swimming ponds near you.

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Plenty of cities have pay-as-you-ride bikes now, making it cheaper than ever to go cycling. It’s fantastic for building cardiovascular fitness and toning your muscles. Regular short cycle rides are the best way to get fit. Start biking twice a week and gradually build it up – before long you’ll be that person powering uphill on your bike with legs of steel.

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Tennis doesn’t have to involve signing up to an expensive club. Whacking a ball around is one of the best ways to get fit while having fun. Tennis is all about quick explosive movements and dynamic strength, plus it builds stamina and encourages coordination. There are dozens of free access tennis courts around the country. Some even offer free coaching for families. Find your nearest free tennis court on the Tennis For Free[2] website.

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While not traditionally thought of as a fitness regime, yoga can be an intense workout if you practice the right style. Ashtanga and vinyasa style yoga not only stretches muscles but also strengthens your core and tones your upper and lower body. A one-hour vinyasa class burns nearly 600 calories. You can easily practice yoga at home by following YouTube videos or join a pay-monthly site. Try Yoga With Adriene’s 45-minute Power Yoga class[3] for starters. 

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All you need to start running is a pair of trainers. The beauty of pacing pavements is you can do it anywhere – whether it’s on your commute to work or along the coastal path on holiday. Start with a short 10 minute jog and slowly build up to 30-40 minutes. Don’t berate yourself if you have to walk.

Just challenge yourself, next time, to run a little further. Running is the perfect fitness regime if you want to see results fast and it is totally free.

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HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. It involves short bursts of exercise that you can do at home to build strength, stamina and increase your metabolism. Fitness Blender[4] is one of our favourite YouTube channels for HIIT exercises. You can choose different length workouts, from quick 10-minute cardio sessions to kickboxing and skipping. You don’t need any special equipment and you won’t have to pay a penny. If the sun is shining, take that HIIT regime outside and do it in your local park.

skynesher via Getty Images

References

  1. ^ Wild Swimming (www.wildswimming.co.uk)
  2. ^ Tennis For Free (tennisforfree.com)
  3. ^ Power Yoga class (www.youtube.com)
  4. ^ Fitness Blender (www.fitnessblender.com)
  5. ^ Suggest a correction (www.huffingtonpost.co.uk)
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Plantronics BackBeat FIT Review: Fantastic Wireless Headphones

I almost never run, cycle or do anything active without headphones (I’m sociable that way) and I’ve tried dozens of sets of wireless headphones. The Plantronics BackBeat FIT aren’t just good – they’re the first pair to finally convince me to give up my trusty wired Bose SoundSports when exercising.

The requirements of a set of wireless headphones[1] for sports are quite simple. They have to stay in your ear, be comfortable, have a decent battery life and sound good. However, I’ve found that most sets don’t hit even half of these targets. The BackBeat FIT delivers on every count, and throws in some extra features for good measure. And all for a very reasonable £70.40 on Amazon at time of writing[2] (RRP £99.99).

The lightweight headset is barely noticeable once on and didn’t shift at all over the course of a half marathon. The earbuds are not designed to be jammed right down into your ears, which I found far more comfortable than standard in-ear buds, and they also let in some ambient noise – always handy when running on busy roads.

The battery life is a healthy eight hours and every time your turn them on a voice notification tells you how many hours you have left. That’s an extremely useful feature and one that should be on all Bluetooth headphones. The BackBeat FIT charges fully in around 2½ hours, with a 15-minute quick charge delivering an hour of playback.

Given the ambient fit and modest price point, it’s perhaps not surprising the sound quality doesn’t quite match top-end headsets like the BEOPLAY H5, especially when it comes to bass. As someone who mostly listens to podcasts and embarrassing pop music when running, I value a comfortable fit far more than thundering bass, but for some it might not suffice.

The headset has controls for play and pause, and taking calls, although the latter will reduce the battery life by a couple of hours. The band is flexible and the whole caboodle is waterproof, which bodes well for its durability. A wide variety of colours is available and the headset also has some reflective detailing. It probably won’t be the difference between life and death when running at night, but every little helps.

Every time I tried to pair the BackBeat FITs with a device I had no problems connecting quickly – in fact, they turned out to be a little too good at this. It’s all too easy to turn the headset on accidentally when it’s in a rucksack and once on, it immediately connected to my phone, overriding the headphones I was wearing. It took a while to work out why my music had suddenly stopped.

Aside from that minor confusion, the BackBeat FIT was a joy to use, setting standards that I wish were met by far pricier Bluetooth headphones. Unless you’re an absolute bass fiend, or prefer an in-ear fit, it’s a fantastic headset at a very good price. plantronics.com[3]

References

  1. ^ wireless headphones (www.coachmag.co.uk)
  2. ^ £70.40 on Amazon at time of writing (www.amazon.co.uk)
  3. ^ plantronics.com (www.plantronics.com)