After putting on ten kgs and storing my entire wardrobe in the will-wear-after-losing-weight pile, I got serious about my fitness. I was 22 kgs over weight, and that was too much. I faced some health issues, and they were going to increase because of my work from home internet lifestyle.
I joined a gym, and all was going well until the day I shifted to Delhi. I was in a new city all by myself, and my expenses were already way too much. Then the gym membership in this new city to me is way costlier than I had expected considering I was going to one of the most expensive gyms in my hometown. That forced me to try and stay fit without a gym and without spending too much money (as I just couldn’t).
This article is for those who do understand the importance of fitness but are looking for pocket-friendly ways to stay fit. By following the things listed down below, I have managed to keep my body in the fat-burning state and lose a bit of fat (even when I haven’t been that regular). I hope these help you to stay fit without burning your pocket just like they did give me a hand.
Warning: It’s a bit long, because of the details.
1. Do Bodyweight exercises
What’s the modern day way to lose weight? Join a gym? Exercise? Well, you don’t require a gym to lose that extra fat stored in your body. Bodyweight exercises are not easy to do, and that’s why they’re perfect to lose weight and tone your body.
Here are the few exercises I suggest you regularly do to shed some kilos – crunches, squats, side bends, kicks, push ups, planks and jumping. Try to do three sets of each (10 reps for each set) a day.
There are plenty of more bodyweight exercises you can try. It would be great if you introduce changes to each of them to make sure your body doesn’t get too used to this kind of exercise.
- Don’t let your body get used to each exercise. Variation is important.
- If you’re a beginner, try to do more cardio – that’s jumping, dancing, running. Your body will become softer over time that’s when you must introduce crunches, squats, bends and so on as these exercises are for toning your muscles.
- Use Pinterest to find different body weight exercise.
- Devote half an hour in your day to these.
2. Watch what you eat
One of the biggest reasons why you’re fat is because you have been eating bad stuff. You need a lifestyle change. And that comes when you start watching what you eat. No dieting. Try to switch to healthier things.
A lot of people have a big misconception about what’s healthy and what’s not. For that, you must read some good resources about what exactly is healthy food. If you’re an Indian, stick to your Indian diet. Just be careful about not consuming the unhealthy stuff like refined oils, processed food, sugar, etc.
The book The Great Indian Diet is a fantastic source to help you understand what exactly is healthy and what’s not. Read it. Implement it. Else use the internet to dig up this information.
It will take time for you to understand the science behind every kind of food and its affect on your health but it would be worth it.
- Don’t just switch to a different diet in one day. Your body will go into shock.
- Make small changes each day as then you’re more likely to stick to them.
- Eat your homemade diet. If you’re an Indian, eat Indian food.
3. Physical movement is necessary
Stop waiting for a particular time in a day to exercise. To stay fit is to opt for a 24/7 job. You need to work on it all the time. When you’re sleeping, you’re preparing your body for the day. When you’re awake, you are focusing on doing whatever you can to maintain your health.
Here are some small changes which I made in my otherwise life of sitting at my desk all day long inside my home. I have specifically tried not to make myself feel that I am exercising as that would mean I am skipping this every other day.
- I go shopping for groceries daily (and walk).
- I don’t use elevators and escalators.
- I never keep food in my bedroom. Either I will go to the kitchen, or I won’t get the food. Most of the times, I don’t get up. (= I eat less).
- I cook food from scratch. (=I eat healthier food. I stand in the kitchen which equals a bit of a physical exercise).
- I walk while I read books.
4. Wake up early
Okay. I am a big defaulter in this case. I work till late at night and wake up late, and the cycle continues. But I have been trying my best to change this. The best thing you can do to stay fit is sleep early and wake up early. The goal is to wake up every day at 4 A.M. Why 4? Nothing related to some superstition.
But I have seen a pattern of successful, mentally and physically healthy people focusing on waking up early. Rock (Dwayne Johnson – THE ROCK) wakes up at this time every day. Robin Sharma (a very popular self-help guru) wakes up at 4 A.M. I have successfully managed to wake up at this time and trust me! It feels incredible.
If you often think that you have too less time in a day and too many things to do, the only magical spell that can elongate your day is waking up at 4. Try it!
5. Exercise mental fitness
Physical fitness isn’t the only thing you require to stay fit. You need to be mentally fit. Many people shed tens of kilos and consider that they’re getting healthier. But at the same time, they are facing depression, headaches, and more issues. That’s not healthy!
Being healthy is a state where you’re physical, mentally and emotionally fit. In India, people think mental health is all about being mad or not. Sad. Those headaches you get when you get angry are a sign of sickness. And they don’t require any medicine to be treated.
All they need is your focus on being mentally fit. I am not a doctor. I can’t advise you what exactly you should do for being mentally healthy. But here’s what I have done for myself:
- I focused on my physical fitness. I ate better. This lead to an overall better state of mind.
- I recognized that I had a problem. February 2016 was a horrible month for me. Every day I had a headache. In fact, I had a sharp pain in my head after every 3-4 hours. I couldn’t understand why that was happening until I did. It was stress. Now, same symptoms are being faced by a friend of mine. While he’s still struggling, I have managed to stay away from the headaches for 13 days so far. How? I acknowledged the problem. Rather than ignoring the main reason for those frequent headaches, I tried to find it. I found it and dealt with it.
- I tell myself every day that it’s me who can control my mind. So, things like stress don’t bother me anymore. Because when I get stressed, I tell myself not to. I make myself de-stressed.
- I have taken up a new hobby. When I get stressed, I bake a cake. Not exactly a “stay fit” thing but it helped me get rid of those ‘stress attacks’ I used to get. Doing something that makes you feel happy (without bothering about its importance in your personal and financial life) helps a lot.
I did include the point of staying physically active. But this is still different. Dancing is a perfect exercise for physical and mental fitness.
The music helps you get rid of those pain inducing thoughts which mess up with your head. It helps you feel free of those material and worldly pursuits and just enjoy being alive.
At the same time, those dance moves add up to the physical exercise you do. It’s cardio that can help you lose weight or just stay fit.
I have made a ritual to turn on the Saavn Radio every day and just dance like mad people. I usually do that while preparing my breakfast. I save time, and I contribute to my health. Dance every day if you want to stay fit.
7. Stay motivated
No matter how many things you can do to stay healthy, they wouldn’t work unless you’re motivated enough to work for your health every day. You need to stay conscious of your dire need to stay healthy. You need to participate actively in getting healthy. For that, you need motivation.
Let your Instagram timeline flood with motivational quotes and photos, to inspire your to work on your fitness. Let your bedroom walls tell you every day to walk, run, exercise, eat healthily and dance. Let your friends ask you about your progress report. Let yourself examine you every week and boost your confidence.
Motivation comes from inside as well as from outside. You require both. Get it. No one will put it in your lap. Fight for it.
If you’re really serious about staying fit, you must tell me how you’re going to motivate yourself to follow everything I mentioned above or your personal fitness regime. Comment below!