Lifestyle » Health
Saving money is a major factor during these Covid-19 times. Finances are a huge challenge – many people have lost their jobs and the lucky ones are surviving on pay cuts.
So the last thing on most peoples’ minds is buying any exercise-related equipment or gadgets. Gyms remain closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good training session. With that said, there are alternatives for training on a budget.
Functional training is proving to be the most cost-effective, budget-friendly way to keep in shape. Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, improve your strength, or gain muscle mass, all of this is achievable with functional training. The amazing thing about it is that it can be done, anywhere, anytime. All you need is a square meter of space and a full-body workout can be achieved in as little as 15 minutes, or as long as you want it to last.
Functional training simply teaches you to utilise your body as your training weight. For example, if you weigh 60kg and you do an exercise like jumping jacks for one minute, you are carrying 60kg for an entire min-ute. Not many people can carry and utilise a 60kg dumbbell at the gym for an entire minute.
For warming up your body, you can do a series of 30 second or one-minute exercises, such as jumping jacks, knee-high jumps, front kicks, side shuffles, running on the spot, buttock kicks, skipping (without a skipping rope) and mountain climbers.
Skipping rope. Photo: iStock
Upper-body exercises can include push-ups, triceps dips on chairs, multidirectional punches, holding water bottles filled with water. Lower-body exercises can include a variety of squats and lunges. Exercises that target the full body include burpees, sit throughs, and mountain climbers.
A workout can include a five-minute warm-up, stretching, followed by 10 functional exercises performed for 30 seconds each. After every fourth or fifth exercise, you rest for one minute. Repeat all 10 exer-cises three times for three sets. This workout will last a good 45 minutes.
Home gym equipment.
Now that we are spending a lot more time at home, it makes sense that our workouts are at home, so we simply don’t have any excuse. Setting up a home gym doesn’t have to happen all at once. On a tight budget, you can purchas one item at a time. The basic equipment you can have includes a skipping rope and a yoga mat.
Home gym. Photo: iStock
If you have extra funds, you can add resistance bands, a variety of dumbbells, kettlebells, a medicine ball, swiss ball, and an adjustable step. A full-body workout can be achieved with these items. When the budget allows, add a treadmill, a rowing machine, or a stationary bike.
Cardio exercise getting a cardio workout on a restricted budget is possible with functional training. There are other options if push-ups, squats, and burpees are not your preferred kind of exercise.
Two of my favourite cardio workouts are running outdoors and skipping (with a rope). All running requires is a good
pair of sneakers and skipping requires a skipping rope. Both these items do not require much money and they will
last quite a while.
Just 30 minutes of running or 10 minutes of skipping can burn calories, increase your heart rate
, and have you breaking a sweat. Dance classes are available virtually via online videos or online live classes. Another option is to simply purchase such videos. They usually don’t cost more than R200.
A 30-minute workout takes 2% of your day, while a 60-minute workout is 4% of your day. So let’s make an effort to
achieve three to five days of exercise per week.
Letshego Zulu. Picture: Instagram / letshego.zulu
Zulu is a qualified biokineticist and cofounder of PopUpGym. Follow her on Instagram: @letshego.zulu; Twitter: @letshegom; Facebook: Letshego Zulu
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