You have survived the Christmas-New Year period and have set your 2021 health goals. Now comes the hard part: maintaining them.
Improving your fitness was more than likely high on the priority list of many readers, but there could yet be some hurdles to overcome before you can get started.
Holidays are one. Are you planning to go away? And if so, how can you maintain a strength and fitness program, especially if you are only starting out?
Making time for exercise on holidays can be tough but is not impossible.
Exploring the place where you are staying through walking, jogging or cycling if you have bikes on hand is one way to incorporate fitness into the trip.
If you want to work on strength, bodyweight exercises are perfect as they can be done almost anywhere.
They are also a good place to start your strength program, allowing you to get your technique right before adding weight.
Nerida Bint, owner of Lissome Newcastle and Lissome Maitland female only gyms, incorporates bodyweight exercises into many of her workouts and has offered these explanations and advice:
Q: What are bodyweight exercises?
A: Bodyweight movements are basically any kind of movement that you can do to improve your fitness, strength and flexibility without having to utilise any equipment. They are a great tool to incorporate into your training routine as it means you don't have to rely on accessing equipment. Anywhere. Any time. Think things like running, walking, air squats, push-ups, handstands and more.
Q: Who can do them?
A: Anybody and everybody. You don't need to be at any particular ability to be able to perform bodyweight movements. Depending on your current ability may have an impact on the number of repetitions you do and the intensity at which you do them. But, like anything, the more consistently you do something the more that you will improve. The key is to start somewhere and do what you can.
Q: What are the benefits?
A: There are so many benefits, including:
- Freedom. You can do bodyweight exercises anywhere at any time. There are no excuses. Being away from home, away from your gym or out of your "normal routine" is not an excuse. Familiarise yourself with a few good key exercises that you can do while out of routine and you'll be grateful you did.
- Functionality. Conquering bodyweight movements before moving onto more progressive movements is always ideal. Being able to perform a good air squat before squatting with a kettlebell or barbell is key. Being able to hit the full range of movement without restriction is important too. Practising bodyweight can help you develop the strength and flexibility required first.
- Variety. There are so many bodyweight exercises that you can do that are fun, enjoyable and easy to incorporate into your daily life. This is important. If you don't enjoy your training to some point, you won't stick at it and will end up resenting it.
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Renee Valentine is a journalist, qualified personal trainer and mother of three.