Lazy guide to getting fit

Hate gyms? Too busy? Or just plain lazy? Read on

Whether you hate gyms, are plain lazy or just way too busy to put in the exercise time, there are still ways you can improve your health and energy without maximum effort. There are also ways you can eat healthier without going on a diet. Here’s how you can get fitter without running like a hamster on a wheel.

• Simply boosting your levels of general daily activity can help a lot. So when you’re out of milk, don’t call the local grocery shop to send some up, go down and get it yourself. Yes it’s hot but if the delivery guy can survive the heat, so can you.

• Eat a good breakfast and then have smaller, lighter meals for lunch and dinner. And while you’re at it, avoid eating at night. Try to have dinner as early as possible to give your body time to turn it into energy while you’re still up and about. Otherwise, it goes straight to your stomach.

• Dance around the house. Turn on the stereo instead of the TV and give yourself up to the rhythm of the music for a few songs. It’ll not only get you moving and burning the odd calorie, it’s also therapeutic. Dancing is a great way to burn calories and to have some fun. Get some fitness DVDs to dance to as well.

• Drink your 2.5 litres of water a day, but don’t do it all at once. And if trying to get through two big bottles a day seems like a chore then just choose water. Choose water when your colleague offers to make you tea, choose water when the waiter asks you if you’d like something to drink. It’ll make you feel full, too.

• Take the family for a bike ride. The Corniche is a great place to go and is home to the Byky bike renting booth. An hour on one of their bikes will set you back Dhs20. This is a great way to exercise with your kids while spending time together.

• Stop frying, start baking and grilling. Opt for lamb or chicken instead of beef. And make sure you have fish at least once a week. It’s lean and the Omega 3 oily fish contains is good for your brain.

• Whether you’re watching TV, walking to the neighbour’s or washing dishes – any time is a good time to work your abs. Simply stand (or sit) up straight and start contracting those tummy muscles. Try to do so in a lifting motion as opposed to in and out.

• Have your five portions of fruit a day and go for different fruits to avoid getting bored.

• Invest in some Sketchers Shape-ups or other easy-tone shoes and you can start toning your legs and posterior, simply by walking around as you normally would.

• Take the stairs! Around 30 minutes of stair walking can burn 300 calories. This may sound like a hard task but you can always skip the lift for fewer flights. And if the flights aren’t few, why not climb three flights in the time you’d otherwise spend waiting for the lift to arrive?

• Stop wasting your life circling mall parking lots to get a space closest to the entrance. Park further away and walk a little. Get a pedometer to record how many steps you walk a day. Doctors recommend 10,000.

• Do some laps. With so many pools here in Abu Dhabi, swimming is an easy and fun option to lose some weight. You can go at your own pace and cool down while you do it, too.

• Walk the dog yourself and if you don’t have one, offer to take your mate’s for a walk. They’ll love you for it and it’s an entertaining way to kill some time and do exercise.

• Cut back on fats like butter, ghee and margarine, and cook with olive oil. And if this leaves you without something to spread on your toast, pour the good stuff in a bowl with some balsamic vinegar and dip it.

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