Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why go to the gym ...?

... if you can have a fun workout for free AND without being in the same un-airconditioned room with 20 other sweaty people?

Staying in shape is not about hitting the hippest gym in town where skinny models break their behinds as they try to lose another half a pound. It's more about being healthy and looking fit, not thin. As I don't believe in gyms, but in a shapely figure, I had to find other ways of working out.
Here are a few, maybe you can incorporate them in your daily routine, too:

1) If there are stairs to climb, climb them!

Escalators are only allowed if you have more than 3 storeys to ascent. That's a great workout for your legs! Make sure to walk very upright, not leaning forward, that'll get the muscles in your bottom and tummy going!

2) Take the bike to work/school/everywhere!

My bike is one of my most prized posessions. I go to work on it, and almost everywhere else. Even if you only need 20 minutes to work, that amounts to 40 minutes of work-out for your legs and back every day!
I understand that people don't want to go to their job on a bike because you arrive all sweaty and gross. Recently, I solved that problem by depositing basic toiletries at work, but of course not everybody has the room to do that.

3) Walk like a Pageant Queen! In Heels!

Walking around in heels all day is an extremely exhausting thing to do, most men will never appreciate that :) I will not call myself an expert on the subject, but I do have some experience. On a normal day at work, I stand and walk for about 9 hours and I love my heels too much to not wear them.
For starters, wear tights or stockings, otherwise the shoes are going to give you blisters, no matter how comfortable they are when you first put them on. Again, make sure to walk upright. Get into the Pageant Queen Posture (PQP) : Hold your chin up high, shoulders back (but relaxed!), make your back long and straight, and suck in your tummy a little bit. Uh, that's not comfy. Now, try to tense the muscles in your buttocks. Still not comfy - but that's really the whole point. Consciously trying to throw yourself into the PQP will probably give you sore muscles in your thighs, tummy and bum. But it looks good while you're at it and even better when those muscles get in shape over time.
When you try this at work, bring flats, too. Surviving an entire day in high heels is not for the faint-of-heart.

4) Got a park nearby? Use it!

I'm very lucky to live within walking distance of Tiergarten, a huge park in the heart of Berlin. I go jogging there (Get yourself some proper running shoes if you go jogging. It makes such a difference!) and sometimes, I just hang out, play frisbee with friends, or play with my pois. Going out and playing something, anything really, from soccer to hit-the-pot with your friends is probably the best and most fun workout you can have. I promise, it won't even feel like a workout.

Oh, and please share your free workout tips with me :) It would be very much appreciated!

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