The Gymless Workout

When we imagine the word workout, why do we think of gyms with treadmills, and machines and equipment?

Why don’t we imagine yoga, swimming, hiking, jogging on the streets, dancing, walking, playing tennis, badminton, table tennis, basketball, cricket etc ?

And why not “workin” instead of ” workout”. In Episode 1 of my podcast ZipTalks (out now on spotify and apple itunes), you will hear my guest Ravneet Gill talk about the concept of “workin”.

This blog describes how one can be fit and healthy without going to a gym.

I used to be a gym rat. Running 6 km on the treadmill, followed by weights or using the machines in the hotel gyms that I frequented with all my travel. I discovered the world of mat exercises in May 2019. A very dear friend introduced me to the world of HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training and the ” 7 Minutes ” exercise App. He advised me to start with 7 minutes and then increase the intensity and time once the body gets comfortable. I suddenly realized that Anywhere and Everywhere can be your Gym. All I needed was a mat. Sometimes a fresh towel over the carpeted hotel room floors is what I used.

Essentially HIIT is a form of interval training, a cardio exercise strategy alternating short intense exercises (viz, push ups, crunches, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, burpees, planks etc) with less intense recovery periods. There is no standard session duration, however it can vary from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. Duration also depends on intensity of the session and the exercises you do in the circuit. I have been doing this for over a year now, and find my body more toned and “fit” than before.

Example of a HIIT routine. Find more Keep Fit Workout Routines on the youtube channel #ziptofitness

Similar benefits are known to come from the practice of Yoga. Over the Lockdown I re-discovered the world of Yoga – Asanas, Pranayama and of course the Sun Salutations – an incredible exercise for the full body that also takes your heart rate up.

You may ask, what if I need to lose weight, won’t I need to use the machines for cardio?Running, jogging, swimming, bicycling, even walking, are all effective cardio exercises that don’t need a gym. The is key is “consistency” and ” self – discipline”.

And, how can I end the blog without mentioning Sports? Tennis, cricket, basketball, football, squash – if you can blend sports in your fitness routine it helps bring about a different element of fitness. Some of the other attributes that you can imbibe from sports (other than the physical aspect) are teamwork, attitude of play to win, hand eye co-ordination, game awareness, match fitness, – These are things that you don’t typically imbibe in a gym or a non sporting environment. And these are attributes that hold you in good stead not only in the field of sports, but in other parts of your life, like work, social situations etc. They say Sports helps to build your character and if you truly want to see the character of a person, you should watch him or her play sports. During the Lockdown I started playing basketball with the kids in the building and I find myself more nimble, energetic and toned. And of course not to forget the fun element in playing a game.

So, while we are all in Lockdown, and most have no access to gyms, let us look at “workin” rather than “workout” and Anywhere and Everywhere can be your Gym.

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