Malaysia is well known for it's glorious food offerings steeped in a mixing pot of cultures and traditions! But these tempting tastes are the main reason Malaysians reportedly rank highest on the obesity scale for Asia. Couple this with a lifestyle of tablet gaming and late night mamak visits and you have a recipe for definite weight disaster.
What many of us need; is a good workout. The benefit of exercising is not just to keep fit, lose weight and tone muscle: it is for your mind and soul too, to reduce stress, boost confidence and combat anxiety. But two of the biggest hindrances to most Malaysians seeking a healthier lifestyle is the claimed lack of funds to buy equipment or hit a gym; and the lack of time to dedicate to working out.
To aid this age-old problem; we've compiled a list of cheap exercise tricks (or most of it actually free) that at best requires just a little bit of time but a healthy dose of determination.
The Stair Master Workout
No need to go out and buy those overpriced fake workout stairs; the real thing is everywhere in abundance for you to use. In the workplace, the mall and your home (if you live in a condo, apartment or two-storey house). Most of us hate the stairs and opt to use the elevator to go up and down the building but we're missing out on a great workout opportunity. Just as an example, a person weighing 72kg can burn up to 102 calories by walking up and down the stairs for 10 minutes, by running, the calories burned will increase to 191. These exercises build endurance and strengthens those leg muscles and in a long run, it will help to reduce bad cholesterol and improve heart rate. Ten minutes of stair climbing is equivalent to 20 minutes of running.
The Domestic Goddess (or God - we're equal opportunity) Workout
Yes, you read right, cleaning the house is one of the cheapest and most convenient workouts you can do because it is at home based and it's pretty much something you're going to have to do anyway. You can really burn those calories from your Nasi Lemak breakfast and mixed rice lunch by wiping the floor and the bathroom tiles. It is also a full body workout when you need to stretch those hands and legs while cleaning the windows and the ceiling fans. Vigorous house cleaning will allow you to burn more than 300 calories in an hour of cleaning. The benefit you will get is not just a full body workout but the reward of a tidy house to relax in after!
The I-Have-No-Time-For-Anything Workout
We all know that guy/girl (or we may be that guy or girl!) who simply doesn't have time for anything. The Five Minute Body Workout was designed for individuals who have limited time to exercise. This workout will let you burn calories equivalent to an hour's worth of exercise with target toning and rapid fat burn. There are a few variations of the workout but the most popular full-body workout involves presses, lunges, curls and push-ups.
The FootLoose Workout
Kevin Bacon would be proud of you if you took on this sport of choice. Dancing is a fun activity to do alone in the privacy of your home where you can go completely nuts or with friends at a club. There are many types of dancing for you to choose and learn, you can always learn the steps online or just make it up as you go along! Dancing is a great exercise and is what a lot of new-fangled gym classes like Zumba are based on. A 60kg individual can burn at least 270 calories doing light dancing like jazz or tap and that's a fraction of what you can burn if you go completely nuts on the dance floor. To top it all off, it's a super fun exercise that you won't even realise you're working out!
The Go-Back-to-Childhood Workout
If you have kids at home, take that opportunity to sweat by spending time playing yard games with them. Hopscotch, tag and the usual run-around games kids play can be a great way not only for you to bond but to get a workout too.
No kids at home to play with? No sweat; there are orphanages all over the country, which may be happy to have you come over and spend some time playing with the kids. Not only do you get your exercise; you do a good deed too.
The Beyonce Hula-Hoop Workout
Okay, B may not have invented the hula-hoop but she surely brought it back in fashion. All you needs is an inexpensive adult sized hula-hoop and you could be twirling away to a fit bod like Beyonce.
With just 30 minutes of hula-hooping, you can burn 300 calories! In order to get the right size to your body, make sure the hula hoops reach your chest when you stand it up in front of you. Hula-hooping does take a bit of practice though so don't be cut up if you don't perfect the hooping in your first try. You'll soon get the hang of it!
Are you now inspired to get fit? It's actually a whole load of fun and not an overpaid trainer in sight!