Teen Breathe

10 free ways to exercise

10 free ways to exercise in 10 minutes or less

We all know that exercise is really important, both for your physical health and for your mental wellbeing. Sometimes though, the thought of trekking to the gym or paying for an exercise class can be enough to put anyone off. Teen Breathe is here to help, with 10 quick ways to exercise without cracking open the piggy bank.

1 Early morning moving!

The thought of getting up earlier than usual for school might sound unappealing, but it will be worth it. Set your alarm 10 minutes early, go for a quick walk, run or put some music on and get dancing. It will lift your mood for the rest of the day as well as boosting energy levels.

2 Salute the sun

Yoga isn’t just about bending and stretching your body into strange shapes. It’s a great way to exercise and helps people manage stress. You can start with what is called the Sun Salutation (see page 16) which only takes a few minutes. It’s a great way to stretch out after a night’s sleep and greet the day.

3 Walk whenever possible

We are lucky to live in a world where there is public transport everywhere but if it’s safe, why not walk or cycle to school instead of getting a lift or a bus? You might be surprised at what you see on the way.

4 Fitness with friends

Instead of texting your friends, snapchatting or playing video games with them, meet up and play a quick game of your favourite sport outside. Fitness is much more fun with friends… and even if they don’t fancy going on a walk or run, your dog will love you for taking them out (don’t have a pooch in the family? You could offer to walk a neighbour’s dog).

5 Tidy time

Helping parents with the chores may be boring, but think of the fitness benefits. Consider how far you walk doing the hoovering or how much effort you put into cleaning the car. The more effort you put in, the better for your fitness. Next time you’re cleaning upstairs, don’t collect all the things to take up in one go – run up and down every time you find an item. It won’t take that much extra time but it will burn calories, work your legs and think of the extra brownie points you’ll get from your parents.

6 Make a cuppa

Why waste the time it takes for the kettle to boil when making your coffee or tea? Pick up a couple of baked bean tins and do some bicep curls, run on the spot, do some squats or have a go at the plank exercise. See if you can keep it up until the steam whistle blows (or the electric kettle switches off).

7 Lunch break

Lunch breaks mean precious time with your friends – but why not suggest you all join one of the school clubs or, if there aren’t any you like, find out how you could start one you would enjoy? If you and your friends are competitive, why not start a fitness challenge with other students? A little healthy competition always spurs people on.

8 Box fit

Addicted to TV box-sets? If you really can’t tear yourself away from Netflix, consider exercising in front of the TV. You could do sit-ups, the plank, floor exercises or stretches and turn that TV time into toning time.

9 Go outdoors

Spend 10 minutes towards the end of the day helping your parents watering plants, weeding or doing any little jobs that need to be done. It will gently get you moving and impress your family at the same time.

10 Bedtime yoga

Downward-facing Dog, Triangle Pose and Seated Spinal Twist are just some of the yoga poses that can help you relax and sleep more soundly – look up evening yoga exercises online for more poses and instructions. Follow up your practice with a meditation or awareness session and you’re bound to enjoy sweet dreams and wake up bright, fit and ready for anything next morning.