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For those of you who may not know, one of my 3/2/1 strength challenges is that of “exercise: physical strength”. Generally I talk about doing:

* Stretches

* Yoga

* Dance

* Physiotherapy leg exercises

* Shivanata


However, I also have an actual work-out which I sometimes revert back to [i.e. when I remember, have time, feel up to it & have space: read as~when I see myself negatively so strongly I feel I need to sort it out NOW].


My friend Sonja is a big inspiration to me in terms of strength as she reads, is creative and posts about her workout stats; which keep reminding me of what I haven’t achieved [but could if I just put in the time/effort!].


A History

I would never call myself “sporty”.

I love exercising. When I was 13 I lied about my age to get into the ‘junior gym’ group; my grandmother wrote a “6” instead of an “8” so that I looked two months older and thus reached the age of 14 in time for the summer holidays. I spent the next two years of holidays going to the gym, with my music player, the treadmill, rowing machine and different bikes as my favourite activities.


I then switched from swimming to lifesaving; where I learnt to tow causalities through water in pyjamas, plimsolls and a long-sleeved top. Skip to college, where I began doing karate and then to University; where I began strengthening my arms for circus society, unicycled 6 hours a week until my knees broke [hence the physio] and began taking yoga and belly-dance classes.


The Enjoyment Factor

I’m not a fan of paying a lot of money to exercise; yet this means I’m often doing things alone [I’ve tried the buddy system with running, walking, stretching, yoga and belly-dance now and they’ve all failed in their own ways]; which then means I forget or “take a night off” easily.


Yet, I feel so much better when I’ve exercised! I don’t really enjoy walking, but strength training, dance and cycling (which I can’t do until my knees recover). I’m also not up for swimming due to distance form a pool and price [and fear of hurting fish in lakes/the freezing cold ofEngland=P].


The Exercise

I’ve tried to write all my exercises down here.. none of them cost any money [now that I’ve done two years of karate and know how to do the moves correctly].


~*~ Arms ~*~

–          Press ups (with knees on floor to begin with)

–          Leg tucks (plank then lift left knee to right side)

–          Karate warm-ups – punches [head, stomach], back hand [round and forward], elbow strike [side, forward]

–          Free Weights  (I use 500g cans for ease/cheapness)

  • Basically I hold the cans out in front and move backward, inward, up ward; then hold them at shoulders and go in ward, outward, up ward, downward.. simple stuff.. I think the technical names may include:
  • Bicep curl
  • Triceps Curl
  • Shoulder Press
  • Lateral Raise


–          Sphinx (Elbows on floor, arch back backwards/up)

–          Cobra (Same as above but lift elbows up so palms hold you up)

–          Plank

–          Curl into ball on back and roll

–          On back, legs up on chair, arch.


–          Right hand over to left ankle

–          Touch your toes

–          Squats

–          Sumo Stance [knees face out]

–          Horse-riding stance [knees face forward]

–          Sit on floor doing tree stance [one leg bent, foot on other knee… get Karate friend to push on your back until you can touch your toes..


So, that’s quite a lot to add to walking, running, jogging on the spot, star jumps, burpees, lifting objects up around your room, washing up, cleaning the house [scrubbing the cooker is a good one!], skipping and so on.


When I return home next weekend, I’ll be able to use the Wii Fit again to play balance games and do yoga on [and live near some swings and a lovely lake].


Do you work out? How do you minimise the cost in terms of money, time spent getting to the gym/class etc? Do you exercise alone? Are there any exercises I’ve missed?


In Light,