7 easy peasy at-home exercises

Don't fancy shelling out for an expensive gym membership? These simple exercises - all of which you can do from the comfort of your own living room - are just the ticket
 

Intensity

 

Stair-running
This is fairly low-impact on the knees and feet, and great for buttock- and leg-toning. You’ll need several flights of stairs, so the best place to try this would be at work or out and about.

• Bound up stairs for 30 seconds
• Recover for 1-2 minutes
• Repeat

The whole foot should land on the stair, and don’t run downstairs. You can, of course, do this on a step machine.

Jumping jacks or star jumps
You’ll remember these from PE lessons at school, and there’s something joyful about doing them in the kitchen while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil. Stand with your hands by your sides. In one movement, jump up with your legs apart as you raise your arms to the sides. Land with your arms over your head and your feet more than hip-width apart. Jump up again and, in one movement, bring your legs together and your hands back to your sides. Repeat for 60 seconds.

 

Strength

 

Do as many repeats of each of the following exercises as you can manage in 30 seconds and take a 10-second rest between each bout.

Wall-sit
Start with your back against a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and positioned about two feet from the wall. Slowly slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground and your knees are directly above your ankles. Don’t arch your back. Hold the position for as long as you can.

Ab crunches
Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor and your hands positioned either side of your head. Raise your upper body without lifting the lower back off the ground, making sure your chin is tucked in towards your chest. When your shoulders and upper back are lifted off the floor, gently curl back down.

Squats
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands placed lightly on opposite shoulders. Imagine you are preparing to sit in a chair; bend at the knee, keeping the weight in your heels. Make sure your back is as straight as possible. Keep bending until your legs make a 90-degree angle, with your thighs parallel to the ground. Push back up without bending your back.

Plank
Lie on your front on the floor and then raise yourself onto your forearms and toes so that your body forms a straight line from head to toe. Make sure your mid-section doesn’t lift or drop. Hold the position for as long as possible. Remember, it should never cause pain in your lower back.

Lunges
Stand with your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart. Stride forward with one leg, bending both knees to 90 degrees and keeping your upper body straight. Pull back to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.

These exercises come from The Fast Beach Diet book.

  

If you are in reasonable health, short fasts (which will always, don't forget, include the Fast Diet's calorie allowance) should be fine. If you are on medication of any description, please see your doctor first. There are certain groups for whom fasting is not advised. Type 1 diabetics are included in this list along with anyone suffering from an eating disorder. If you are already extremely lean, do not fast. Children should never fast, so this is a plan for over-18s only. Pregnant women should eat according to government guidelines and not limit their daily calorie intake. Similarly, if you have an underlying medical condition, visit your GP as you would before embarking on any weight-loss regime.

Last updated: almost 2 years ago