Hammersmith & FulhamLifestyle

Exercising in London during the cost of living crisis: The small space workout challenge

With the price of just about everything rising, people have to choose between their fitness and other life necessities. 

Fulham fitness guru, Wayne Lèal, described by Sustain Health Magazine as “probably London’s most innovative trainer”, has the answer to exercising in the small amount of space most Londoners have available to them.

He said: “Gyms are losing more members than new ones coming in, and soon gym fitness will become an unattainable extravagance for many people. 

Wayne Lèal’s exercises can be done anywhere, even in cramped London flats (Picture: Edgar Bogdanov)

“More and more people are facing a difficult decision: should they continue paying for a monthly gym membership, or will they need to use that money to pay their increasing living bills?

“However, when people quit exercising at the gym, they rarely continue at home. And then the difficulties begin – your body fat accumulates as your caloric needs drop. 

“Your metabolism slows, and your muscles lose their fat-burning capacity. Additionally, since you no longer burn the same number of calories during exercise as you formerly did, the excess calories will be stored as fat.

Jugs of water and canned goods also serve as handy replacements for dumbbells, says Wayne Lèal (Picture: Edgar Bogdanov)

“You don’t need exercise equipment. You can do an entire workout with just the weight of your own body. A set of resistance bands is an inexpensive strength work product that takes up no space. Jugs of water and canned goods also serve as handy replacements for dumbbells.”

Five Small Space Fitness Solutions from Wayne Lèal:

  1. At home does not necessarily imply in-house. If the weather is nice, go outside. You are not obligated always to exercise inside because you are at home. Get out, appreciate the weather, and work up a sweat. It will inspire and bring a smile to your face.
  1. Squats and push-ups – Have a daily goal of 10 push-ups and 10 squats, even if they are not consecutive. Do them as often as possible. I do 50 push-ups and squats 2-3 times a week before bed to help me burn excess energy, get a night of restful sleep and burn more calories. Push-ups are a great exercise because they use your whole body, don’t require any special tools and can be done quickly; anywhere, at any time. Squats are a great way to build strength and improve balance. They work many muscle groups, such as your calves, quadriceps, abdominals and glutes. They are both functional movements, which means they help you get stronger and less likely to get injured when it comes to doing your everyday tasks.
  1. Try my free ‘Super Six Program’ that includes– high knee run, single leg stand, push-ups, plank splits, squats, and star jumps. A complete workout in less than 8 minutes with no equipment required. Exercises such as press-ups are one of the most vital indicators of your risk of heart disease. Squats are one of the best exercises for enhancing brain function. The single-leg balance test will very quickly indicate the quality of your proprioception – with your eyes shut, you can tell where your body is in space.
  1. Use the stairs – Climb the stairs to work out all your leg muscles, including the glutes  an excellent method for enhancing leg strength and calorie expenditure throughout the day.
  1. Buy a folding leg rebounder (mini trampoline). You will burn more calories bouncing doing exercises for 20 minutes than jogging for one hour, and it’s safer on your joints. You can fold the legs and lay the rebounder against the wall or under the bed when not in use. Any of these activities can make a difference and, before you know it, you will no longer be missing the gym but instead looking for opportunities within your daily routine to work out, use your body more and keep burning off those calories.

Pictured top: Wayne Lèal (Picture: Edgar Bogdanov)

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