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Environmental Health

Home gym to reduce your carbon footprint

I want to introduce you to a way of keeping fit, strong, lean and healthy AND carbon neutral. That’s right, no more driving to an air-conditioned, fluorescently lit, noisy gym loaded with electronic equipment and plasma screens. Instead we are going to go back to nature and discover the finest home gym ever invented; your own body and homemade equipment. I’m talking about bodyweight training or calisthenics. If you want superior results in strength, stamina, muscle endurance and a lean physique, quit the gym and ignore all those fitness gimmicks and gadgets. Learn to train anywhere, anytime with no equipment and no excuses!

The advantages of bodyweight only training: -Lean, defined muscles without the bulk. Our bodies are built to run, walk, lift, throw, carry, climb, crawl and fight. Bodyweight training will strip away unwanted weight, while maintaining and building muscle, you’re body simply won’t want the extra weight. -Mobile and efficient movements. In all bodyweight drills you have to stabilise and balance yourself. Not only will you involve more muscle groups by doing this, but you will also train the body to move as a unit. Being strapped into a machine doesn’t allow this. -Unbelievable endurance. Forget the step or spinning classes if you want stamina and staying power. Instead try knocking out timed sets and multiple drill circuits with bodyweight. -Reduce pain and stiffness in the body. Taking a joint through its natural and compete range of movement it will smooth itself out, stimulate the release of nutrient rich lubricants and keep itself healthy well into old age.

The ultimate advantage of using our own body is the convenience. You can perform Pushups and Squats anywhere, pull ups only require something to hang from, be it a swing set, doorframe or tree branch.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Bodyweight has its limitations, but with imagination we can create external resistance to further skyrocket our progress. Homemade and improvised gym equipment can be made up of various items, most of which would end up in some rubbish dump if you weren’t breathing a lease of life into them.

Take that old holdall you’re about to chuck out. Save it, fill it with sand or gravel (you may want to put a liner inside), you have just built a sandbag (more on that here). Anything you can do with a barbell you can do with a sandbag with the addition of throwing and carrying. How about using an old car tyre, now you can flip it, drag it, push it and hit it with a sledgehammer, all these drills will take your conditioning to a new level, stripping away fat and building a rock solid core.

It doesn’t stop there, you can improvise equipment out of almost anything and in doing so will bring your strength, condition, mobility and physique to whole new level. I dare say you’ll enjoy doing it a whole lot more than by going into some fossil fuel using, VOC emitting, soul destroying, expensive commercial gym. Keep the sessions short (45 mins or less), vary them, eat well, get good sleep and become the envy of your friends. Now get out there.

About the author Dave Hedges Personal Trainer, Fitness Coach, Self Defence & Martial Arts Instructor

Dave is just putting the finishing toches to the bodyweight manual “No Equipment, No Excuses” This will soon be available through

This post originally appeared here Wild Geese / +353 87 672 6090 subscribe to our newsletter simply send a blank email to:

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