Fast, Free and Heart-Friendly | Eclectic Cake: Fast, Free and Heart-Friendly

Monday, 9 March 2015

Fast, Free and Heart-Friendly

Three of the most common excuses to not exercise are:
1) Not having enough time
2) Not being able to afford gym membership
3) Finding it boring

So, in support of British Heart Foundation, are encouraging Britain to fit in just 10 minutes of fun exercise that can be done for free in your living room. That small amount of time spent being active will contribute to your cardiovascular health. And a healthy heart means a long and healthy life.

To improve your heart health, it's important to raise your heart rate during your workout, so doing something fairly intense over this short amount of time will do the trick. Keeping your workouts fun, means you'll actually look forward to doing them and you'll be more likely to exercise regularly. Using items from around the house as your 'gym equipment' means you can start right now and there's no need to buy expensive contraptions or commit to a gym.

But what to do in those 10 minutes? Below is my living room workout. It's fun, free and slightly silly but it got my heart pumping and really worked my core and upper body, so I'd call that a success!

Roxanne Warm-Up (3 minutes, 18 seconds + 20 seconds rest)
Use this one track by Sting and you'll have a fail safe warm-up to get you ready for anything. Press play and get ready. Every time you hear "Roxanne", do a press-up (either a full press-up or resting on your knees for an easier alternative). Each time you hear the words "red light", do a squat thrust (with your hands on the floor, jump your feet in towards your hands, then back out to a press-up position).

It'll ease you in nicely but come the end of the first chorus, your arms will be shaking and you'll start to feel your heart rate climb. Go all the way to the fade at the end and you'll have earned a 20 second rest.

Tin Can Balances (2 minutes + 2 x 20 seconds rest)
Anything that makes you wobble will get your core working. The wobblier the better, so try placing a tin can on the floor and balancing on one leg in front of it. Lean forwards, swinging your lifted leg behind you to help your balance, and pick up the can from the floor. Slowly come back up, still on one leg and raise the can above your head. Put the can in your other hand and slowly bend back down to place it back on the floor and stand back up.

Repeat this ten times on one side. Take 20 seconds to shake out, then do the same on the other leg. Rest for another 20 seconds.

Sock Slides (2 minutes + 2 x 20 seconds rest)
Who remembers sliding around in their socks on a newly polished floor as a kid? Get nostalgic during this section of the workout by getting your fluffiest, slippiest socks. Put one under each of your feet as you take a press-up position. Set the clock and get that heart pumping, whilst doing sliding runs for a minute.

After your 20 second rest, get back into position for another minute of sliding. This time, one at a time, slide your leg out to the side and back in again. Rest for 20 seconds, before getting ready for the last part of the workout.

Floating Burpees (1 minute)
Burpees are a notoriously nasty exercise, so let's make them a little more fun by adding a simple motivator. Grab a plastic bag and throw it in the air. Drop down and do one burpee before the bag drops to the floor. Grab it mid-air and go again until the minute is over. It will stop you pausing at the bottom and a few stray bags will even get you giggling.

There we have it. A fast and free workout that's a little bit ridiculous but completely heart-friendly and fun. Let me know if you give it a go and if you have any living room workout tips.


  1. The warm up sounds intense! This is lovely and charmingly silly.

    1. It fools you into thinking it'll be easy...then the chorus kicks in! The last chorus lasts for about a minute – it's a killer!

  2. Great workout, so much fun :)

    1. Thanks, Georgina! That was my main focus – keep it fun.

  3. Great workouts! Love the carrier bag one!

    1. Thanks! It's silly, you'll end up with the bag flying everywhere but you'll do your fastest burpees ever!