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14 ways to use the giant free gym on your doorstep. By Physiotherapist Claudia Cocci Grifoni


Get moving

Your body is designed to move. Regularly. But unfortunately, the majority of us sit too much, walk very little and only occasionally visit a gym or do some other form of exercise. The thing is that you have a giant gym right on your doorstep, wherever you live, whoever you are. You just need to know how to use it, and the great news is that IT IS FREE!


Isn’t going to the gym enough?

Going to the gym every day? Amazing job! But that’s simply not enough, as Katy Bowman, scientist and author of the book “Move Your DNA” says: “Actively sedentary is a new category of people who are fit for one hour but sitting around the rest of the day. You can’t offset ten hours of stillness with one hour of exercise.”


Get out of your comfort zone

Technology, of which we all can’t seem to get enough, is giving us the option to become lazier and more sedentary by making everything we do easier, quicker, effortless and “safer”. We could choose to live a challenge-free life but we need to ask, what is the consequence of this? The answer is, very poor mental and physical health: chronic illnesses, brain dysfunctions, postural issues, digestion disorders, muscle degeneration and so on.


Top 14 tips to feel the benefits of getting moving

Here are my top tips to get out of your comfort zone not only in the gym but in your everyday life:

1) Climb up or down escalators instead of standing and waiting.

2) Walk a minimum of 10,000 steps per day.

3) Jog down (and up!) stairs.

4) Avoid lifts and take the stairs.

5) Carry bags evenly distributed on both hands.

6) Commute using your feet, pushbike, scooter, skateboard etc.

7) Can’t avoid public transport? Get off one stop earlier or park your car away some distance from your destination.

8) Do exercises while standing on the train/tube/bus like testing your balance, breathing exercises or contracting an relaxing your muscles. 

9) Take a longer, roundabout way to your desk.

10) Organize the layout of your office space in such a way that you have to stand up to reach off phone, printers, cups of coffee, water etc.

11) Sit on gym ball at work and “bounce off” it often (it’s pointless if you just sit slumped or ridgid on it!)

12) Set a timer to get up and look away from your screen at least for 10 min every hour.

13) Don’t eat at your desk, get out and get some fresh air outside and walk around the block.

14) Got kids? Perfect! Crawl, play, exercise and “fight” with them. They are a “mobile” weight, optimal for core control and proprioception!


So unless you are injured or you have a specific disability, there are no excuses.


Get out there and have fun!


Claudia Cocci Grifoni 

Chartered Physiotherapist

Octopus Clinic 



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