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Short of time, short of space, short of cash? FLAT FITNESS is the answer.

Stay fit in a tiny flat, with no gym equipment, in just 11 minutes a day. Hell yes! Here are some super ideas on staying healthy when you’re working like crazy and renting a shoebox. Smile - You know that’s you ;)

Courtesy: Oliver Kreis - CC BY 2.0

In the late 1950’s the legendary Dr. Bill Orban devised the 5BX (5 Basic Exercises) plan for the Royal Canadian Air Force. It’s a daily fitness regime that takes 11 minutes for guys, and for gals, 12. By progressing through Orban’s charts, you can stop on, or repeat, a level to suit your age, ability, and how fit you aim to be.

The programme was designed to maintain the fitness of personnel stationed in camps and sleeping in tents. Read: if you’ve got enough space to lie down, then you’ve got enough space to do the exercises. No equipment needed. Once you’ve got your 5BX sorted, you can even do it in hotel rooms when you’re away on business trips. Sluggish travel-and-hotel-food-feeling NEVER AGAIN.

Since the 5BX’s ‘50s heyday, generations of fitness coaches have developed regimes suitable for small spaces. Fitnessblender’s Quiet Cardio is just one of the many great retakes on Orban’s old-school original. Not only do you need just a small area, but this routine doesn’t involve any pounding movements, either. This means no waking up your flatmates, and that you can do it at any time of the day. Ideal if you’re up early and back late from work.

Need motivation to work out on your own? Follow the YouTube video. It even has a countdown timer in the corner of the screen.

Incorporating weights into your routine can build fitness and strength even further. Oh, but you don’t have the space or cash for fitness equipment. Plus, who wants to be burdened with clunky kit to have to haul to the next flat when you move on?

Here’s how to make your own effective workout equipment from household items:

Cans are perfect handweights for bicep or tricep exercises, or to double up leg lunges as also toning on the arms. Choose cans of different food types to increase the weight. For example, begin on sweetcorn, move on to baked beans, and finally condensed milk!

If you’re not finding cans challenging enough, fill up used water or milk bottles with water or sand. Use different sized loaded bottles for different exercises and to match your fitness level.

Heavy, hardback books work excellently as weight plates for ab exercises such as Russian twists, crunches, or to add intensity to squats. One book not enough? Try two or three bound together with a belt.

A large box of powdered laundry detergent is a hefty addition to squats, or take one in each hand for a bench press.

Use these ideas to get you started, and then have a Google yourself – there are loads of regimes online that you can adapt to fit your flat. Fit your fitness around your own schedule, not the gym’s. But don’t go cray and hurt yourselves… disclaimer right there!

Written by: Flora Blower