When you start thinking of doing some sort of fitness program, most people tend to think they have to go out and grab a gym membership before they can start.
Well that’s not necessarily so…….there are lots of choices.
Gyms and health clubs provide all the latest fitness equipment you could ever need plus it saves you from having to purchase a heap of weights and fitness machines which generally end up in the corner of your garage collecting dust.
But gyms can also have several downsides that concern some people. If that’s the case for you then there are still plenty of ways you can keep fit and active.
Many people have concerns about gyms being unhealthy places to spend too much time. You have hundreds if not thousands of people coming and going all hours of the day and night. Some of these people have colds, flus and other infectious diseases or germs they are freely dispensing in the very air you breathe. You also have to consider the fact gymnasiums simply can’t clean all of their equipment several times a day (which is why I always keep a pack of antibacterial wipes in my gym bag).
That means sweat, hair, dead skin, bacteria and other health-haters are probably covering the weights and fitness machines you like to use!
For those reasons alone, it makes good sense to learn how to get fit and stay fit without having to go to a gym. The following 7 ideas are worth considering if you want to enjoy the benefits of working out, without suffering from the downside of the possible health issues.
1. Go for a run, brisk walk or jog. Add hand weights and you get an upper body workout while your respiratory and circulatory systems benefit.
2. Workout with your body. What was previously called calisthenics is now known as bodyweight training. Type “top 25 body weight training exercises” into Google and learn how to use your natural body weight and resistance to sculpt the dream body you’re looking for. You can combine a lot of these exercises with your run to break it up a bit and give you a great mix of resistance and cardio. Also check out your local park and see who might be running a bootcamp there.
3. Get jumping. Jumping or skipping rope can burn 400 to 500 calories per hour. This means 3 or 4 hours of skipping each week offsets one full day’s worth of calories.
4. Go for a swim. Regular swimming is great for your internal and external fitness. Experts in the fitness community consider it the “perfect exercise”. This is because the water keeps you buoyant, removing the pounding stress and strain on your joints, tendons and ligaments that land-based exercises often deliver.
5. Lifestyle changes – Start eating “clean food”. As I said to someone the other day……abs start in the kitchen. Did you know as much as 70% of your physical fitness is entirely dependent on the level of your nutrition (and lifestyle)? Without working out at all, you can dramatically improve your level of fitness simply by smart eating.
6. Take the stairs. Ditch the lift (elevator), walk to work or get off the bus two or three stops before you need to, stand instead of sitting whenever you can and get up from your desk at least every hour and do a few stretches or try these 5 Easy Exercises to do While Sitting at Work. Continually look for ways to burn calories and keep active. It is amazing how much incidental exercise you can do in a day if you think about it – just ask any lady with two or three kids under five.
7. Buy a bike. Cycling works your legs, your core and your arms. Cycling at about 15 kph (10 mph) burns between 400 and 500 calories plus gives you the benefits of being out in the fresh air and sunshine. You should always enjoy your exercise so ride with a couple of friends and have a coffee and chat when you finish up.
I am sure you can come up with plenty of other ideas for exercising without going to the gym.
Maybe a paddle in a canoe, go for a surf and catch a few waves or a game of tennis maybe. Whatever you do, do something you like and don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit. That way you don’t get bored doing the same old thing over and over again and you are more likely to keep up with a regular exercise program.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
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