Get fit the cheap and easy way with this list of ideas on how to exercise without the gym. Some of these don’t even require you to leave the house – winning!
I did something radical this year. I cancelled my gym membership. Yep, that’s right – while everyone was hurriedly signing on the dotted line in January to keep up with their resolutions, I said goodbye to my gym. Well… if I’m being honest, it wasn’t THAT radical. Whilst I no longer go to one of the big chains, we are fortunate enough to have a small but well equipped gym in our estate that we have access to. But it did get me thinking about how I could keep moving without an official gym membership.
We tend to associate the two hand in hand. Being fit and going to the gym. It’s as if a mandatory part of exercising is paying a company $15+ a week for a gym we don’t use as often as we should. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Ok, ok – some people have time for that. But I’m guessing since you’re here you fall into the time poor category.
But the truth is, you definitely don’t NEED a gym to get fit. So get ready to dust off those sneakers and get moving!
10 Ways to Exercise Without The Gym
1. Go for a walk
Walk whenever and whenever you can – to the park, on your lunch break, or even organise a walking meeting. Meet your friend for a walk instead of a coffee. Park away from the entrance of shopping centres and get your walk in there. Be creative – the steps all add up!
YouTube has an array of free dance fitness videos you can do in the comfort of your own home. Throw one on and have some fun. You’ll be sweating in no time!
Dancing not your thing? Try searching for yoga or even a stretching video!
3. Go for a ride
You don’t need to don a pair of lycra pants and become the next Lance Armstrong to get the benefits of riding a bike. Even just going for a ride around the street with the kids or to the shop for some milk can get your heartrate pumping.
4. Play ball
Most of us have at least one type of ball lying around our house. Grab it and the kids or a friend and get kicking, throwing or catching around the backyard or the park. Bonus is you get to spend some quality time together too!
Don’t have a ball? Play tiggy instead!
5. Go for a swim
If you are lucky enough to live near the ocean or have your own pool, this is a little easier. But if you don’t – clock up some laps at the local pool!
6. Take the stairs
Avoid lifts and escalators wherever possible and take the stairs instead! You can also try climbing up and down a set of stairs as a quick cardio blast. Have a single storey house? Find an outdoor staircase nearby at a park, shopping centre or ever office block!
7. Clean your house
This one is definitely killing two birds with one stone! Blast your favourite tunes and get cleaning. You should feel the burn after sweeping, mopping, vacuuming and dusting!
8. Find a free class
Here’s a little secret – most local councils offer free fitness classes. Check their website or give them a call and find out what’s on around you. You may also want to contact your health fund, as some run free classes in major city centres. Or find out when your local parkrun meets – it’s completely free and you don’t have to run to take part.
Most fitness centres and studios also offer a free period so you can try before you buy! Why not take advantage and see if you can fit it in to your regular routine before committing to a membership?
9. Create your own circuit
Put together a few different strength and cardio exercises that you can do without equipment and do them in a sequence at home or in the park. Do each exercise for 30 seconds all the way through, then rest and repeat two more times.
Not sure where to start? Try this circuit: jumping jacks, squats, lunges, sit ups, push ups, plank, triceps dips (off a chair or a bench) and mountain climbers.
If you have some dumbbells or a skipping rope at home you can easily incorporate these into your circuit too. Or just use some cans or bottles from the pantry as weights!
10. Mow the lawn
Mowing or gardening can be another great way to get some incidental exercise whilst ticking another chore off the list.