Tips To Workout Without a Gym

by DavalosMcCormack on September 2, 2008

One of the hardest things about staying in shape and keeping fit is the amount of time it takes. Going to the gym, jumping around on the treadmill and lifting weights can easily take an hour or more. Then you have to shower – you really do – and then get home. With most of us already strapped for time it’s no wonder that the gym workout is the first thing to get squeezed off our “To Do” list.

But not going to the gym doesn’t mean you can’t still be active. The September issue of Harvard Health has 27 different ideas on how to get in a mini-workout without ever going near the gym.

Now a lot of them are pretty obvious, and they may be things you’ve heard before or read about before. But most of us need to hear an idea a couple of times before it sinks in or before we act on it.

So, here are some of the ideas they are suggesting.

1) Park far away; instead of parking as close as you can to the store or the office, park at the far end of the lot so you have to walk. It may not be far but every little bit counts. And if it’s a parking garage, park on the roof and take the stairs. Now that will burn some serious calories.

2) Let the kid in you get out; too often adults stand around while kids are playing. Don’t. Jump in there with them. If they’re having a game of soccer or basketball join in. Who cares if you are not very good. Just running around will raise your heart rate, and more importantly, will lift your spirits. How can you not enjoy yourself playing with kids!

3) Clean the house. This is something most of us don’t really have any choice in, we can’t afford a housekeeper! But seriously, cleaning the house can burn a lot of calories. All that dusting and polishing and sweeping a vacuuming can get your heart rate up. Best of all you can listen to music while you do it and try out all those cool dance moves you used to do when you were a lot younger. No one’s watching, so you can cut loose. That way you burn up some calories, have fun, and end up with a clean house at the same time.

3) Use the stairs; again it may seem obvious, but every time you use the stairs you give your knees and thighs and core muscles a good workout, you elevate your heart rate, and burn off calories. And it’s all free!

4) Get a walking buddy; having a friend that you exercise with can not only make it more fun, it also makes it more likely you’ll stick with it. The two of you act as a support system, when one is not feeling much like running/walking the other helps get them out there.

There are 23 others in the newsletter, but this gives you a sense of what they’re talking about. You could probably come up with your own list, your own ideas (such as if someone in the office is heading out for a coffee go with them, even if you don’t drink coffee, it’s a chance to stretch your legs and get a little fresh air – and lord knows most of us could do with getting away from the darn computer every once in a while!)

It’s just a matter of changing the way you think about exercise, about always looking for new opportunities, new ways of being active, staying healthy.

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