‘The strength and energy you feel after working up a sweat far outweighs how you look. Over time, you begin to marvel at what your body is capable of and how amazing it truly is.’
These days we are more health conscious than ever. It’s understandable, with the plethora of knowledge that exists online (often for free), we are able to be more accountable of our health than say our parents or grandparents. On the other side of that, there seems to be more pressure to look a certain way and fit a certain standard.
What’s important to remember is that fitness is a pursuit worth chasing, purely for the health benefits. The strength and energy you feel after working up a sweat far outweighs how you look. Over time, you begin to marvel at what your body is capable of and how amazing it truly is. From CrossFit to Pilates and an abundance of other options, there’s never been a better time to start working on your fitness.
As the saying goes, you are what you eat. We must admit it’s a little outdated but there is truth to it. However, we would like to thank whoever popularised the adage ‘you can’t out-train a bad diet’ for encompassing all we want to say. Exercise shouldn’t be seen as a replacement to eating well but rather the two go hand in hand. You know the drill; limiting the consumption of processed foods for real food; eating whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, protein and locally-sourced meat (if you choose to eat it). The idea is to eat food in its most natural form.
Where to start?
You’re probably thinking that your best bet is to grab yourself a gym membership. Makes sense, right? The thought of paying £30 every month is enough motivation to get yourself there three to five times a week. We can see why you’d think that. The most popular choice is still the gym, with 1 in every 7 person in the UK and around 14% of the US population owning a gym membership. That being said, the gym doesn’t have to be your only option. Exercise doesn’t need to be restricted to any particular place, and if we’re honest, the gym isn’t always our favourite place to go. With this mind, we want to show you it is possible to get fit without ever needing to go to the gym. Keep reading to find out how…
If you’re more of an outdoorsy person, here are a few options to keep you active.
Walk, jog, run
Walking is one of the most effective ways to keep active. It’s free, easy and can fit into any schedule. The options are endless, walk to and from work, take your dog for a walk (if you have one), go on a walk by yourself or grab a partner. The benefits are clear; walking increases vitamin D and energy levels, reduces your risk of heart disease and dementia.
To get the best of it, aim for 10,000 steps a day. To add more intensity to your routine, turn that walk into a jog or a full-on run. It’s not only a great way to keep fit but you are bound to see more of your city on foot.
No matter where you live or your fitness level, cycling is an effective (and environmentally-friendly) way to get around. Over time, cycling builds muscle and bone mass, improves brain and heart function, as well as balance and endurance. If you live in a major city, there’s little need to buy a bike with bikes for rent dotted around cities.
Who knew that you could get fit whilst shopping? According to a study conducted by Debenhams, the average person could lose up to 400 calories simply by carrying heavy bags whilst moving from shop to shop.
Join a class
The gym may not be your thing, but classes are still an option. Fitness classes are more popular than ever and with so much variety, it’s a great way to get fit by trying something new. Take your pick of anything from Zumba and kickboxing, to circuit training and indoor cycling.
These classes range in intensity but you’re likely to be surrounded a mix of people (think complete beginners and full on experts) just trying to get through the class and have fun while doing so (much less pressure than the gym).
For a change, take a dip in your nearest pool. Swimming is a stress-free way to keep active. The activity boasts a range of benefits including stronger muscles, improved mood and better sleep.
Green Thumb Workout
Green thumbs rejoice! Gardening can burn between 100-250 calories every half an hour. Tending to your plants and flowers is not only a multi-sensory experience, it relieves stress and improves your overall wellbeing.
Try Something New
Step outside of your comfort zone with a weekend boot camp, a walk on a newly discovered hiking trail or a go on a rock climbing course.
If the home is more of your thing, try a few of these indoor options.
Fit for free
YouTube hosts a plethora of free online classes ranging from HIIT to low impact exercises like Pilates and yoga. All you need to do is grab yourself a mat and press play.
Make it fun
Exercise shouldn’t be something that you dread. Choose something fun such as dancing that will work up a sweat and keep you entertained.
Make like the 80s
Fitness DVDs really took off in the 80s and it’s no wonder why. A number of fitness experts have brought out fitness DVDs, so why not try one?
Work and play
Being active doesn’t have to be the typical workout. If you have younger children, playing with them works out your muscles while you’re having fun. Maybe not as fun, but equally as effective is housework. Studies have suggested that housework can help reduce anxiety, improve physical health and increase productivity.
So there you have it, your no-gym fitness guide that will help you at the start of your fitness journey. Next time you’re stuck for what to do, use this article as a reference. Why not also check out our other fitness articles, and to keep on track, find out the 10 Things No On Tells You About Transforming Your Body and 8 Lifestyle Habits of Fit & Healthy Women.
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