Gym Alternatives: Tips for Staying Fit Without a Gym

Don’t have the money or time to belong to a gym or have a personal trainer? No need to worry. There are many activities that you can do at home to help you feel healthy and stay fit.

As a small business owner and writer who works out of her 1300 square foot home, I have compiled a number of exercises that I employ to maintain my fitness without the cost of a gym membership.

General tips:

  • Start off moderately.
  • When your muscles tire, rest. Don’t over-exercise.
  • Warm up and cool down.
  • Don’t push through the pain of an injury. Optimum health is about listening to your body.

My suggestions:

Got steps?

  • Try walking up and down the stairs until your muscles tire. This works your leg muscles and your heart and lungs.

Standing around?

  • Run or walk in place by bringing your knees as high as you can toward your chest. This targets your abdominal muscles and increases your heart rate.

Sitting behind a desk?

  • Stand up and sit back down 10 times quickly. Then slow it down and do another 5 reps.

Don’t forget the power of sit-ups.

  • Lie on the floor or your bed so that your back is flat. Bend your knees, keeping your heels as close to your buttocks as psosible. With your hands either behind your head or across your chest, try to sit up. Exhale as you raise up, and inhale as you lie down.

What about your oblique abs

  • Your oblique abs are the muscles on the sides of your abdomen. Love handles obscure the oblique muscles of most Americans. Sit with legs bent, back straight, arms extended straight out in front of you. Contract the abs and sweep right arm down and behind you in a half-circle motion, leaning the torso back a few inches. Return to start and repeat on the other side.

For a stronger core, try the plank.

  • The plank exercise is a great way to build endurance in both the abs and back, as well as strengthen your core. Lie face down and rest body weight on the forearms with palms flat. Push off the floor the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your read from sticking in the air. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds. Lower and repeat for 3-5 repetitions.

Jump-rope

  • Jumping rope is possibly the single most comprehensive and beneficial form of exercise. It can be done just about anywhere and is easily incorporate into anyone’s lifestyle. Compared to most other fitness products, jump ropes are inexpensive, making the exercise accessible to the general public. What’s more, jumping rope can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour! The exercise tones muscles throughout the body and helps to develop long, lean muscles in all major muscle groups. Start with a 10 minute session and increase from there.
  • No rope? Jumping jacks have similar benefits.

Push-ups

  • To mix it up a bit, try staggered pushups. Place one hand on a phone book (or any other object) and the other on the floor. On your knees or toes lower (and with body straight) lower down into a pushup and push back up.

Triceps Dips

  • Sit on a bench or chair with hands resting next to things. Scoot to the edge of your chair so that your thighs are parallel to the floor, with knees bent. Bend the elbows and lower body down (staying close to the end) until elbows are 90 degrees. Push up and repeat.

Calf Raises

  • Stand on the edge of a step with your heels hanging off the back. Keeping body straight, lift the body up onto toes by contracting the calves. Lower and repeat. This move performed on the floor as well. Try it while standing in line to make good use of your time.

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