If you don’t have access to a gym or don’t have childcare for your children while you attend the gym or maybe you simply just don’t like the gym at all; either way, I have compiled the top tips to be active without going to the gym.
I personally love the gym, it’s my therapy. But since my gym has closed until further notice, I had to get creative with how I stay fit. Here are some tips you can follow to ensure you stay moving through these social-distancing and quarantine times.
This is the most convenient way to get moving. Although, in my opinion, at-home workouts require a little more motivation to leave your couch and start squatting, they are very time effective because you don’t have to travel anywhere. Since my goal is weight and muscle gain, I like to find whatever weights I can to add to my routine. I have seen people use suitcases, water jugs, and even chairs. I personally only have a 40 lb (ca. 18 kg) weight vest and a 30 lb (ca. 14 kg) toddler but it gets the job done.
There are plenty of at-home workouts that you can search for on YouTube and Instagram by simply typing ‘at home workouts’. Some of my favorite fitness people to get inspiration from are @massy.arias and @thefitnesski
Go to the park
Who said the park is just for children? Since I have a toddler, I let him play at the playground while I workout. I use the playground structure for many exercises such as push-ups, triceps dips, and pull-ups on a bar. I even use the steps on the playground as a platform to do jump-ups and step-ups. If you have elastic bands, you can tie them to the structure and do an array of exercises as well!
If the park has grass fields, you can get some cardio in too. My son and I ‘raced’ on the grass fields…it was a game for him but a workout for me. We were both tired but happy by the time we left the park.
Go for a walk/hike
Walking is definitely underrated as a form of exercise, especially if you’re going at an accelerated pace. You can make sure you’re pumping your arms and even wear ankle weights to engage your entire body. Since my goal is muscle gain, I would incorporate lunges and squats and I hike up a mountain to get that extra glute engagement.
When I ran track in high school, the coach would have us alternate running 100 meters with an exercise. For example, we would run 100 meters and then do 30 squats, run 100 m, then do 30 sit-ups, run 100 m, then do 30 push-ups…well maybe not 30 push-ups but you get where I’m going right? There’s plenty of room to spice up your afternoon walk and make it into an intense workout. I’ve even seen a woman use an elastic band around her legs and squat-walk…uphill!
If you live near trails and mountains, taking a hike is not only beautiful and relaxing but can also be a vigorous workout. If you haven’t already noticed, I’m a nature and fitness enthusiast! So going on a hike AND getting some muscle pump is a win-win for me.
Dance for 30 minutes
I sometimes think we underestimate how awesome dancing is as an exercise. My mom attends Zumba classes at her local gym but when she can’t attend, she just dances. You can get some great cardio in all while listening to your favorite tunes. As mentioned above, my goal is muscle gain so to spice up my dance session, I would add some push-up and squats in there. You know, just to keep it spicy.
Dancing is definitely a fun way to get moving and doesn’t even seem like a workout. It’s also great to involve the kids and really get the whole family moving!
Playing sports is also another fun way to stay active without going to the gym. During our weeks of social-distancing, my sister figured it would be fun to have a sports tournament; her and her boyfriend versus me and my husband. We started off with basketball and then played football. I’m not good at either sport but it was still fun to get competitive with my family and burn some calories in the process.
Seeking opportunities to be active versus sedentary
If you’re working from home like me, sometimes it is easy to spend hours sitting down or not moving much. Some days it feels like the furthest I walked was to the fridge and back! With this in mind, you can get creative with ensuring how you stay fit.
If your job requires you to sit for extended periods of time, stretch and do some quick exercises every hour to keep your blood moving.
When out running errands, take the stairs instead of the elevator and park further away instead of closer to the stores.
If you have children at home, use them as a reason to be active. My son loves to wrestle, so I’ll do that for 30 minutes and feel like I just ran a mile!
As you can probably tell, you definitely don’t need a gym to be fit and active; all you need is a little motivation and time. However, if you’re looking to make gains like me, you’ll eventually want to start investing in some weights you can use at home…or just hope that your kid is growing at a rate you can keep up with so you can use them as a weight.
Take care and stay flourishn’
For more fitness tips, check them out here!