Ah….exercise. It can be a four letter word for some, others absolutely adore it, and some could love it or leave it. No matter what one thinks of it, the bottom line is that we all need it. Exercise is one of THE most important things in achieving and maintaining optimal health. These days, exercise should really be something that is prescribed, not only just like medications, but ultimately instead of medications.
Although we all know we need to exercise, there can be a lot of excuses and reasons not to do it. One thing that gets in the way for a lot of people is the stigma that you must have a gym membership to exercise. Well, I’m here to totally bust that myth! I haven’t had a gym membership in years and I am still able to stay very active and get in great workouts. I can’t wait to share some tips with you that will help you get moving in no time.
I personally love to do most everything outside because I love the fresh air, but there are other easy ways to do things indoors, too. And one of the most enticing things about these tips is that they are all super affordable or even free! So, no excuses. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it will definitely get your juices flowing! Let’s get crackin’!
Running – As long as you have some decent shoes, you’re good to go! Running may not appeal to everyone, but with some consistent training, it definitely grows on you.
Walking – Just like running, as long as you have some shoes, you are all set! You don’t even have to have fancy ones. There are so many decent well-built sandals and shoes these days. The point is just to get moving! Both running and walking are a great way to explore, get some Vitamin D, and breathe in some fresh air!
Run/walk intervals – Don’t like running but don’t want to just walk? Combine the two and do intervals where you alternate between walking and running. Again, you just need some shoes and you’re money!
Rollerblading/Skating – What a great way to work out your lower body and core while getting your heart rate up at the same time! The great thing about skating is it’s fun and makes you feel young at heart, so it doesn’t feel as much like structured exercise.
Biking – Biking is one of those forms of exercise that pretty much anyone can do. And – you can do it in a lot of types of weather as long as you’re dressed right. Biking is another great way to explore, and it’s also low-impact which is great for beginners or those with injuries/bad knees, etc.
Water sports – Now this one is obviously more of a niche form of exercise depending on where you are and what you have access to, but it’s another great way to have fun and not feel like you’re exercising. Examples include paddleboarding, water skiing, windsurfing, kayaking, etc. If you don’t have your own equipment, many places will rent, and you can also find amazing deals on places like Groupon. More details on that below.
Swimming – I separated this from water sports because I think it’s more on its own. You can swim in a pool, lake, ocean – whatever floats your boat. Or you, for that matter! Ha! As long as you know how to swim, this is another easy one that most people can do. Don’t worry about any crazy techniques, just keep moving!
Yoga – Yoga is typically done in studios, but you can also do it with a DVD at home or outside. Some yoga studios can be pricey, but they will oftentimes have donation-based classes or community classes that are less expensive. Be sure to also check for free or donation-based classes in your city. More on that in “Other Tips” below.
DVD’s/YouTube – I gotta hand it to Jane Fonda. That woman took the at-home workout rage by storm. And it’s really only gotten better from there. Nowadays, there are some absolutely killer workouts you can do in the comfort of your own home. P90X, Tracy Anderson, and T25 are all great ones. You can also find a ton of free workouts on YouTube.
Intervals on treadmill – I’m definitely not saying to go out and buy a treadmill. That just gets costly. But, I wanted to keep this here in case you live in a building where there’s a treadmill or your Grandma has an old one in the basement. It’s a great option for when the weather is bad. Just jump on, do intervals of whatever timing you’d like to alternate with for walking/running/sprints, etc., and you can get an awesome workout done in a short amount of time.
Workouts/Intervals in the park or outdoors – Remember to be creative and use any piece of the outdoors as part of your workout. Do step-ups on a bench in the park, do push-ups on a ledge by the water, do sprints down your favorite trail. You get the gist. You don’t need fancy equipment. You don’t even need shoes if you’re being careful. No. Excuses.
Cold weather exercises – Exercising in cold weather is all about dressing appropriately. As long as you’ve got some warm gear on, it’s game time. You can snow shoe, ski, snowboard, and hike. Same as mentioned before – if you don’t have your own equipment, you can rent it or buy it at a discounted price second-hand.
Hiking – I like putting this on its own because this applies to both cold and warm weather and it’s a bit different from just walking or running. There are many free trails around the country that provide varying degrees of difficulty. You do want good shoes for this one if you’re going far.
Workouts on the beach – This can include simple things like walking and running, or other workouts like intervals, bootcamps, etc. The sand is great because it keeps your muscles guessing. Not to mention it’s a beautiful backdrop!
Groupon and other Coupon-Based Sites – If you’re looking to try something new or just don’t want to spend the money, definitely sign up for these sites. Groupon and Living Social are some, but there are many other ones. This is an area that has just exploded. You just sign-up with your email address and you’ll get notifications of discounted classes, personal training, fitness events, etc. It’s normally set for a certain number of sessions or a time limit, so you’d have to pay more once that ends, but you don’t have to. It makes it fun to hop around and try different things!
Other tips- Always be on the lookout for free classes in your city. Some places do weekly classes for free, otherwise do them more sporadically, or some do them more often, but with a small donation. Some examples include –classes outside in parks, at the beach, on the water, or at gyms. I’ve seen and taken many free or donation-based classes in different cities and almost any form of exercise is included – yoga, bootcamp, paddleboarding, etc. You name it, you can probably find it!
I hope this helps show you that you don’t need a gym membership to exercise! All those machines are just boring anyway! 🙂
Thanks for hanging out and CHEERS to movin’ and groovin’!
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