There are myriad reasons why the gym might not suit you, or why you don’t go there as often as you’d like. Perhaps you’re working too much at the moment, the kids take up too much time, the gym is miles away, you don’t have money for the gym, or you simply don’t like exercising at the gym. So, how can you stay fit without the gym? As it turns out, there are plenty of ways to work out at home.
How to Stay Fit Without Gym
There are many ways of staying fit without using the gym, such as going dancing or hiking a few times a week. However, not everyone has the time, or money, to spend hours away from work, or family commitments. What can you do to stay fit then?
One of the best ways is incorporating exercise into your daily life — walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, bike to work, do some gardening, or clean the house. All that will help. And if you’re looking to burn fat, then long walks, or other activities that keep you on the go for long stretches of time (without you losing your breath) are great.
What if you don’t want to leave the house though? Maybe the weather is bad, or your kids aren’t old enough to take on long walks. What do you do then? And how do you, not just lose fat, but build muscle without the gym?
Lucky for us homebodies, there are plenty of things to do within our own four walls. Let’s have a look at some.
Ways to Work out at Home
There are plenty of ways to work out at home, but the important thing to remember is what you wish to achieve:
- long sessions of low-impact cardio will burn fat
- bursts of intense muscle workouts will build muscle
- two-minute muscle-building workouts before eating will ensure your body uses the fuel to create muscle instead of fat
- high-impact cardio will keep your heart in good condition
- stretching will keep your muscles (and overall body) happy and less prone to injury
Below are some ways to work out that include all of the above.
- For low-impact cardio, try gentle dancing, using a treadmill/exercise bike, gardening, walking around the house singing to the baby as you’re putting him/her to sleep, pacing around the room when on the phone, or cleaning — the important thing is to take it easy and keep going for a minimum of twenty minutes.
- For high-impact cardio, simply turn up the music and dance, jump and run around the living room (see ideas for practical moves below) for a minimum of five minutes, or try finding a YouTube workout that makes your pulse beat faster.
- To build muscle, find different exercises (see below) that focus on your legs, core (stomach and lower back) and arms/upper body and stretch the muscles after each session.
- To make sure your body builds muscle instead of fat, do thirty reps of squatting, pushups (you can do them against a wall if you don’t want to get down on the floor) and situps (or something else to work your abs) before eating.
You also can add weights (or simply water bottles filled with sand/stones) to your exercise routine to make it harder as you go along, but equipment isn’t necessary to get fit. All you need is yourself and your body!
Home Workout Routine for Beginners
When creating a home workout routine as a beginner remember to keep things simple. It’s better to do five to twenty minutes a day than setting unrealistic goals that you can’t achieve. And, lo and behold, lots of people get better results with shorter workouts!
When doing muscle-building workouts the easiest thing is to do legs one day, core the next, and upper body the third. That way you get variation, and your muscles get to rest between sessions.
Another thing to bear in mind is warming up before each session and stretching afterward. You need to warm up and stretch the muscles you were working in that particular session.
To get an idea, your week might look like this:
Monday: five-minute warm-up, five-minute high-impact cardio, ten-minute leg workout, five-minute stretch
Tuesday: five-minute warm-up, ten-minute upper body workout, five-minute stretch
Wednesday: thirty-minute low-impact cardio
Thursday: five-minute warm-up, five-minute high-impact cardio, ten-minute core workout, five-minute stretch
Friday: five-minute warm-up, ten-minute high-impact cardio, five-minute stretch
Saturday: do a short ten or twenty-minute workout at home that you feel lets you relax and revive, or take a break!
RELATED: 20-Minute Home Fitness Workout
Sunday: meditate and breathe, or do a quick burpee
You can, of course, make your sessions much longer, but start with realistic goals in mind — a home workout routine for beginners should be easy to keep up with!
It’s important to start each session with a warm-up. Slowly work through your body, moving every single part and getting the blood flowing by jogging slowly in place. Then gently stretch the muscles you intend to use in that session. Be really gentle with stretching as your body isn’t all that warm yet.
To get the sweat flowing and the heart working there are some simple exercises you can do (apart from dancing like a maniac to whatever tune you currently like to…dance like a maniac to!).
- jogging in place
- jumping in place (be sure to bend your knees properly when you land)
- star jumps
- ski jumps
- high-knee pulls/jumps
- butt-kicker jumps
- toe touch jacks or rocket jumps (touch your toes and then jump up)
These exercises will work your abs and lower back. If you don’t know exactly what an exercise looks like, go through the sources at the bottom of this article — there are plenty of images.
- bike crunches
- reverse bike crunches
- three-point plank (raise one foot off the ground)
- side plank
- single-leg bridge (when your hips are raised, raise one of your legs)
- vertical leg crunches (keep your legs at a 90-degree angle when doing crunches)
- oblique v-up
- Russian twist
- reverse crunch (when lying down with your legs straight up at a 90-degree angle, push your butt off the floor)
- Superman (face down, flat on the floor, then raise your arms, head and legs in a “Superman” position)
Upper Body Exercises
These exercises will work your upper body. Once you’ve mastered these, you can move onto more!
- tricep dips
- diamond pushup
- plank jacks
- burped with a pushup
- push back pushup
- pike pushup
Leg and Butt Exercises
Try some of these leg and butt exercises to get you going.
- calf raises
- bridges (with shoulders and head on the floor)
- side-lying raised leg
- wall squat
Whatever muscle groups you’ve used during your workout should be stretched. Also remember to cool down — do a slow job at the end of your workout and then stretch.
RELATED: How to Stretch
And remember — this is the end of your workout, so congratulate yourself on having mastered ways to workout without the gym.