How to improve fitness without going to the gym

Among all fitness myths, there’s one that has been around for years. It’s that you need to have access to a gym or workout equipment in order to be fit. This is taken even further when some people need to train with a personal trainer. Yes, having a trainer and access to a gym is great, but they’re not necessary.

Many people simply don’t have time for committing to a gym. Some gyms aren’t open 24/7 and it can get really hard fitting their time schedule into yours. For some, it’s a matter of affordability and some others don’t even have access to a gym nearby. There can be many reasons for not being able to get a gym subscription, it doesn’t matter. What matters is consistency. If you remain consistent throughout your regime, you’ll get results.

Image: Healthxchange
Image: Healthxchange

If you don’t have access to a gym or don’t even have time to work out in some cases, can you stay fit? The answer is a big yes. You don’t necessarily have to work out in order to be fit. Notice that construction workers usually have strong and big arms, why is that? It’s because they constantly use those muscles every day which gives them no choice but to grow to handle that amount of stress. Here are a few ways you can stay fit without going to the gym:

Use the stairs

Most of these may seem trivial but they make a huge difference. Whenever you get the chance to use an elevator instead of the stairs, take the latter. Stairs offer a great incline workout. Ever wondered why you feel slightly out of breath or tired if you climb a big flight of stairs? That’s because it’s hard to move your whole body against gravity at an angle. Therefore, it takes more energy than simple walking.

Image: indiatvnews
Image: indiatvnews

Using the stairs as a daily routine can end up burning a lot of calories that you weren’t burning due to the elevator. It’ll also contribute to your cardiovascular health. After some time you won’t feel that tired or out of breath anymore. Moreover, instead of just a small habit change, you can turn it into a workout. Run up and down the stairs to burn a lot of calories as well as give your thighs and glutes a proper workout. It’s free, simple yet highly effective.

Walk everywhere

Walking is considered the worst form of cardio because it’s not really efficient in burning calories in a short period of time. However, you can still burn off a significant amount provided you walk long enough. Also, walking is a great exercise for your legs which helps in staying fit.

Now, if you’re going to designate an hour a day for walking, then it’s pointless. You could instead use that hour for a much more intense workout. The idea is to walk more in your day to day activities. For example, you have to take a bus to go somewhere. Either ditch the bus entirely or get off early so you can walk there. Need to pick up food? Walk there.

Image: The Independent
Image: The Independent

You should walk to wherever you need to go unless it’s too far away or there are some legitimate time constraints. A story went viral on Facebook once about a guy who lost weight by simply walking long distances just to get his food. He would purposely go to places far away on foot so that the entire journey including the return would more or less have covered for his food. The advice here is to do something similar, if you can that is. It’s perhaps the easiest way to burn calories that requires no equipment, just a nice pair of sneakers.

Consider dancing

Dancing for fitness has become a hot trend lately. It not only helps build good core strength because it’s highly effective in burning calories. That’s good and all but there are many other alternatives to dancing as well, what makes it special? It’s popular because unlike the other workouts you do, dancing doesn’t feel like a chore or a workout.

Dancing is something that you’ll enjoy doing and something you can do in the space of your home. There are plenty of tutorials online or you can just learn through imitation. You can burn over a 100 calories in just 15 minutes through dancing. You get to burn calories, stay fit, and show off some impressive dance moves? It doesn’t get better than that.

Image: Youtube
Image: Youtube

Of course, it may feel like dancing is not your cup of tea. That’s completely okay and there’s no compulsion to dance either. However, it’s highly recommended that you do try it once, it’s quite fun. You can even do it alone if you feel like you’ll embarrass yourself in front of others. Overall, it provides a good, equipment-free workout.

Home workouts

As mentioned earlier, going to the gym can be a problem especially for those that have a busy schedule. Some people might not find time during the day at all to hit the gym. However, that doesn’t mean you miss out. If the rest of the methods on this list aren’t to your liking because you still prefer a proper workout, then you can still work out hard at home.

There’s a common misconception that it’s not possible to work out hard or intense at home due to the lack of equipment when compared to the gym. However, that’s completely false. Try HIIT bodyweight circuits that focus on the core and leg muscles and watch your heart rate soar like it’s never done before. These circuits don’t take up that much of your time either. You’ll be soaking wet within 30 minutes.

Image: topsimages
Image: topsimages

Try to incorporate as many muscles as you can in your home workout to maximize calorie burn. Doing compound exercises like pushups, squats, burpees etc. makes sure more than one muscle is being worked which makes your body work extra harder hence the increased heart rate. The goal of a HIIT workout is to make the heart rate fluctuate, which results in a lot of calories being burnt.

Therefore, you should try doing home HIIT workouts in order to stay fit if you can’t hit the gym. Most of them require no equipment whereas some will require only a small amount of equipment. It’s a manageable amount, nothing too big.

Here are a few sample home workouts. The overall goal is to get your heart rate up by exercising more, resting less. For example, a circuit with 3 exercises, 30 seconds each without rest would be ideal to get that heart rate going. Experiment according to your resistance level and you’re good to go.

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