If you want to be fit without going to the gym, say hello to these 7 new habits

So you’re trying to get fit. 

But you don’t want to go to the gym. Either because you know you won’t stick to it (and it’ll be a waste of money every month) or because you’re on a tight budget. 

Well, you’re in the right place!

I’ve been on a mission to improve my health over the last year and on my quest, I’ve found some very effective ways to get fit without a price tag.

I’ll share this below, but one word of warning – you can research all you like and watch as many YouTube videos as there are hours in the day.

If you don’t have a goal and motivation to change your habits, none of it matters. 

So let’s start there:

1) Set a realistic goal and find your sweet spot 

Do you want to lose weight? Be healthier? Get a six-pack or a perkier ass? 

Whatever your goal is, write it down. But be specific. Don’t just say “lose weight”, make sure your goal is clear. 

Then, give yourself a timeframe. Break down how much you aim to lose per week, and per month. Make sure to write down how you plan to achieve this goal too. 

Having those little mile steps will help rather than focussing on the big number, the end goal. This should also boost motivation. But if you’re stubborn (and lazy) like me, you might need more to get you out of bed in the morning. 

I’ve found having a friend to come along helps. And rewards. Lots of rewards. 

When I successfully stick to my workout routine for a whole week, I reward myself with a fun treat, so that’s worth trying too. 

2) Dance 

Now, who doesn’t like to dance? 

Even if you’re terrible at it (worse than Chandler Bing) it doesn’t matter – you don’t have to do it in a group or public setting. 

Get your favorite tunes going on the TV or laptop, put your speakers on, and let loose! 

I personally enjoy the dance workout videos on YouTube, but the point is, you can have fun while working out and getting fit. 

And that’s the reason I love this form of exercise. 

It’s not boring. You get to listen to your favorite songs. And you can pretend that you’re a backing dancer on the stage of a Rihanna world tour. 

And if that isn’t enough to convince you, here are just some of the benefits of dance:

  • Improved condition of your heart and lungs
  • Increased muscular strength, endurance, and motor fitness
  • Increased aerobic fitness
  • Improved muscle tone and strength
  • Weight management

So what are you waiting for? Get boogying! 

3) Get outdoors 

Another way to get fit without going to the gym is to start spending more time outdoors. 

Make it a habit to go for daily walks, even if it’s just around your neighborhood. 

On the weekends, incorporate physical activities into your downtime. You might go rock climbing with friends or for a cycle along the beach.

The truth is, there’s so much to do outside of the gym. If you’re stuck for ideas, here are a couple:

  • Walking/jogging/running/hiking
  • Going for a swim in the sea 
  • Practicing yoga in the local park 
  • Surfing 
  • Rollerblading 

For example, I try to do a small hike on the weekends and I usually invite a few friends so we can make a day of it. 

During the week, I try to walk as much as possible before or after work, or I take my bike to the local forest and cycle around for a bit. 

The point is, just get outside. Enjoy the fresh air and find a form of exercise that you don’t find boring. 

4) Find a fun class 

Now, one thing I’ve found is that it might be cheaper to take an independent class rather than classes through your gym.

But this might depend on where you live, so research it to be sure. 

For example, I found a professional yoga teacher who does classes on the beach once a week, and she charges half of that of the classes at the local gym. And we get to do yoga on the beach. 

When it comes to classes, the world is your oyster. Pole dancing, pilates, kickboxing, you name it. 

There’s something for everyone. 

And with this, you’re not limited to what a gym can offer or stuck working out on machines. You can find something that you genuinely enjoy and is healthy for you at the same time!

5) Workout at home 

I’ve already mentioned how useful YouTube can be in finding workout videos, but the truth is, you can do most things at home. 

Get yourself a mat, some blocks, resistance bands, and weights, and you’re good to go. 

Even without the above, squats, planks, pushups, and many other exercises can be done from the comfort of your home. 

All you really need is a space to stretch out. 

And hey, if you’re really struggling to get creative, there are other ways to work out – do a vigorous mow of your lawn, or challenge yourself to hoover the entire house in 20 minutes. 

My personal favorite is scrubbing the bathroom whilst listening to music – you’ll be surprised how much your heart gets pumping when you put some elbow grease into cleaning!

6) Eat well and stay hydrated 

Getting fit isn’t just about working out, it’s also important to think about your diet. 

Are you eating balanced meals? Are you home-cooking or eating out? Drinking water or surviving off coffee? 

Because news flash – there’s no point exercising if you’re eating fast food three times a day. 

What you need to do is focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Even if you start small, that’s okay.

Change one meal a day to something healthier, and once you get into that habit, you can then increase to two meals a day, and eventually, change your entire diet around.

But this can take time, and as I’ve learned, trying to go “cold turkey” from your current lifestyle will probably end in a massive failure.

So take it step by step. Habits take time to cultivate, and bad habits take time to let go of. 

7) Take active breaks during the day 

And finally, utilize your breaks if you really want to get fit without going to the gym.

Let’s say you work in an office. When you get your lunch break, instead of scrolling on your phone, take the chance to go for a brisk walk. 

If you work from home, it’s even easier. I set my own breaks, so I tend to take shorter and more often (rather than one hour in the middle of my working hours). 

This gives me a chance to get outside, stretch, go for a little walk, and then resume working. 

And I’ve found that these little breaks every hour or so stop my back and shoulders from aching so much after a long day of sitting. 

Even better, just this simple act can relieve some of the effects of being sedentary, such as reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and keeping your metabolism active. 

So as you can see, there’s plenty to do outside of going to the gym. Getting fit doesn’t happen overnight, but by changing your habits slowly, you could find yourself in a totally different place in just six months’ time. 

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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