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24 Ways to Exercise Without the Gym

“Exercise” does not equal treadmills. Often times, we associate “working out” with the idea of having to “go to the gym”.  This stereotypical environment is portrayed as an unfamiliar place with odd shaped weights, fancy technology, and people who look like they know exactly what they are doing.   This is a bit of an exaggeration, but we get the point that sometimes, a “gym” environment scares us off from our activity goals.  

Getting physical activity does NOT have to be scary and it does NOT have to be in a gym!  Physical activity is far from this.  Did you ever hear of your great grandparents using fancy fitness facilities?  Ditch the gym and focus on being active in doing outside engaging activities with family members, friends or local community groups/clubs.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

Outdoor Activities:

  • Walking (join a local club, grab a friend, or just try walking to work to minimize your carbon dioxide emissions while your at it)
  • Bike Ride (Find local trails that can be most feasible for you https://www.traillink.com/)
  • Hiking (with a friend, family member, or find out what is offered through your local hiking club.  Check out local websites such as this one to find further information: https://www.sierraclub.org/outings/chapter/)
  • Kayak/Canoe/Row (Head to a nearby Lake/Pond/River/Ocean if accessible)
  • Golf (pull a cart or carry clubs)
  • Tennis
  • Take a class in Yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi
  • Dance! (Go out with friends for an evening or meet someone new at Zumba.  Choose a date night with different dance classes that are gaining popularity such as Salsa, African dance, flat-footing, or latino inspired dancing)
  • Swim (Find access at local sports clubs, community centers, or choose to kick around in open waters)
  • Stand-UP Paddleboards SUP Boards (these wide-based boards you stand on and are starting to popup everywhere for rentals just like your kayak/canoe rentals would go for)
  • Paddle-boating
  • Rock climbing (Indoor walls are starting to popup in many metropolitan areas across the country some stores are even starting to sport indoor walls such as R.E.I sporting good stores)
  • Rollerblade
  • Jumprope (with kids out in the backyard?)

At Home “Work”:

  • Garden/weed (Who would of thought you could kill 2 birds with one stone getting lawn chores done while getting some small movement in your day)
  • Manual Lawn Mower
  • Walk the dog
  • Push the baby in a stroller

Workout at the Office:

  • Get off the subway one stop early and walk the rest of the way
  • Set a timer on your watch, phone or computer desktop to get up and walk down the stairs or around the office for 5 minutes every hour
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Pace around while on the phone if possible
  • Ask your manager about stand up desks and working sites