Hate to go to the gym or do hard core workouts? Me too! Here’s how to get fit without a gym.
Exercise is one of the foundations of My Think Big Life. Not only does exercise make me look better; it makes me feel better. Moving your body in positive ways creates lots of positive energy.
But what do you do if you hate going to the gym and you have no interest in hard-core workouts? You can do what I do! Here’s how to get fit without a gym.
I love moving my body and try to do something every day. Because I do gentle forms of exercise, I don’t have to wait a day in-between. Plus, because I have a desk job and am on the computer a lot, I find daily exercise vital to feeling good.
You might be thinking, “Hey, that sounds great but does it really make you fit?”
With a combination of easy walking (I describe it here.) and my in-home workouts, I was able to do some rigorous hikes this summer. One was 10 hours up and down a mountain with a pack. Another was 6 hours up a mountain carrying what I needed to sleep and eat on the mountain. In addition, I’ve been cycling and to-date my best ride is 33 miles.
And I did those things without any special training beyond my usual workouts.
With so much to do and not having a lot of extra time to work out, I really depend on working out at home and making the best use of my time to stay fit. Read on to find out my take on how to get fit without a gym.
Why I Choose to Work Out at Home
Now first, I’ve got a couple of disclosures that will give you a better picture of my fitness philosophy.
Disclosure #1—I hate going to the gym. And because I now know that about myself, I don’t make any pretense that joining a gym will ever be an effective way for me to stay in shape. So, I don’t have some hidden gym workout that gets me fit while telling you I do it all at home.
Disclosure #2—I also enjoy walking and while it is leaving your house, for many of you, you don’t have to get in your car and go somewhere and it’s a great addition to any fitness plan. I do enjoy walking and the occasional bike ride. However, as much as I love walking, I still need strength and stretching all over for my body to feel great.
Here are some of my tips for Making Walking More Effective.
How to Get Fit Without a Gym
However, most of my working out truly is done in the small living room in my apartment. I’ve been an avid in-my-house exerciser for over twenty years. When my kids were little, I would put them to bed and pop in a Kathy Smith or Jane Fonda workout video. Even though I was a stay-at-home mom, we always had workout videos in the budget since I used them consistently and even better, they worked.
Since the good ole video days, you can now get your in-home workouts on DVDs or online. I mostly use online streaming to get my workouts but I’m including DVDs as well because some of my favorite workouts are still on DVD and that might be more convenient for you.
I’ve included affiliate links for products that I use and love and that might be helpful for you too; read my disclosure policy here.
Here are My Favorite At-Home Workouts!
I’ve been working out at home for 20+ years and I love the convenience and variety I get with DVDs and online streaming. When you can easily work out any time you want–it takes away lots of the excuses!
This is the newest online exercise program I’ve joined. It came up on my Facebook feed and I was intrigued. I watched some of the demos and I signed up on the spot! I’ve been Body Grooving every day since.
This is the first workout that I actually look forward to. I think about it and find myself anticipating how good it will feel to move. Even though it feels easy, the more I do the more I can feel my muscles working.
Each workout has several different routines. Some are more cardio and some are very relaxed. As important as getting a “workout” is, relieving stress in your body is just as important.
I’ve never considered myself a dancer, or coordinated, or musical. Yet, this program gets past all these things I think I am not and just allows me to have fun moving my body in a lot of different ways. The workouts are all around 30 minutes but that is NEVER enough time for me.
I usually do a few more segments because I just can’t stop moving.
To get access to all the DVDs plus free online streaming of the videos, check out Body Groove here.
In Home Walking
Leslie Sansone does the best walking videos of any I’ve tried. With Walk Off the Pounds, you can do them in a small amount of space and you can get a decent workout with them. They come in different miles lengths. 2-3 miles is usually perfect for me, though if you only have fifteen minutes, you can get a quick mile in!
- If you’ve got 45 minutes, you can do a higher intensity 3-mile walk. For me three miles is the magic number to burn the fat off!
- For under 10 bucks you can get three workouts in this DVD that includes different length walks. Walk Off Fat Fast.
Walk Off the Pounds DVDs are available in stores and on Amazon.com.
If you have a desk job then you need to try Ellen Barrett!
Her workouts are hands-down the best workouts for getting the knots out of all your body parts. I love that I can do her workouts barefoot. Yes—I AM too lazy to put on shoes sometimes.
Just kidding. I like the barefoot part because her workouts actually work your feet. That might seem silly but if you ever get foot or leg cramps, these workouts take care of that. Ellen’s workouts leave me always feeling great from head to toe!
Her videos are available through Amazon as well as through a paid online subscription. I’ve been using her workouts for over four years now and I still love them. In fact, the first workout that got me hooked, Grace and Gusto. I still do a segment of it every day to stretch my legs and feet.
Here are my favorite Ellen Barrett workouts!
I do Skinny Sculpt with Ellen Barrett more than any other video. I use very light 2lb weights and it truly works out all the kinks in my body.
My second favorite is Grace and Gusto. I am prone to leg and foot cramps at night and this is the best workout to prevent those. And as with all her workouts, it’s also a full body workout as well.
I love to use 2lb hand-weights for her Sculpting workouts!
Flat Belly Firm Butt in 16 Minutes
I signed up for this HIIT program online over two years ago. Each workout is 16 minutes and targets a body part as well as getting your heart rate up. I also like that they are so short!
They do have some high impact moves so I do modified versions of these. When I was faithfully doing these exercise routines every other day, I had the best-looking legs of my life! One time I was in Las Vegas at the same time as a Marathon and people would ask me if I was competing. (ha ha)
Anyway, I have been using these workouts for over two years now and plan to continue with them.
You pay one upfront fee. When I joined it was $99. It’s been well worth the price for me to have the workouts in one easy to access place. And as I said, I’ve been faithful and gotten my money’s worth. It’s now $149 and that seems a little steep. But because I do these workouts at least a couple of times a week, I have to mention them.
Here’s a link to the website. I’m not an affiliate for this (though I would be if I could) There isn’t a direct sign up on the site but there’s a place to get more information and then she sends a series of emails, and eventually she sends a free workout for you to try.
Over the past two years, I’ve never had any issues with Maria or her site. No matter what I’m feeling like, I can usually muster up the 16 minutes to do a workout.
How to Get Fit Without a Gym
For me that is workouts that combine strength, toning, stretch, and cardio all at once. Obviously, I’m not going to look like Jillian Michaels but it does the trick for me to stay in shape.
One of these days, I hope to add a yoga program to my line-up but I haven’t found an online one that appeals to me yet. In the meantime, I get great workouts and lots of variety by working out at home.
I’d love to hear how you stay fit, especially if you do it outside the gym!
Stay fit my friends!
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I'm a former counselor, career services leader, and college advisor. Now I coach and write at My Think Big Life promoting health and personal growth.