Going to the gym has its advantages especially if you’re looking for motivation, to work through an injury, or simply just to meet other people. But what if you can’t make it to your local gym as it’s not convenient, too expensive, or you don’t enjoy working out with other people? So how do you get a workout in if you don’t have the necessary tools that a gym has?
First of all, the most important thing to remember is determining your fitness goal. Are you working out to lose weight or body fat? Are you looking to tone or strengthen particular muscle groups? Are you training for a specific event? Are you looking to increase your energy level? Or are you simply exercising for pleasure? Not everyone wants to lose weight as part of their fitness goals and people do work out for fun without realizing the amount of calories being expended. Find out how you can get fit, stay fit, and have fun all at the same time.
Use what you’ve got
You have two legs, so use them! Simply combining walking with running can provide you with a great workout. You can do this for as little as 10 minutes or longer by yourself, with some friends or even your kids. Make a game out of it and have fun doing it! Bring back the fun of playing outside even if it’s just for a few minutes. Try these other great activities that are great for calorie burning.
- Playing tag with your children
- You can chase your dog or play fetch with them.
- Walk or run with your dog
- Swimming at your local recreational pool
- Nature hike with your children at a local conservation area
- Scavenger hunt with the entire family
- Yoga in the park with some friends
Your own body weight
You can incorporate some functional exercises such as lunges, squats, sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups into a workout simply in your neighbourhood park or even in your own backyard.
Try a circuit program for 30 minutes incorporating all four exercises (lunges, squats, push-ups, pull-ups) and alternate them with running, walking, running up and down the stairs, or even skipping. You can make it fun by going to a local trail and use the hills on the trail and do hill repeats by running up the hill and walking down.
Take It Outside
Lace up your shoes and hit the road or trail by yourself, a friend, your furry friend, or a local running group. Being outside can do wonders for our mind and being in nature can help us forget all the stresses that come throughout the day.
Go to a local conservation area with the family where there are guided trails for all fitness levels. Strap on a backpack with a packed lunch, snacks, water, and some extra clothing, and that little extra weight can go a long way to burning some extra calories.
Do you take the bus to work? Are you sitting on the bus daily in rush hour traffic? How about walking to work and getting to work either at the same time or earlier? While the bus is stopped behind traffic, you can be walking the same path, getting some fresh air, and burning some calories. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes with the money you saved on bus fare.
You don’t need a state of the art bike to get a great workout. Many cities offer bike programs that you can pay a fee for the year or you can rent for a small fee. Think about the advantages of cycling to work 1-5 times a week. Not only are you burning calories, you don’t have to worry about hitting the gym after a full day of work, you’re saving money on gas and it’s also eco-friendly. Cycling on a gym bike and cycling outdoors are two different things. Weather elements can make it more of a challenge for you, cycling up hills can increase the overall intensity therefore making you work harder. In return, you are getting your heart rate up receiving a greater caloric output. If you’re spending time sitting in traffic, isn’t it better to spend your time wisely and workout instead?
4. Go to the Playground
You don’t have to wait for spring and summer to visit your neighbourhood playground as it can be used all year round. Being interactive with your children at the playground can burn more calories than you think. Pushing your child on the swing and showing them how to use their body to gain momentum when they swing can be fun and active for your child. Have them use the monkey bars to learn how to use their upper body or just chasing them around the playground can tire both child and parent. Again, you are outdoors, they are interacting with other children, and after an hour of chasing them around, pushing them on a swing, and helping them on and off the slides, it can be very tiresome for both parent and child. It beats sitting on the couch.
You don’t have to own a kayak. Spending a few minutes on-line to find out where you can rent a kayak for the day is so much easier than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Many conservation areas, provincial parks, and outdoor stores near rivers offer kayak rentals for ½ or full days. The cost is minimal and what you get in return such as rare wildlife spotting, the peacefulness of a river or lake, can be so beneficial to your mindset. Never mind the calories you can burn especially if you are paddlingagainst the current.