Ways To Reach Your Fitness Goals Without Actually Going To The Gym
When you sign up for a gym membership, you feel like the world is at your fingertips. Finally, you have more control over your fitness! Maybe you’ll suddenly realize you’re passionate about rowing! But then, one of three things happen. Either you fall out of routine and stop going, you feel self-conscious working out in a room full of strangers, or you simply get bored.
Quitting the gym is another hurdle in itself. There’s a nagging feeling on the inside that you’re giving up on yourself after you sign the paperwork to end your membership. “Maybe I can just make more time for it,” you say. But sometimes you can’t — and you aren’t the only one who has been in this predicament.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t reach your fitness goals without it. In fact, by creating your own routine and exercise rituals at home, you may end up being more successful without spending all that money. By creating small goals for yourself, you’ll feel better about yourself every day.
Yes, your results might not happen overnight. But in building better routines slowly, you’re more likely to stick to them. According to The Washington Post, adding a laundry list of healthier routines all at once is almost a recipe for disaster — so, be easy on yourself while starting out.
Here are ways you can easily hit all of your individual fitness goals without having to buy (and later cancel) an expensive gym membership.
1. Identify an exercise you actually like doing.
If it’s enjoyable, you won’t view it as “work.”
Even stretching your muscles every morning counts. And if you like stretching, you may be more keen on starting something like yoga. You might not know this, but yoga has been linked to helping with both your physical and mental health, meaning it’s much more than just a way to become more flexible. Enjoy walking outside? That counts as exercise too, and even a couple blocks can make a huge difference.
2. Find an online instructor you enjoy.
There are several exercise videos online that are absolutely free.
Others might require a subscription later on — but, that’s okay. If you really enjoy the way an instructor teaches a routine, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. And, you’ll have more control over that than a gym membership, which may come with cancellation penalties. The real goal is to stick with a routine, and if the instructor is friendly enough, you likely will.
3. Make use of your phone’s pedometer.
You might not have even realized your phone was counting your steps.
Most smartphones have a pedometer app built-in. If yours doesn’t, you might need to look in the app store. Most exercise experts recommend aiming between 6,000 and 10,000 steps per day. Just know that if you keep improving from your step count the day before (or falling into the recommended step range), you’re on a good path.
4. Find a good neighborhood walking path.
If you’re new to the area, this can be beneficial for more than one reason.
Nice days are perfect for long walks — and getting outside is also beneficial for your mental health. Explore your neighborhood, or a street close to where you work, and make a habit of taking a walk every day during your lunch break. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to take more and more steps without losing your breath.
5. Remind yourself that cheat days happen.
You’ll overindulge on snacks every once in a while. You’re only human.
Your goal, in order to try and stay on the right track, is to make sure those cheat days don’t turn into cheat weeks. When you’ve given up on your diet, your fitness routines will also take a nosedive. Runtastic makes note that cheat days may actually benefit your exercise performance — that is, unless you completely go overboard.
6. Consider buying a jump rope
Want to relive your childhood? Here’s a healthy way you can.
Jumping rope is one of the simplest, cheapest exercises you can do. According to LifeHack, it can greatly improve your coordination and also improves your bone density. Plus, it’s a lot of fun and it’s one of the most portable pieces of gym equipment out there. What’s not to love?
7. Re-evaluate your diet.
If you’re looking to lose weight, your diet is extremely important.
Just looking to be more physically fit? Well, it’s still important. What you eat affects how well you perform, and if you’re looking to shed weight while building muscle, you’ll want to make sure you’re eliminating the stuff that’ll make you tired. Consider focusing more on lean proteins and whole grains. And remember, more often than not, fad diets are just that — fads. There is no shortcut to a healthy diet.
8. Drink more water.
It may seem boring, but water is literally the best thing for you.
Water will help curb your appetite and also help energize your muscles. Even better? It’s practically available everywhere. Consider purchasing a new water bottle you like, since it’ll be your best friend when you’re taking long walks or are just out in the sun for long stretches of time. As a bonus, water will also improve your skin.
9. Perfect your push-ups and planks.
You can do these everywhere, and they’ll help you get fit fast.
Push-ups are ideal for maintaining upper body strength. They’re also a great workout that you can increase gradually. If you’re not very good at them, start out with five. Then, make that 10 next week. Pretty soon, you’ll be doing 15 like a pro. Just make sure you have someone nearby that’ll ensure you’re doing them correctly, because the wrong type of push-up or plank may cause injury.
10. Plan your meals carefully.
As an extra reward, you’ll probably save a lot of money as well.
Meal planning isn’t the most thrilling activity, but it’ll do wonders for your fitness and overall health. By knowing in advance what you’re going to eat, you’ll have a better schedule. You won’t be tempted to grab unhealthy foods when you are on the run or have a packed day if your meals are already prepped. Food and exercise are so closely linked, so if you know you packed a healthy protein like fish, you’ll be way more careful not to neglect your evening run to really make the day count.
11. Tell someone else about your fitness goals.
Everything works better with a buddy.
Even if you don’t find someone that’ll help motivate you to reach your goals, you’ll at least put your goals out there in the open. That added pressure is only good for you. You’ll be more willing to power through and show the world that you made good on your promises. Who knows? You may just inspire someone else to eventually join in.
12. Consider creating homemade weights.
Back in the day, people used Campbell’s soup cans as mini weights.
But, those will only take you so far. Consider packaging a soft duffel bag with a bunch of towels for a safe yet heavier weight. Those who aren’t new to weightlifting can also use sand. You can also carry around a backpack around your house the way you did back in school. Remember to know your own limits. If you’re new to weightlifting, you’ll want to ease your way up.
13. Write it out.
Keeping a fitness diary will help you stay accountable.
It’ll also help you identify any sort of downfalls you might have and help you find ways to work around them. Maybe you lose a ton of motivation right before you’re set to get your period, but you never connected the dots before. But having it in writing will help you to solve that hurdle for next month before it happens.
14. Manage Your Expectations
If everything you know about transforming your body came from watching The Biggest Loser, just know that it’s not a realistic portrayal of health and fitness.
Weight loss and a toned body will be your rewards for a total lifestyle overhaul. It’ll take some time to get there. Patience is key, and some days, the best thing you can do is not give up. You don’t need a gym in order to make your fitness dreams come true — you need patience.
15. Create A Fun Home Gym Space
Designate a space just for your home workouts.
Try to make sure your space isn’t set up to fail. Keep it away from the kitchen, but consider buying a mini-fridge to store some cold water. Everything you need should find a home within that space, and clutter should be banished. If it’s an area where you’d rather sit and lounge, you might lose some motivation.
16. Set A Timer For When You Work Out
It’s important to know how long you’re doing an activity for.
You might assume you’ll mentally keep track, but it’s very possible that it’ll feel like you’ve been doing sit-ups for 15 minutes when it’s only been five. When you’re just starting a new routine, a step like this is crucial. On the plus side, it’ll one of the few phone alarms you’ll be happy to hear during the day.