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How to stay fit if you can’t go to the gym

Staying fit is generally synonymous with going to the gym. There is no thin line between them, but the fact is that there is a lot of space. This piece is all about addressing that space. It all begins with what is your definition of staying fit and healthy, what do you expect and where do you want to take it. Setting in one ground rule before proceeding, this piece is not for you to develop an aversion towards the gym. But for some folks for whom going to the gym is not the ultimate way to have a fit body. They seek alternatives that can give them similar results. Alternatives that can turn their sedentary lifestyle into an active one. Let’s keep it moving and look at some of these alternatives that can be immediately adapted to.

Pick up a sport

Start playing a sport that you enjoy. There is lawn tennis, badminton, cricket, football or even golf. Join a nearby community in order to find companions. Specify a part of your time during the week for playing this sport. It is a full-body workout, even for the mind. Any kind of sports activity is sure to implant some discipline in life along with being fun. It helps you manage your time well and provide focus. Once on the field, you can leave behind all your worries and do something just for yourself. It could also be a great place to socialize. If there is some stress that you’ve been experiencing, playing a sport will have you channel the energy just the right way.

Go out for a long walk or a run someplace nearby

Running or brisk walking is one of the best workouts you can do. It does not require any special equipment. Check your neighborhood if there is a good playground or a park. 

Walking is a low-impact activity that can be done at any time of day, and at your own speed. You may go for a walk without the hazards that come with some of the more strenuous kinds of exercise. On most days of the week, try to walk for at least 30 minutes at a brisk pace to get the health advantages. If you're 'brisk,' you can still converse but not sing, and you might be puffing somewhat. Here are some ideas for incorporating walking into your everyday routine:

  • Instead of taking the elevator.
  • If you use public transport, try to get down one stop earlier and take a walk to work or home.
  • To get to the neighborhood shops, take a walk rather than driving.
  • Take your dog (or your neighbor's dog) for a walk.

Play some virtual reality action games that use your whole body

Motion control gaming consoles allow you to work up a sweat while playing video games from the comfort of your own home. With the rise of virtual reality and motion controllers, there are a plethora of possibilities for keeping you interested while working up a sweat. Game designers tailor the visuals for a full-fledged feeling of a workout. Through a series of challenges, these games would make you squat, jog, push up and more. This idea requires some amount of investment made to set up the gaming console, soundbars and other devices.

Join an online fitness class

The fitness industry witnessed a massive transition during the lockdown when thousands of fitness enthusiasts took to attending classes and sessions online. Yoga, Crossfit, strength training, and such were all being taught and practiced across screens. If getting up, leaving your house, and going to the gym seems like a big task, a ready option is available. To get started, first, fix up what kind of fitness activity you are looking for. Look up, research and find out trainers for the same. Even if your choice is dwindling between two or three options, just get down to it. Ask for trial classes, attend them and decide what works best for you. An added advantage is saving up commute time if this is something that your routine does not allow.  

Join a group activity

As much as we are advised to look for motivation, sometimes it is actually found outside. Look for some like-minded people who dislike going to the gym but are eager about being fit and active. Gather them and brainstorm what can be done. Be each other’s support system and slowly progress keeping everyone’s capacity in mind. These group activities could range from some basic stretching to even meditation. Encourage each other to keep at it. Come up with some basic rules and tax the absentees by asking them to pool in a nominal amount every time they skip a session. 

Go for a day-long hike

If you live in cities like Bangalore, Pune, or Mumbai, look for quick hikes and treks around you. Spend some time researching available options and prepare the list. Based on your schedule, figure out a day that is appropriate for the hike. Try to incorporate at least one hike every week and stick to being consistent. Climbing a hill taxes the whole since you act up against gravity. It is a good workout in itself. To make it even more effective, try to time it, and every time you repeat a peak, break the previous record. 

Cycling is an excellent cardiovascular workout

Take up cycling

Cycling is an excellent cardiovascular workout. In an hour, you'll burn roughly 400 calories. It also strengthens the lower body, such as the legs, hips, and glutes. This is an excellent choice if you want a workout that is light on your back, hips, knees, and ankles. Cycling on the road, a bike path, or a mountain trail is all options. Indoors, you can use a stationary bike or get an indoor trainer for your outdoor cycle to get good exercise. Choose a flat bike route or road if you're a beginner. Try mountain biking if you're looking for a more challenging workout that also works your upper body and core. Off-road biking is another name for it. It's possible to accomplish it on trails and many types of hard terrain.

Mountain riding is more difficult since you must manage hills and uneven surfaces, requiring your upper body and core to work harder. It's a more comprehensive workout than road biking, which is mostly a lower-body cardio activity. Plan to ride your bike for 30-60 minutes 3-5 times each week. Every ride should begin with a warm-up. For 5-10 minutes, pedal at a leisurely, comfortable pace. Then increase your speed until you begin to sweat. If you're on a stationary bike, simply adjust the settings to go faster. Take an extra 5 minutes to cool down by riding at a slower rate when you're ready to wrap things up.

Dance to burn calories

Every time you listen to a song that has some good beats, does your mind begin to wander imagining yourself perform on it? If that’s the case, take it up seriously and turn it into a workout. Empty some space in your house. Make a playlist with 2-3 songs for warm-up, 4-5 songs for the main workout, and 1-2 songs for a cool down. Once ready, gear up to hit the floor. Try to not stop for at least an hour once a week. 

Try Skipping

You should know that skipping has a lot of advantages. It's the ultimate high-intensity, high-fun workout. Rope skipping can burn up to 1,600 calories in one hour. Skipping is a full-body workout that involves stabilizing the body with your abs, jumping with your legs, and rotating the rope with your shoulders and arms. Skipping is a free workout once you've purchased your rope. It's a wonderful workout for people of all fitness levels because you may proceed at your own pace. This is also a great way to improve coordination by requiring several body parts to communicate in order to complete one movement. 

Skipping has a lot of advantages. It's the ultimate high-intensity, high-fun workout.

Go for a swim

Swimming engages all of the body's muscles, so whether you swim a soft breaststroke or a hammer butterfly, you'll receive a full-body workout. Furthermore, exercising in water helps your body work harder, so 30 minutes in the pool is equivalent to 45 minutes on land. Swimming for 30 minutes three times a week, combined with a balanced, nutritious diet and lifestyle, is one of the most effective strategies to stay fit and healthy while also maintaining a happy mental attitude. Swimming is one of the most efficient methods of calorie burning. In just half an hour, a leisurely swim can burn nearly 200 calories, more than twice as many as walking.

Combine music with exercise, pick up drumming 

Playing the drums is a thrilling way to let off steam, create the heartbeat for any melody, and lose yourself in the music. If you're a drummer or considering becoming one, you might be interested in the health advantages of drumming and whether it's a healthy form of exercise.

Drumming is a fantastic form of exercise because a typical session may burn between 200 and 500 calories, while a one-hour stadium performance can burn over 1,000 calories. It also demands hand-eye coordination over and above concentration to get the beat right. Thus it is a great workout for the mind as well. Any kind of freedom of expression serves as a great medium to destress. Thus making a drum a good workout. 

One way or the other, if you are making a choice to move to lead an active lifestyle, half the battle is won. It is absolutely fine if you don’t aim to build an amazing physique but keep up the spirit to provide the body with the needed mobility and flexibility. This will not only save you from contracting body illnesses in later life but also keep your mind healthy.

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