All kinds of things can keep you out of the gym: your meeting ran long, you hit snooze too many times or there have just been too many people in your favorite corner of the weight room. Whatever is keeping you from walking through the doors, the good news is there are alternatives so you don’t lose the fitness you’ve been building.
Here are four ways you can get in a workout without ever stepping foot in a gym.
Workout Podcasts And Videos
If you haven’t looked into fitness podcasts, make the iTunes store the first stop on your quest to find new routines. For example, Kentucky-based yoga instructor Chaz Rough, offers a weekly video podcast called YOGAmazing, which features episodes ranging from “Yoga for Runners” and “Yoga for Sciatica” to “Yoga for Snowboarders” and “Yoga for Upper-Body Strength.” He has a tendency to make bad jokes, but it’s totally worth it.
For a good workout, you can also turn to sites like Daily Burn. The website offers at-home video programs featuring everything from intense cardio and body sculpting to cool-down yoga and foam rolling techniques. It’s free for your first month and $14.95 a month for the basic package after that (with extra costs for access to one-on-one online coaching). It’s cheaper than a gym membership and you can fumble through your first few videos from the comfort of your own living room.
I stress this enough: Fitting strength exercises into your daily routine can make all the difference in the world. I keep two five-pound hand weights next to my desk at all times. They’re light, but I try to pick them up three or four times a day for a few short sets of curls and shoulder presses, just to get the blood flowing and use my arms for something other than typing. Little exercises like that throughout the day certainly can’t replace a full-on workout in the weight room, but the reps add up and you’ll start to notice a difference in your overall strength.
If you’re looking for something a little more substantial, consider investing in a set of heavier weights. Big honkin’ sets of dumbbells ranging in weight are usually pretty pricey, so consider looking on Craigslist. They’re (obviously) heavy and they take up space, so they’re often the first thing to go when someone has to move and has limited packing space.
Body Weight Exercises
If weights aren’t your thing, invest in a yoga mat and start researching body weight exercises. Push-ups and sit-ups tend to get old pretty quickly, so mix it up with wall sits, tricep dips, arm circles, and squats.
A new trend popping up all over the place is the fitness park—a collection of basic cardio machines and strength training equipment right next to a kids’ playground. The equipment may not necessarily be as versatile or challenging as in the gym, but hey, it’s free and you get to be outside.