10 Tips on how to get fit if you can’t afford the gym
We all know how important it is to keep fit but maybe there isn’t a gym nearby. Or maybe the gym that is nearby is not good for you for some personal reason. Finally, maybe you don’t want to spend any money on a gym. That’s absolutely fine, going to the gym is not compulsory. In fact, it’s perfectly possible to stay fit and shed those pounds without even seeing the inside of a gym. Here’s how.
1. Make a regimen
To be able to work out successfully and keep it up over the long run, you need to plan your activities. How about a bootcamp-style sequence of exercises? You can do them either at home or in the fresh air, in a park. Combine jogging with other exercises to keep all your muscles in good shape. Sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, they‘re all good for you and you don’t have to do hundreds of reps, just a minute of each exercise will suffice.
2. Watch what you eat
Naturally, healthy eating is a major part of any fitness plan. One way to make sure you’re never caught unawares by hunger is to plan your menu for the week ahead. Having a menu will help you stay on the straight and narrow, rather than giving in to temptations and it will also help you manage your time more efficiently.
3. Walk and bike
Instead of using public transport or your car to work and everywhere else, try riding a bicycle or walking, whenever possible. For many people walking is a kind of exercise routine and to an extent can replace the gym. That’s, of course, unless you’re determined not just to keep your current shape but to make it much fitter.
One of the disadvantages of gyms is that they very often start feeling like work. The same routine, every day, the same equipment, it’s just like the office! Outside the gym, however, you can turn things into a play, especially if you exercise with a partner. How about a little jumping rope competition? Or some hide and seek in the park? It sounds silly but it’s exercise and it’s fun.
5. Schedule your fitness routine
Coming up with a regimen is one thing but sticking to it is another. The latter will be easier if you have a schedule to keep to. Perhaps it will be wiser to first start doing exercises and see how much time it takes for you to feel like you’ve done enough. Then factor in all the things you do every day, and you’ll be able to come up with a neat schedule that will help you turn exercising into a habit.
6. Go into hiking
Walking around the city is good but out in the fresh air it’s better, so if your surroundings allow it, become a weekend hiker. In case you’re thinking you don’t have any hiker friends, turn the ones you have into hikers. Fun in the fresh air and great exercise, all in one. Plus, there will be that sense of accomplishment that no amount of gym exercise can get you.
7. Track progress
Fitness experts are unanimous that increasing the level of your workout should happen gradually, to avoid burnout and injuries. But sometimes it’s hard to keep track of how you’re doing, unless, of course, you write it all down in a journal. The journal will not only help you stay motivated but it will show you patterns in your physical state that could help you make your routine more effective. For example, you may be more active in the morning but try to exercise more often in the afternoon. The journal will help you see this more clearly.
You can join a class if you like, or go to a club, but you can also do it at home, where nobody’s watching. Make a playlist with music that energises you and start dancing. And singing along with the tune, why not? Dancing is a great form of exercise and the best thing about it is that it doesn’t actually feel like exercise.
9. Get visual inspiration
Libraries are full of workout regimen DVDs and the internet is even fuller of all sorts of routines, complete with pictures. Get inspiration from these, if you’re unsure how to start. Try a couple of alternatives and see which one best fits your tastes and abilities. You can also combine exercises from different regimen, the choice is yours.
10. Remember the basics
There are five elements to comprehensive, effective workout. First, warm-up, then cardio, resistance training, flexibility exercises, and cool-down. A slow walk is a great warm-up, and a faster, longer walk is very good cardio. Jumping rope, step aerobics, take your pick for this second element. Resistance involves exercises like push-ups, squats, or dumbbell exercises. Flexibility means stretches or yoga poses. Cool down with another short walk.
How to get fit if you can’t afford the gym? What are your tips?