I am excited to write this article because I’m all about being active and maintaining my fitness “outside” of the gym environment. Not dissing those that go to a gym- it can have a time and a place. However, drop out rates are very high for gym goers due to the repetitiveness. Okay- enough said. You searched for this article on how to get your groove on without a gym, so let’s get into this.
Here are 5 ways to stay Fit without a Gym:
Fitness VS Exercise
There are times where people can use fitness and exercise interchangeably. I would like to point out the difference first before jumping into how to stay fit without a gym. I believe knowing the difference can help you to stick with an exercise program!
According to ISSA, Exercise is “A voluntary activity requiring effort done to sustain or improve physical fitness”. Looking at the big picture, exercise can help you maintain your independence over time. Many people as they age get weaker, more sedentary, and have a decline in their health & wellness. The more sick someone is, the less they can take care of themselves.
On the other hand, Fitness is, “The condition of being physically fit; being able to carry out a specific skill or task”.
So, with this said, someone could start out with exercise, but Not be physically fit. This can be a huge barrier since it requires more effort. Especially if the individual is overweight or has other health issues.
If are in this situation of not having the level of fitness you want, start off with moderate exercises. You may think about getting a personal trainer so they can work with you and set you up on a progressive exercise plan. Stay positive and believe in yourself ; that through consistent exercise that you can achieve a high level of fitness.
Outdoor Spaces & Places
You can learn to create your own outdoor fitness facility any place you live. Scouting locations for your workouts can be a lot of fun. Whether you live in town, out in the country, or in the woods, there are endless opportunities for places to work out.
Urban locations could include parks, plazas, playgrounds, athletic fields, paths and backyards. For more rural workouts, you could exercise in open fields, orchards, groves, hiking trails, dirt roads and school tracks. For the beach, you have boardwalks, promenades, piers and docks, sandy and rocky shorelines.
It just takes some creativity and you will find the ultimate gym for your workouts! For inspiration, just know that whatever results you can achieve in a gym you can quadruple by exercising outdoors.
You can also use gear in any of these outdoor settings. Use portable and lightweight fitness equipment that you can take to any outdoor location.
When I am not hiking or mountain biking, the workout routine I do the most is a park circuit at my local park. I absolutely love these sessions- they are easy and I maximize my time because I’m combining cardio, strength training, and stretching. There are benches all around the park which makes for a fun workout.
For approximately 30-45 minutes, this is my routine:
- Run to the park (10 minutes)
- Run to the first bench (1-2 sets of 10-15 pushups) (Stretch)
- Run to the next bench (1-2 sets of 10-15 Tricep Dips) (Stretch)
- Run to the next bench (1-2 Sets of 10-15 Wide Squat Lunges) (Stretch).
- Run to the next bench (1-2 Sets of 10-15 side lunge)(Stretch)
- Run to the next Water Fountain/Play Structure (1-2 Sets of 10-15 pull ups) (Stretch)
Run back home (10 minutes)
Outdoor Adventure & Play
In my opinion, playing outdoors and having fun is by far the easiest way to get in shape and stay fit. There are numerous activities that are so much fun that you won’t even realize your exercising. Hiking is this way for me. Sure- I can feel the pain sometimes on those steep inclines, but being in the fresh air and seeing beautiful scenery all around me makes it all worth it. Some other options include mountain biking, rock climbing, disc golf, paddleboarding, playing racquet sports like tennis or pickeball- or even going to the park and shooting hoops with your family.
I have a Disc golf course in my neighborhood park now and the course has already grown very popular. If you’ve never played- the rules are just like ball golf except you play with discs instead. And there are baskets at each hole vs. small openings. I love disc golf because I’m getting exercise by walking and it helps me with my hand eye coordination. It’s also a social game since you can play with a large group.
Time is a factor in all our lives and can definitely impact how often you exercise. Several years ago I came up a Self- Management system called P.S.S. This stands for purpose, simply, and schedule. Follow these steps and you will have more availability in your day for working out.
How often do you question what you do every day? Deep down do you really love what you do? This is a crucial question in managing your time because if you don’t like how you’re spending your time- then You won’t be good at it no matter how many scheduling systems you have. You will procrastinate or just blow off whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing.
Here are 3 Crucial questions to answer:
- Identify The Why
- What Makes you Happy
- Who do you spend your time with?
Answering the why will help you focus. Acknowledging what makes you happy already will encourage you to stay on that path and do more of whatever it is. Analyzing who you spend your time with can help you determine the people in your life who are uplifting vs. those who drain you.
YOU are your number #1 Resource. As business owners, employees, busy parents, etc. don’t we seek out programs and gadgets that help us be more efficient? What if your main resource (being you) isn’t running that well? Then the “operator” is running on 2 or 3 cylinders vs. 4.
We often look to these different scheduling systems to save us time- when in fact they can add to the cumbersome to our lives.
Try clearing your plate as much as possible before adding to it. Ever get in a situation where you ask yourself how can you possibly manage everything? You’re not alone! Take some serious time to reflect on what’s important to you- and then ACT. The first step is to define your Why. So anything that falls out of this could possibly go. I do realize there are exceptions to this- like our kids, etc. 😊 They could be pain in the butts but if they are only 14 they should probably stay put in the house.
Energy conversation is a key aspect to simplifying your life as well. Here are some pointers:
- Maintain focus and drive: If you don’t have clear priorities. -then other people can’t dictate your schedule.
- You must make time for yourself- truly carve out time to think about what really matters. What is the 80/20 route?
- Have a solid morning routine – Top advice- don’t look at your phone for at least an hour after you wake up! My routine is to wake up by 5:30 am, drink coffee, journal, read, and then work out. Or, you can take a dip in an ice bath like Tony Robbins.
- Identify the time of day where you are most productive- this is when you should do your work that requires the most brain power.
- Have habits that are obstacles to your goals? (Cocktails- waking up at night- being groggy…cycle continues)
- Maintain a clean home, car, and work space. The clutter you physically see in your life- turns into clutter in your mind. It is very difficult to think straight when you have too much stuff in your living spaces.
- Have set times when you check your Text and Emails- don’t be a Slave to your Device.
Now we are to the scheduling- our last step, not the first. Life is much easier to schedule- when you have less on your plate. I don’t know why in our society we look at being super busy like some badge of honor. There is a BIG difference between being busy and productive. I know this from working in the Corporate World for over 20 years. People waste a lot of time when the priorities aren’t clear.
It is for this very reason why it’s so important to go through the applications first regarding your purpose and then simplifying. If you don’t love what you do and are spending time with people that drain you- then it doesn’t matter how much energy you give it. Your day will not be a success.
One of the main tools I use to schedule my day is called Pomodoros. This system absolutely changed how I work! Using Pomodoros took me to the next level of productivity and lowered my stress level enormously.
The person that is attributed with this work is Chris Winfield- he’s an expert that uses this technique which he claims if used correctly, you can get 40 hours of work done in under 17 hours. Pomodoros are 25 minute time increments and the goal is to get up to at least 8 per day= 40 Poms per week.
You will work in 25 minute – 4 x’s in a row, with 5 minute breaks between. Then, after 4 Poms, you take a half hour break or so and repeat 4 more times.
Working with Poms keeps you seriously focused and productive. Try it once and you’ll see the difference!
I love coaching people on time management- if you would like help in this area, please contact me.
Summary- How To Stay Fit without A Gym
Fitness vs Exercise- You may not start off with a high level of fitness, but through consistent exercise you’ll meet your goals in no time!
Outdoor Spaces and Places– Be creative in where you work out. So many places to choose from whether you live in the City or the Country.
Outdoor Workouts – There are so many options here as well. Park circuits, Group exercise, Boot Camps, and Obstacle courses.
Make it Fun – Make being active outdoors part of your life. Participate in activities that bring you joy and can do with other people.
Making Time & Prioritize – Once you identify the Why in your life, it will help you to make decisions that will save you time and energy. Simplify your life first before adding to it. Make exercise a priority – the Big Rock in your life!