Don’t have time to go to a gym? That’s no excuse not to work out. Even if you don’t want to fork out the money to join a health club, you can still get the health benefits of “gym-free exercise” without spending money on a gym membership or leaving home.
Research shows even short periods offers benefits. Why not take advantage of the time you have? Here are some ways to exercise when you have a limited time and a limited budget, and you won’t have to spring for a gym membership.
Visit Your Local Library
You might ask what the library has to do with exercise. Good question. The library is a plentiful source of exercise DVDs you can use to work out at home on your own time schedule. Check out a few. With so many options, you can do a dance workout one day and sculpt your abs the next. Most DVDs require minimal equipment, although a pair of resistance bands is helpful for building strength.
Can’t make it to the library? Do a search for free, full-length workouts on You Tube. You’ll be surprised at the selection, and some of them were uploaded by certified fitness instructors. If time is an issue, set your alarm clock twenty minutes early and do half of a workout. You can finish the DVD later.
Strap on a Pedometer
Challenge yourself to move around more by wearing a pedometer. A pedometer around your wrist is a constant reminder to take more steps during the day. Look for short segments of time when you can take a brisk walk. If you work in an office, use your lunch hour to walk. During breaks, go up and down the stairs.
Research shows sitting for hours at a time increases the risk of heart disease and dying prematurely. Want to see your grandchildren grow up? Then it’s time to get moving. Get other people in your office involved too. Why not organize a pedometer challenge and see who can rack up the most steps during the week?
Use Your Bodyweight
You can get a gym-free, heart-pumping workout using only an exercise mat. Remember the calisthenics you did in gym class when you were young? They’re still effective. Pick a group of three exercises that challenge your entire body. At least one exercise should be aerobic one like jumping jacks, high knees or hopping in place. The other two exercises should be bodyweight exercises like push-ups, deep squats or lunges that work multiple muscle groups.
Set a timer to go off every 30 seconds to signal when to switch exercises. Do each exercise in sequence for 30 seconds without resting. This type of circuit workout will boost your heart rate while working your body against resistance. Start with a 10 minute cycle and increase it to 20 minutes as you build up more endurance. You can do these exercises at home. No gym required.
Exercise While You Watch Television
Why not put the time you spend watching your favorite reality shows to good use? During commercial breaks, do push-ups, squats or jog in place. See how many push-ups you can do during a commercial break. If you have an exercise bike, move it in front of the television so you can get a workout while you’re catching up on the news. Take advantage of the free moments you have to build strength and endurance. That way you have a good excuse to park yourself in front of the television for an hour.
The Bottom Line?
Time and lack of resources isn’t an excuse not to get a good workout. You don’t need fancy equipment or lots of time to improve your health through exercise. Take advantage of the time you have with these gym-free exercise ideas.