No Gym Tips
Five ways you can get fit without ever going to the gym.
Reasons I don’t like the gym: It’s expensive, it’s stuffy, I have to drive there, it’s full of bodybuilders, I can’t see the sun and when I ride a stationary bike, there’s no lookout point when I’m done.
So, two weeks after I joined my local gym, I quit. Maybe going to a gym works for you—after all, I did love all the variety of machines and access to heavy weights—but for me, it wasn’t the right fit. I prefer the fresh air on my skin after a sweat session, and being able to focus on elevation gain instead of the calories-burned number on the treadmill screen. So if you’re like me and you prefer to join Nature’s gym, here are five ways to get fit without ever stepping foot in a locker room:
- Use your body weight. Lifting builds muscle and bone mass and is a crucial part of everyone’s training routine. Use your body weight for exercises like squats, push-ups, pull-ups and tricep dips on things like park benches and doorways.
- Buy a few tools. Invest in workout gear you can take outdoors or on the plane with you: a heavy resistance band, a foam roller, and a jump rope can combine and make for a killer workout during road trips!
- Go for a hike. You know I was going to say this one, but a steep hike can out-fit any treadmill. Pick a route with varied terrain, large elevation gains, and maybe even some boulder scrambling.
- Pick up a paddle. If your arms are feeling weak, pick up a paddle! Kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddle boarding work your shoulders, back and arms like crazy (it’s the same motion that a rowing machine is trying to recreate!). No need to buy a boat, there are rentals at most lakes and rivers for as low as $5 a day.
- Work with what you’ve got. Run in the sand. Do pull-ups on a rock wall. Jump over curbs. Do planks on swing sets and drag tree stumps through the mud. There’s a reason outdoor athletes look so much more, well, fit, than most people—nature is a tough personal trainer!