The gym isn’t for everyone. Memberships can be expensive and some may find it pretty uncomfortable working out in front of others. According to a study by Strong Home Gym, the average gym membership in the US is around $50 per month or $600 per year. If you’re on a tight budget that can be a lot of extra cash to shell out.
With modern advancements and information at our fingertips health and wellness no longer have to be a luxury. Whether you’re trying to loose weight or simply maintain a healthy lifestyle, there are much more creative and accessible ways to get fit than hitting the gym.
How Does Fitness Play Into Overall Health?
The goal of living a holistic lifestyle is to cultivate a proactive approach to health instead of reacting once health issues arrive. Fitness plays a huge role in becoming proactive about your overall health and wellness.
Our bodies are like machines- when we maintain them properly they have extended longevity. We can transform our body into a well oiled machine with diet and exercise. Working out regularly helps to strengthen muscles and bones to enhance mobility and flexibility. Frequent cardio strengthens the heart muscle, decreasing your risk of heart disease (the number one killer in America). Regular exercise is also one of the easiest ways to enhance the immune system.
Although maintaining a healthy weight is important for decreasing the chances of type 2 diabetes and other chronic illnesses, working out isn’t all about the physical aspects. Incorporating a workout program into your wellness routine offers much more benefits than losing weight and strengthening your body. Mental and emotional health are also strongly influenced by exercise. When you workout your body releases endorphins (feel good hormones) and helps to regulate brain chemistry.
How Often Should I Be Working Out?
Much like everything else in life, you want to create a plan and schedule that works best for you physically and mentally. Overdoing it can quickly cause burnout or injury. Most fitness and medical professionals agree on 4 to 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes.
If you’re just starting out with a workout plan or are out of shape, try easing yourself into it with low impact workouts 2 to 3 times a week then working your way up. Low impact exercises like walking, yoga, biking or swimming are much easier on the body and reduce the risk of injury.
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The Best Methods for Working Out Without a Gym
Try Subscribing To An Exercise App
If you want the results of a trainer or the feel or group classes a workout app subscription might be the perfect solution. Monthly subscriptions are a fraction of the cost of traditional gym memberships and there’s no penalty for canceling your subscriptions. Many of these apps also provide valuable goal setting functions and stats to keep you motivated.
- Daily Burn– Kickboxing, Weight Training, Sculpting, Low Impact, Pre-Natal, Cardio, Yoga
- Nike Training Club– Nutritional Plans, Strength Training, Cardio, Yoga, Sculpting
- Obé– Barre, Yoga, Dance, Pilates, Boxing, HIIT, Pre-Natal, & Post-Natal
- Nike Run Club– Running
- Charity Miles– Walking, Biking, Running
- Alo Moves– Yoga, Barre, Pilates, Meditation
Use The Outdoors As Your Gym
Get a does of vitamin D while you workout by taking things outside. Try going for a bike ride, walking, or running through the park or neighborhood. On weekends try switching it up by taking a hike, swimming, or kayaking. Spending time outside also helps to ground you and is so important for maintaining mental health.
Try a Free Trainer on YouTube
If you’re looking for a completely free way to workout try exploring trainers on YouTube. There are tons of personal trainers who upload incredible workouts on their YouTube channels. Most trainers on YouTube also offer healthy lifestyle tips surrounding nutrition and motivational content to keep you on track.
Some of My Favorites:
- Juice & Toya– Full Body Workouts, HIIT, Cardio, Beginner Friendly, Kid Friendly Workouts, Nutrition & Wellness Tips
- Grow With Jo– Dance Cardio, Walking Cardio, Strength & Conditioning
- Heather Robertson– 7 Day Challenges, 12 Week Programs, Intense Workouts, Low Impact, Beginner Friendly Options
- Yoga With Adriene– 30 Day Yoga Challenge, Flow, Beginner Friendly, Advanced Options, Yoga for Chronic Pain
Create Your Own Workouts
If you’re no stranger to fitness try creating your own home workouts. Be cautious with creating workouts if you’re just beginning a fitness journey. Injuries can easily occur if you aren’t familiar with proper form and transitions.
Creating An Inexpensive Home Gym
When you think of creating a home gym you might think of expensive ellipticals, treadmills, weights or pricey stationary bikes. The truth is you can easily workout with a few inexpensive items like resistance bands and dumbbells, or even no props at all.
Here are a few home gym props under $50 I recommend:
- Neoprene Dumbbell Set
- Exercise Ball
- Booty Bands for Legs & Butt
- 6lb Medicine Ball
- Duel Exercise/ Yoga Mat
- Resistance Bands
- Weighted Jump Rope
How to Stay Motivated
Losing motivation is often the biggest reason why fitness goals fail. Going all in too fast can cause burn-out. Maybe you get side tracked after a vacation or holiday- we’ve all been there. With a few mindful techniques you can stay motivated and successful on your fitness journey.
It might be pretty tempting to go all in at first, especially if you have specific goals surrounding weight loss or physical health, but remember to pace yourself. Doing too much too soon can cause injury and working out everyday can cause you to burnout long before meeting your goals.
Instead of fixating on specific results that might tempt you to push yourself too hard too fast, try viewing workouts as a long-term lifestyle change to cultivate wellness. Most people give up on working out because of burnout or they aren’t getting results fast enough. Pacing yourself and creating a lifestyle mindset around working out helps to avoid these pitfalls.
Build a Support System
Research shows that those who have a strong support system are more likely to reach their fitness goals. Discuss your health goals with those closest to you. Chances are you have at least one friend or family member who’s also interested in building a stronger fitness foundation in their life. A strong support system helps to motivate you and holds you accountable for your goals.
Even if you can’t workout together you can motivate each other by discussing your goals and celebrating milestones. Apps like Fitbit and Apple Health make it easy to share milestones and keep up with goals. Meet up with your fitness partner at a local juice bar or park once a week to celebrate your wins and inspire one another to keep going.
If you can’t find a support partner from your inner circle there are plenty of support groups online through social media that are just as motivational.
Celebrate Your Wins
Hitting a fitness milestone is something that deserves to be celebrated! Maybe you finished a 30 day challenge or finally ran that mile you’ve been working so hard to hit. A lot of coaches and trainers suggest to avoid rewarding yourself with food because it’s counterproductive to goals and can relapse bad nutritional habits. However, I personally think a slice of pizza every now and then can be motivational. Just make sure you’re not rewarding yourself with junk food every week- it’s a slippery slope.
Try rewarding yourself with a massage, or a new blender to make healthy smoothies at home, maybe take a Friday off from work and give yourself a long weekend. Get creative with celebrating your big milestone wins.
Give Yourself a Break
Even professional athletes take at least one day off from training a week. Make sure you’re taking at lease one or two days off each week. On your off days use the time that you would have been working out to do a hobby you love. Spend some extra time in your garden or read the book you’ve been working on for an extra 30 minutes.
You don’t have to be lazy on your off days just move you motivation to something else that day. Taking time off helps to stay motivated and gives your body a chance to rest. If you run a machine for too long it breaks down- your body is no different.