How to exercise - without a gym membership
Article date: 24 February 2014
Not wanting to take out a gym membership is no excuse not to exercise. There are plenty of ways to get your heart rate up, tone your muscles and keep fit without needing to spend a penny!
Stay at home
One of the reasons that people may be put off joining a gym is the inevitability of exercising alongside other people. Whether it's due to self-consciousness or a dislike of having to queue for equipment, some individuals far prefer the idea of keeping themselves to themselves when doing a workout.
Believe it or not, there are lots of exercises and activities that you can do from the comfort of your own home, which may prove just as beneficial as pounding the cross-trainer in a busy, expensive gym. What's more, you can carry these out at any time that suits you, as you don't need to go anywhere, making it far more likely you will manage to squeeze in a couple of extra weekly sessions.
If you have a television with a DVD player, this could be an invaluable tool, with a wealth of fun fitness and workout DVDs to choose from in the shops.
Like video games? If you're lucky enough to have a games console like a Nintendo Wii, this can be a useful fitness aid, with games like Wii Fit helping those who shy away from conventional exercise routines to get off the couch and get active.
If you are worried that going anywhere near the television will prove to be too much of a distraction, then avoid it completely. Map out a circuit training session around your house - step-ups on the stairs, press-ups and sit-ups in the sitting room, star jumps in the kitchen, skipping in the garden and lunges between the various sets. Carrying out a rep routine like this - combined with a healthy, balanced diet - should see you honed and toned in no time.
The great outdoors
If you are one of those people that simply can't avoid the temptation of the couch, then all you need to do is step outside of your front door and turn the world into your gym.
Seek out a local park nearby and carry out a circuit training session, like the one outlined above. Alternatively, you might like to map out a jogging route. Not only is running one of the best and easiest ways to keep fit, it could be a great way to be nosy and explore your local area.
If you want to go a little further, get on your bike! Instead of taking the car to pick up a pint of milk and the local paper, why not get into a routine of taking your bike for a spin once a week?
If money is proving the main obstacle to joining a gym, then there are other cheaper alternatives available. Your local leisure centre may provide more flexible payment and access solutions than a gym that is bound by the rules and regulations of a national chain.
What's more, you may be able to pay for just a few classes, rather than a monthly subscription, meaning you can benefit from the advice and guidance of the fitness experts on-hand, without having to make a considerable financial commitment.
If your leisure centre has a pool, then swimming is a fantastic way both to get your heart rate up and tone muscles, and you should be able to pay for one-off sessions.
Your daily routine
Many would be amazed by the amount of difference they could make to their fitness levels by making small changes to their daily routine.
Do you take the lift at work? In which case, consider taking the stairs. Do you get the bus to the office? You could walk one or two stops further down the line before getting on in order to tag a brisk 20-minute walk on to the beginning and end of your day. When cleaning the house or doing the gardening, why not step it up a gear and give your muscles a real workout? You'll be surprised by much you could get your heart rate up by scrubbing the bathroom with a little more vigour.
You might just be surprised by how fit you can keep yourself without evening realising you are doing it - and without spending any money.