Workout without a gym

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Workout without a gym and feel fantastic while you get in great shape

Not everyone has the luxury of going to a gym regularly, but thatís no reason to put fitness on the back burner. Besides, the cost of a monthly membership adds up. Why pay when you can get in shape and stay fit for free?

Once you commit, finding ways to workout without a gym becomes second nature. All you need is a good pair of athletic shoes and some comfortable exercise clothes to get started. In a few weeks youíll be inventing your own exercises.

Think about the type of fitness routines youíve enjoyed in the past. Do you prefer structured team activities over solo runs? Following exercise videos or going at your own pace? Hitting the trails for some fresh air or going deep into a downward dog in your quiet living room?

Answering a few basic questions will help you identify multiple routines that youíll enjoy. When you enjoy it, youíre more likely to make it a permanent part of your lifestyle. As you progress, variation will be key to staying interested and continuing to challenge yourself.

Check out these free or inexpensive ways to get a full body workout without a gym. 


You can run wherever you live whether itís a city, suburb or farm. Once you get yourself out the door, just put one foot in front of the other. Follow a training program from Runnerís World that suits your level and build endurance gradually.

If you need structure, set a goal for your running. If you canít run a full mile yet, make that your 30-day goal. Once you get there, register for a 5K in your area and consider yourself in training.

Recruit a running buddy from your circle of friends. It really helps to have someone encourage you on bad days, and to encourage someone else when they need it. Plan to run in the mornings when itís hot and bundle up in winter.

Activities and Teams

If you live near a beach or park, check to see if there are volleyball nets. An evening game of volleyball a few times a month will boost your heart rate and that competitive spark.

Many community parks have tennis and basketball courts. If yours doesnít, thereís likely one nearby. Some areas even have soccer and baseball fields with organized adult leagues you can join. Do a quick online search with your zip code plus activity of choice to see whatís available.

Swimming, Kayaking and Canoeing

Swimming works every muscle in your body. Beaches and community pools typically charge a small fee to use for the day, or they offer membership for the whole season. If you love the water and know youíll go enough to make it pay off, a membership may be worth it.

Rivers, lakes and the ocean are ideal for learning to row or kayak. Paddling is an intense way to give your upper body a workout without a gym.


While not as intense as running, brisk walking burns calories and makes for a good cardiovascular workout. This is one exercise you can do in street clothes as long as you have good training shoes. Start with a 20-minute walk after lunch, and build from there.

Exercise Videos

Exercise videos are a great substitute for gym classes. You can find a video for any style from Zumba and yoga, to step aerobics and exercise for your core. If your budget is tight, stream videos online through YouTube, or check them out from the library.


Something about riding and caring for a bike makes you feel like a kid again. Bicycles double as green transportation if you live close enough to work, or use it for errands. For a little weekend excitement, take it to an off-road trail. 

You can turn your outdoor bike and indoor stationary bike with a product called an indoor bike trainer. Use it when the weather is bad, or itís late at night and you want to exercise while watching your favorite show.


Pick up a set of free weights or medicine ball at an athletic or big box store. A single set is not expensive, and theyíre convenient if you donít have space for an indoor bike. Start out in front of a mirror so you can check your posture and avoid injury. Want more of a challenge? Check out these at home no-gym exercise suggestions from Men's Health.

With so many options, you wonít even miss going to the gym. Before you get going, do yourself a favor and buy a water bottle. Stay hydrated and nothing can stop you!


Runnerís World

Men's Health 

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