Written by Patricia Conte
Whether you're trying to cut back on spending or don't happen to live close to a gym, there are many things you can do to workout at home or in your neighborhood that don't require memberships, machines or even group classes. While many of these suggestions are simply common sense moves, we don't need to tell you that everyone can use a reminder from time-to-time. Read on to see that working out (in many forms) can be almost as easy as pie (but not quite as tasty).
Outdoor Fun for One Or More
- Take a walk or hike. Take the dog with you or stroll with your little one for a two-for-one benefit.
- Go for a jog or run. You can do this just about anywhere, and the only thing you really need is a good pair of shoes.
- Go for a swim. There are a bunch of reasons why swimming is good exercise. It’s a great low-impact activity that doesn’t put much stress on bones or joints. According to the BBC, to swim, you need to move your body against the resistance of the water, and swimming a few lengths involves most of the major muscle groups.
- Play tennis with a friend. Find a park and swing away! According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, if you’re playing singles, you will typically burn around 415 calories per hour.
- Ride your bike. If you can, try to do a few errands while you’re out and don’t forget to wear a helmet!
Gym-like Moves for the Living Room, Backyard or Basement
- Jump rope. Jumping rope is a great cardio exercise and calorie burner that builds speed, agility, balance and coordination while it improves your fitness level.
- Do squats, crunches and lunges in front of the TV. Nutritionist Joy Bauer (you may see her regularly on the Today show) says that during each 2-minute TV commercial break, you can burn an extra 20 calories by filling the time with some exercise moves. That could add up to a total of 100 calories during an hour-long program.
- Use dumbbells for some bicep curls, flys or lateral raises. If you don’t have them but want to buy some, check garage sales and resale sports stores first.
- Follow the pros. Rent a few workout DVDs from the library. With all the choices, you’ll never get bored with just one workout or fitness expert!
- Grab the vacuum and clean up. According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, a 150-pound person can burn around 239 calories an hour pushing the vacuum around.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator (going up and down). There’s no special training or equipment required, and it’s good for your quads (front of thighs), glutes (your behind) and heart.
- Dance around the house to your favorite playlist. The Calorie Control Council says that a 140-pound person can burn about 190 calories for 30 minutes worth of dancing.
- Rake the leaves. Barbara Ainsworth is an exercise epidemiologist at San Diego State University. According to Ainsworth, when you're raking, your core is working to stabilize your body while your arms are moving. A 135-pound person could burn about 240 calories raking leaves for an hour. Plus you’ll be outside and your lawn will look all the better for it.
If you’re thinking about starting a fitness program, check out some suggestions from the Mayo Clinic first.