Want to stay fit, but gym is not your thing? Check out these gym alternatives that won’t cost you an arm and a leg and help you to get in shape. With the pandemic and unpredictable lockdowns, gyms are no longer an option for the foreseeable future. Many of us are itching to know how to continue with our workout routines either in the confines of our homes or outdoors. Follow these unique gym alternatives that are a perfect mix of indoor and outdoor exercises to maintain your physical and mental health. These raft of gym alternatives to the traditional gym activities are easy to build into your lifestyle or on top of your already formed routine.
Take the stairs
Taking the stairs whenever possible is an easy way to break out of the sedentary lifestyle. Climbing the stairs increases leg power and helps in building healthy bones and joints. Stair climbing is a full-body workout involving your lower body and upper body muscles, activating your abs and engaging your back. This might sound intense, but the health and stress-relieving qualities associated with it are immense. By introducing small changes into your lifestyle like swapping the elevators for stairs on your shopping trips or lunch hour strolls, you can bring about significant improvement to your overall fitness. All of this translates into stronger and healthier you.
Running is known as the most effective exercise for cardiovascular health. It has proven to increase longevity, enhance sleep, build immunity, improve mood and strengthen your overall physical well-being. Make it a part of your routine and benefit from higher levels of endurance and stamina. Running is not only a killer workout torching an impressive amount of calories, but also helps relieve stress and anxiety.
If you are daunted by the thought of getting back into the running shoes after a long pause, follow our top tips that can help you get back into action smoothly.
Make your exercise routine productive. You will be surprised how many calories you can burn performing simple daily chores. Shake up your boring cleaning routine with a pumping playlist and get in the groove. Flip laborious tasks into calorie burning activities by submitting to the rhythm. The beauty of merging your housework with your workout is that it can be done consistently, come rain or shine, without the need of venturing outdoors.
What better way to get closer to nature and appreciate the natural landscape around you, than by going out cycling. Cycling is versatile and its intensity can be adjusted to suit your athletic ability. Switch your daily mode of transport to cycling, do it as a casual family-time activity or pursue it as a competitive endeavour – cycling can provide a host of benefits. Cycling is undoubtedly the best aerobic exercise that is low impact (less likely to cause injuries). It offers a multitude of health benefits like improved joint mobility, muscle strengthening, improved posture and coordination, decreased stress levels and many more.
Improve your strength, balance, flexibility, circulation and immunity by practising yoga regularly. Regardless of your level of expertise, age or physical fitness levels, yoga offers a range of benefits and delivers significant improvement in your physical health. Yoga also enhances your mental well-being. It promotes self-care and helps you deal with distress by accelerating the healing process. It also improves concentration, centredness and boosts alertness. Yoga imposes self-discipline and offers a simple and rewarding way to get in touch with your own vitality. Your daily yoga practise can be tailored to your personal liking and cater to your personal needs – whether you prefer to focus and do it alone or if you like to make it a social activity, whether you want to take it up a de-stressing activity, practise it as an end-of-the-day stretching routine or as your morning power-up activity; the options are endless.
Get away from it all and take advantage of the better brighter days with walking. Expose your body to natural sunlight and take a breath of fresh air. Walking can help burn calories and significantly help relieve stress. Walking strengthens bones, uplifts mood, boosts creativity and improves circulation. Walking can be refined to meet your changing lifestyle or time demands. Do it alone, join a group, do it with your partner or take your dog with you – make it fun!
Horticulture therapy has been recognised for its several mental benefits. However, gardening is not only therapeutic but also a physically intense exercise. Working in the garden engages every muscle group in your body and improves your overall well-being. Labour-intensive activities like manoeuvring your lawn mower, raking, weeding and digging are all workouts in their own right.
Dancing is an enjoyable way to stay active and fit. Although dancing is mainly perceived as an act of recreation and self-expression, it can be a fantastic way of strengthening your physical abilities. Raise your heart rate, increase flexibility, strengthen core muscles and improve overall emotional and mental well-being by swaying to the music. Resolve to learn any form of dance and improve your moves along with burning off those extra calories.
If you are a numbers person and are likely to gain motivation by tracking your progress then workout apps should be your go to. These fitness apps offer you the ability to log your activity, track and measure progress and gradually improve your performance. Set a goal and create a plan to achieve it, set notifications to serve as your daily reminders/motivation, maintain consistency and make the most of guided and pre-set workout plans. Visual records and stats can encourage you to stick to your goals.
Replicating weight lifting exercises at home is easy too. Watch this video to get some interesting ideas.
Alternate between indoor and outdoor gym alternatives to make the most of bright days and avoid merciless weather or pick an activity and focus on getting better at it. Get those muscles pumping!