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How can I exercise if I don’t like the gym?

Dr. Mike Clark, DPT
Fitness Specialist

You don't have to go the gym to get the benefits of a resistance training workout.  Make the world your gym!  Watch this video for more tips!

Don't like the gym? No problem! You can still lead a fit and healthy lifestyle. There are literally hundreds of ways you can exercise without ever stepping foot into a gym. All you really need is a good imagination.

Finding activities you enjoy doing is critical. You are much more likely to continue exercising if you enjoy doing so. If you're a dog lover like me, take your dog for daily walks. You can also try to play fetch, frisbee, and soccer with your dog. I love doing these activities because I always end up laughing really hard which puts me in a great mood for the rest of the day!

If you have exercise equipment at home (dumbbells, resistance bands, or a stability ball), take them out of the closet and create your own little resistance training program or bootcamp to do two to three times a week.

For your daily cardio, choose an activity that will raise your heart rate and increase you breathing rate. This could really include anything from cleaning your house, working in your garden, dancing around the house, playing with your children, jump roping, cycling, taking the stairs, going for a brisk walk around the neighborhood with your next door neighbor, or walk down to the local park for a quick outdoor exercise session.

The opportunities for exercise outside the gym are endless. So, if you're not a gym rat that's ok! You can still get yourself healthy and in great shape.

There are tons of ways to exercise without a gym. First, buy a pedometer to count your steps. Soon you’ll be walking all over the place. You can also try exercises classes or DVD on home TV like zumba or yoga. You’ll be amazed at how fun they are. You could even join a sports team. Tennis, soccer, even kickball are great ways to work out and make new friends. Or, at the very least, you can always exercise at home! There are plenty of workouts that use your body and household items as a gym. Even stepping of the intensity of some household chores can be a work out. Did you know that scrubbing floors for 30 minutes can burn 189 calories? To get yourself started, get the YOU: On a Diet II DVD or check out the Transform You2 program. You’ll be getting as good a work out as you would at a gym, but saving some major dough. Remember form is important, so get a trainer or knowledgeable friend to check you out periodically.
Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Exercise is important for everyone. Still, if you have suffered a limb loss, you have to make an effort to keep your muscles strong and joints moving in full range of motion. Exercising at home may allow you to choose the time of day and exercise at your own pace. In addition, with all the new home exercise equipment and videotapes, all you have to pop in the tape or use the machine to get moving-- no matter how inclement the weather is outside. 

If you are just getting started with exercise, read the classified advertisements for used exercise equipment such as electronic treadmills or stationary bicycles. Online auctions usually have these for sale and at greatly reduced prices. Some basics you might consider include:

  • Rubber mats, for doing stretches, and yoga, postures. 
  • Lightweights
  • Workout gloves to protect your hands from holding the weights
  • Exercise bands or tubes to use with isometric exercises
  • Instructional videos in beginning yoga, tai chi, and stretching exercises
  • A fit ball, which are used by physical therapists for stretching the lower back and doing abdominal work (be sure to ask your physical therapist for proper instructions) 
  • A full-length mirror to make sure your posture is correct during your stretching and other exercises
Jonathan Penney
Fitness Specialist

Don’t like the gym, don’t worry! Use the list below for ways to stay active without every stepping foot inside a fitness center!

  • Walk, jog, run, or bike. Being outside is one of the best ways to stay active and enjoy all that nature has to offer
  • Go for a hike. Find a local trail, bring a camera and nature book, and enjoy!
  • Purchase home equipment. Equipment such as dumbbells, resistance bands, stability balls, bosu balls, foam rollers. Most of this equipment is under $100 and the possibilities and exercises are endless!
  • Purchase DVD’s. Some of the best forms of exercise come in DVDs. These will help keep you motivated and push you towards your goals!

Finding ways to stay active does not require much more than a pair of shoes and appropriate attire. However, be sure to stay active! If you are not a fan of a fitness center then find something that will give you that incentive to push yourself on a daily basis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.