Exercise provides so many benefits: weight control, stress management, energy boosts, better sleep, and more. Research is even showing that exercise may protect your brain from cognitive decline, and possibly, dementia. Maybe you already know all this and have been trying to exercise more, but can’t get yourself to a gym because it’s too expensive or too far, or you dislike working out in front of people, or the hours don’t work with your schedule.
But does not having access to a gym mean that working out is impossible? Not at all! Here are a few ways to exercise at home or close to home without breaking the bank:
Going for a walk or a run is a great way to get some exercise. We’ve recently talked about the benefits of working out in nature and even highlighted some of the great—and FREE!—classes that the state parks offer throughout the year. If you live near a park or school, you could check those out as well! Some parks have exercise equipment, and both parks and schools usually have athletic fields/courts, walking tracks, or other fun ways to be active.
What if the outdoors is not an option because of weather or safety concerns? That’s no problem! You can also…
Find online routines
You can find exercise videos on YouTube or on sites that focus on specific types of exercise like yoga, Pilates, Zumba, or interval training. The videos are typically free and can range from a couple of minutes to more than an hour. You can even create your own playlist of videos so that you have exactly the length and type of exercise you would like!
Lots of magazines, exercise sites, and active individuals also post work out routines with pictures and descriptions to guide you through each exercise.
What if you have a hard time carving out time to exercise? You could…
Add some activity to things you already do at home
Typical household chores like cleaning, doing laundry, and cooking are already somewhat active, but you can make them more active by adding some extra movement. For example, while cooking you could put on some music and dance around the kitchen! Not your style? No problem! You could also throw in some lunges or squats while putting away laundry. Anything that adds extra movement is helpful! Even activities like watching TV can be more active. You could walk around during commercial breaks or walk in place as you enjoy your favorite show.
The main goal is to get moving! So even if you can’t make it to the gym, you can still be physically active and improve your health.