Guest Blog by Jason Lewisof Strongwell.org
No treadmill, no problem: Creative ways to rev up your fitness routine without equipment
You don’t have to invest thousands of dollars into home exercise equipment to get a good workout without hitting the gym. All it takes is a little creativity and the desire to get fit. Here are a non-equipment exercises that will help you achieve your fitness.
If you can plank, you can work your abs, legs and arms with a simple exercise known as mountain climbers. Start in a full push-up position and alternate leg to leg with a climbing action. Shape provides a great GIF that shows you how it’s done.
Walking the dog
Although it might sound like an old yo-yo trick, we mean it literally. Taking your dog for a walk can burn hundreds of calories an hour while enhancing your cardiovascular function and lower body strength. If you’re a dog person, you can even earn a little extra income by becoming a dog walker and using your friends’ and neighbors’ animals as your own personal workout companions.
When most people think hiking, they tend to think rugged mountain terrain and steep inclines. But you can also hike on paved trails in your local nature preserve. Like walking, you’ll burn lots of calories but you’ll also likely be exposed to a gentle incline, which can make your workout a bit more challenging. As an added bonus, being in nature is a proven mood booster that may encourage you to go further and do more each time you hit the trail.
No equipment circuit training
Believe it or not, you can get an effective full body circuit workout without stepping foot into a gym. Buzzfeed highlights several options, each of which can be modified and tailored to your fitness level. One of the easiest includes a series of push-ups, jumping jacks, lunges and walkouts and takes about three minutes each cycle.
You’ve likely never seen an overweight or under-fit dancer. There’s good reason for that. Dancing is, according to Time, the “best thing you can do for your body.” Not only is it a great workout, but dancing also encourages social bonds and can foster intimate relationships when dances are performed with a partner.
If you have access to a pool or a lake, swimming is an exercise that should not be overlooked. Swimming is an especially good workout if you can’t handle high-impact exercises, as it doesn’t put stress on your joints. You’d be hard-pressed to find another exercise that firms and tightens as well as a dip in the pool.
If you don’t have access to a weight bench or cardiovascular equipment, you may as well put your time to good use. Landscaping and performing general lawn maintenance gets your body moving and also provides benefits for your heart and lungs. Gardening can burn up to 250 calories, and you’ll reap delicious and healthy rewards at the end of summer.
Food and self-care
If you’re serious about jumpstarting your fitness routine, you’ll also need to pay attention to your overall health. This includes your nutrition and ways you take care of yourself when you aren’t working out. Strive for a variety of different fruits and vegetables each day — most meals should be centered around these items instead of meat, bread or starches. You’ll also need to take measures to reduce stress, which will help you stay focused on your health goals. Get a massage, indulge in an acupuncture session or take a time out once a week to enjoy a good movie with your favorite healthy snack.
Getting healthy and fit doesn’t have to require a huge investment of time or money. From nature trails to the family pet, the world is your gym and is all the equipment you’ll ever need.