The best ways to stay fit without a gym

Exercise is always at the top of the list when it comes to New Year's goals. Usually there is a weight loss goal and several days in the gym. Unfortunately, people get very excited and then the excitement wears off and by the end of January only 9% of people are focused on their goal. January is one of the busiest and definitely most profitable months for gyms. (March/April is the busiest as people prepare for swimming season). But you can get fit without a gym member, especially if you want to get more exercise.

For most people, that means spending on a gym membership that you might use half as often as you planned. But instead of spending/wasting money on a gym, what if you could get yourself in shape…for free? It sounds crazy, but here are the best ways to stay fit without a gym.

Train with a friend or two

Photo by Curtis Mac Newton via Unsplash

Everyone has a friend who is either addicted to exercise or at least, like you, determined to get in better shape. Make an appointment with your loved one – at least once a week – to do physical activity outdoors. It can be a short jog in the park, a long walk around the neighborhood, running up the stairs, a game of tennis – anything as long as it gets you moving and lasts at least 30 minutes.

Play a sport

Photo via Ben/Flickr

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If you're physically able, there's no more fun and cost-effective way to get in shape than exercising. There are opportunities for everyone, regardless of your skill level. If you're a former star college or high school athlete, there are leagues for you in every city; If you're just an average person who enjoys a bit of competition every now and then, you can start a casual educational game in the sport of your choice with your friends at a park.

Run more

Photo via The Falclondale/Flickr

This sounds like overly simple advice, but it works: let yourself run more whenever possible. If you live in a city that requires parking, park as far away from your office or home as possible so that you have to walk a longer distance. If you sit all day, try taking a short, five-minute walk about once an hour. If you work on the fifth floor or below, you should take the stairs instead of the elevator at least once a day. All those extra steps add up!

Bodyweight exercises

Photo via Foxcroft Academy/Flickr

There are dozens of exercises you can do literally anywhere as long as you have a little space. These range from simple options (sit-ups) to more complex options (contralateral limb raises). Here is a list of 50.

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The most important thing is to do a combination that works the upper body, core and lower body. But the best thing about bodyweight exercises, besides the results when you do them right, is their price: Aside from a few basics like sneakers, workout clothes, and maybe a mat to make it more comfortable, they're completely free.

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