Visiting a gym to lift weights or take a class is great for
your health. However, busy schedules, tight budgets and
simply not feeling like the gym environment is for you are
reasons that frequently cause people to stop going.
Fortunately, being fit doesn't require the gym.
Tavis Piattoly, a sports dietitian, expert nutritionist and
co-founder of My Sports Dietitian, offers some no-fuss ideas
for staying healthy without the gym.
Inside the home
Stuck inside? No problem. Try some squats or, if mobility is
an issue, squat to a chair. Push-ups are another classic,
highly effective option. If regular push-ups aren't an
option, do them from your knees or against the wall. Other
exercises: lunges around the house, shoulder presses with
dumbbells, jumping rope, jumping jacks, running in place,
planks and sit-ups.
Outside in nature
Being out in the fresh air is a great escape that offers
loads of fitness possibilities. Try hiking, paddle boarding,
kayaking, skiing, fishing, mountain biking or whatever else
piques your curiosity. Simply taking a walk around the yard
or the neighborhood is beneficial, too.
At the office
Overcome the sedentary office lifestyle by making time for
fitness. Try taking the stairs every day and park far away so
you have to walk to the door. Then, use a five-minute break
every hour to do something active such as chair squats or
seated leg raises. Set an automated alert so you don't
Fitness can be more fun when you do it with friends or
family. Play tag, organize relay races or create an obstacle
course outside. Other enjoyable group fitness activities
include hiking, swimming, basketball, soccer, Frisbee and
When out and about
A busy schedule packed with errands still presents the
opportunity for fitness. For example, walk or run around the
parking lot while kids are taking dance or music classes
rather than passing the time on your smartphone.
To support fitness efforts, it's important to eat well and
regularly. The best foods for sustained energy are balanced
meals of complex fiber carbohydrates, healthy fats and lean
protein. Piattoly suggests eating every three to four hours.
Some food to include in balanced meals: whole grain breads
and crackers, chicken breast, legumes and fresh fruit and