Good morning! I’m re-posting this post from a guest post blog that I wrote for my girl Sam while she was recovering from brain surgery. Since I thought my readers over here at B2B might find it interesting and helpful, I thought it was worth a share!
If you’ve been following B2B for a while, you’re probably aware that a growing passion for me lately has been how to make fitness work for you and with your busy life. While magazines and some fitness trainers/professionals may tell you that you need to go to a gym, you need to do an hour of working out 5 times a week, etc., I realize that with a full time job, after work commitments, kids, spouses, friends, etc., that type of workout format is not always an option. Most of us don’t have the ability to do hour long workouts at a gym 3-5 times a week, right?
Here’s the thing: that’s OK! You don’t need to spend that much time at a gym in order for a workout to bee considered a workout. When I was younger and had essentially no commitments besides a 40 hour a week job and going out on the weekends, sure, I had ability to spend hours a day at the gym, but as I get older and have more things going on in my life, I just don’t have the need or want for that anymore. I want to be done my workouts in 45 minutes or less and I don’t want to have to rely on going to a gym in order to get my workout in.
There are so many ways you can still get fitness in even with a busy lifestyle, which is why I want to share my 5 favorite ways to get fitness in without spending hours in the gym.
- Invest in a medium set of dumbbells and a resistance band so that you can workout at home. The beauty of at-home workouts is that you eliminate the time it takes you to get to the gym and back home. Granted, some exercise programs do require a gym if you need to use a barbell and heavy weights, but if you’re just training for life and to be strong, all you need is a few sets of weights and you an achieve that in the comforts of your own home. In the spring, summer and fall I like to take my workout to my back patio! If you need inspiration for at-home workouts, check out my page, my friend Lauren’s blog and my friend Athena’s blog – combined, we have HUNDREDS to choose from.
- Grab a friend and take a walk, but with a twist! Instead of just walking, add in 10 squats, 10 push-ups (inclined if you can!) and 10 triceps dips every 5-10 minutes. The beauty of working out with a friend is they hold you accountable to show up and get a workout in AND it’s more fun! Plus, you can kill two birds with one stone by getting in movement and catching up with a friend or friends. If you’re a runner, you can also do this with running instead. I have some run/walk bootcamp workouts here if you’re looking for some ideas.
- Pick your 4 or 5 favorite exercises and do 10 reps of each for 15-20 minutes (or however long you have). This is usually what I opt for when I’m short on time and/or don’t have motivation to workout. Rather than trying to psych myself up for a 45 minute class or gym workout, if I tell myself I just need to move for 15-20 minutes AND I get to do my favorite exercises, it’s a much easier way to get me moving. For me, this usually means squats, push-ups, burpees, lunges & sit-ups because it hits all the major body parts: legs, upper body, core & cardio. Another favorite is a countdown workout where I’ll do 50 jumping jacks, 40 high knees, 30 squats, 20 push-ups and 10 burpees. I’ll do that circuit as many times in 15-20 minutes as I can.
- Stairs! Stairs are one of my favorite ways to get movement in while getting to be outside. I love them because there are so many different ways to use them – you can walk up and down them, jog up and down them, hop up and down them, skip stairs, wide step, etc. I usually like to do a stair circuit and then a bodyweight circuit and repeat until my allotted time is up. Check out these posts for suggestions: San Francisco Stair Workout and Stair and Total Body Circuits.
- Find free outdoor fitness classes near where you live or work. I know that in the Boston area, there are TONS of free fitness classes happening on various days all over the city. The program with the biggest amount of free classes is called Seaport Sweat and I absolutely LOVE getting to teach two classes a week through it! You get to be outside, sweating with friends and it’s FREE – doesn’t get much better than that! If you’re not in the Boston area, I would suggest doing a quick google search because I’m sure there are similar types of free classes in other cities, too.
There you have it! If you’re like me and don’t have the ability (or desire!) to spend hours a day in the gym but still want to be active, I hope you’ve found these suggestions for how this can be achieved helpful! Fitness doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment, expensive or something you dread. For it to stick and for it to be sustainable in your life, you need to find out what works for you, and if you’re finding that the gym is just not working for you because of the time and/or money commitment it requires, I hope you try some of my suggestions in this post.
Questions for you: What’s your favorite way to get in fitness or movement without going to the gym?