Hate the Gym? Get a Good Workout at Home Instead
The Center for Disease Control recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week and two days of strength training for the best chances at staving off disease and maintaining a healthy weight. Does this mean it is time to join a gym?
For some folks, the gym is a second home, a gathering of like-minded, friendly people in a motivating atmosphere for staying in shape. For others, the gym is about as enticing as a trip to the dentist. If you hate the gym and have to muster all of the energy you have to force yourself to go a few times a week — or if you pay for a membership and haven't set foot in in the place for months — it's time to take a deep breath, admit that your relationship with the gym is over, and get your workout in at home. Here's how you can do just that.
- Walk or run in the 'hood. You don't need the track or treadmill at the gym to get in shape. Instead, lace up those running shoes and hit your neighborhood streets for a half-hour walk or run each day. It's free, convenient, and close to home. You can shake up the route as often as you like to keep things interesting.
- Invest in a treadmill. Treadmills range in price from around $99 for a bare-bones job to over $2,000 for one that does pretty much everything except wash your dishes for you. Having a treadmill at home gives you ultimate flexibility for your workout. Since the CDC says that you can split your 30-minute daily workout into three 10-minute increments and get the same benefits, you can do ten minutes in the morning, ten in the afternoon, and ten in the evening to make it more convenient.
- Work in the yard. If you like spending time in the yard, you can get a pretty good workout just hanging out doing your thing. Digging, shoveling, hauling, mowing, trimming, and raking gets your heart rate up, uses muscles you didn't know you had, and offers a mean calorie burn. If you don't feel like working out, get out and whip those garden beds into shape.
- Strength train with hand weights. The gleaming rows of fancy-pants weight machines at the gym are nice and all, but a cheap set of hand weights is all you really need for more-than-adequate strength training. Search the Internet for specific exercises to do with your hand weights, including plenty of squats, lunges, and curls.
- Sneak in some extra moves. If you're looking for a better calorie burn, you can get creative and sneak in little bursts of activity while you're at home. When you need to go up or down stairs, run them a few times before continuing. Do jumping jacks, squats, or planks during TV commercials. Do sun salutations while you're waiting for the microwave to beep or the coffee to brew. Get those arms pumping while you mop, and put your whole body into your sweeping.