You only need to spend a couple of minutes on social media (mainly instagram) and you’ll be bombarded with images of people working out at the gym. Even though getting #swole at the gym (and posting selfies to prove it) is insanely popular right now, there are just as many people who either hate the gym or don’t want to pay for gym membership and are wondering how to lose weight and get fit without going to the gym!
Personally, I like to switch things up frequently. I recently got gym membership, but sometimes either don’t feel like going to the gym, don’t have the time to get there, or for a million different reasons, it just isn’t possible to go. And before I got my gym membership, I stayed fit without going to the gym by working out at home.
On the days that I can’t make it to the gym I don’t just resign myself to the fact that I’m not going to get a workout in that day. Instead, I find creative ways to workout at home.
If you’re someone who hates the gym or doesn’t want to pay for a gym membership but still wants to stay fit and healthy, this list is for you.
Related: Get paid to Walk
20 Ways to Lose Weight and Get Fit Without Going to the Gym
1. Beachbody on Demand
You’ve probably heard of Beachbody before, either through those sweaty (but pretty inspiring) infomercials or through a friend who’s signed up as a Beachbody coach. But what you might not have heard of is Beachbody on Demand.
I love Beachbody on Demand because instead of shelling out over $100 on a single program and then having to repeat it constantly or spend more cash on another program, Beachbody on Demand gives you instant access to every single Beachbody workout ever released and guaranteed access to all future releases.
Because it’s completely online, you can stream the workouts from anywhere. This is great for the times when you’re traveling but still want to get a workout in.
Click here to find out more about Beachbody on Demand (you can even try it free for 30 days.)
2. YouTube Videos
Who knew that YouTube was amazing for more than just hilarious cat videos, epic fails, beauty tutorials and latest home decor hauls?
Turns out there’s actually a TON of awesome workout videos on YouTube. Take for example, these top 10 yoga videos for beginners.
3. Set a Specific Goal
To help you stay motivated with your workouts and healthy eating, it’s important to set a specific, actionable goal
An example of this might be “run my first half marathon in 6 months time.” Now you’ve got the goal decided, you can take the steps towards achieving it. This might include buying a new pair of running shoes, starting a Couch25K program, and researching half marathons that are being held in 6 months.
If weight loss is your goal, then decide upon an initial target weight loss and the time frame in which you want to achieve it.
You can add an extra element of fun and motivation by joining HealthyWage. HealthyWage is a website that will pay you to lose weight. If you reach your weight loss goal in the time you specified, HealthyWage will pay you a pre-determined amount based on a number of factors, including how much weight you lost and the amount you wagered.
4. TRX Suspension Training
A little while ago, my husband bought home this weird looking set of ropes, handles, pulleys etc. When I saw it in our living room I just assumed it was some random military equipment (he’s active duty military and we’ve got a whole storeroom of equipment.)
Turns out it was actually a TRX Suspension Training kit. He set it up in our bonus room and let me tell you, this thing gives you a crazy insane workout.
TRX Suspension Training was first used in the Navy SEALS and it’s essentially a workout system that uses your bodyweight and gravity to give you a total body workout.
There are hundreds of different exercise you can do, it’s portable so it can be set up anywhere, it helps to increase muscular endurance, and can be used by people of all fitness levels from those who’ve never worked out in their life to Navy SEALS!
Cycling is an excellent, fun, and frugal way to get fit and enjoy the great outdoors. And because cycling is considered low impact, it’s usually great for people with knee injuries.
Once you’ve made the initial outlay for the bike and helmet, all you really need to make sure you have is a bicycle repair kit in case of punctures and you’re good to go! People are always selling bicycles, so you can easily get a cheap bike from Craiglist, otherwise this bike is reasonably priced and has good reviews.
6. Community Events
Particularly if you live in a larger city, you’re likely to find a whole host of free, fitness-related community events that are designed to encourage residents to get out and get healthy.
In my community we regularly have free 5k’s, yoga in the park, early morning meditation, etc.
Your local community Facebook page is probably one of the best sources of information on these sorts of events.
7. HIIT Training
If you’re after an intense workout that doesn’t take long to complete, then HIIT may be just the thing you’re looking for.
HIIT training stands for High Intensity Interval Training and it’s just like it sounds – super high intensity intervals that will leave you gasping for air and dripping with sweat, but they’re over before you know it and the afterburn is amazing.
HIIT training is perfect for people who have very little time to workout or just want to get their workouts over and done with.
8. Do a Bodyweight Workout
Believe it or not, you can actually get an awesome full body workout just by using your own body weight – no dumbbells needed!
Here’s an example bodyweight workout for you, but feel free to get creative and come up with your own variations:
- 20 squats
- 20 squat jumps
- 20 hip thrusts
- 20 crunches
- 20 reverse crunches
- 20 regular push ups
- 20 wide push ups
- Repeat 3 times
9. Eat Breakfast
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” That’s old news, right? We’ve all been hearing that since we were little kids.
But even still, a huge percentage of us are not eating a healthy, nutritious breakfast every day. (And no, a donut and a mocha latte doesn’t count, unfortunately.)
Think about it – there’s a reason is called “breakfast.” It’s because you’re breaking the fast you’ve been on overnight. Eating breakfast will jumpstart your metabolism and help you to maintain a healthy weight.
Some ideas for a healthy breakfast include:
- Scrambled eggs
- Wholemeal toast with some peanut butter and a sliced banana with a little cinnamon
10. Get Enough Sleep
Getting a proper amount of sleep every night is imperative if you want to remain fit and healthy.
A lack of sleep increases cortisol levels (the stress hormone) which in turn, causes you to overeat and thus, gain weight. Additionally, a lack of sleep can lower your immune system making you more susceptible to disease.
The optimal amount of sleep varies from person to person, but it’s generally between 7-9 hours per night. If you’re not sure how much sleep you’re actually getting each night or you want to track the quality of your sleep, then I recommend getting a multi-function sleep tracker like this one.
11. Start Hiking
Hiking is one of my favorite ways to get a workout in without actually feeling like you’re working out (know what I mean?)
Hiking burns a ton of calories, especially if you’ve got a little one that you’re carrying on your back. If so, it’s important that you get a high-quality carrier so your little one is safe and secure and you don’t snap your back in two. We love this hiking carrier for our son because it has a sun visor, it’s lightweight, it has space for two water bottles and it’s got padded straps that don’t dig into you or your child.
12. Stay Hydrated
Did you know that we often mistake thirst for hunger and end up overeating and dehydrated?
Our bodies are made up of 55-60% water so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that making sure we stay properly hydrated is pretty important. I know if I go too long without drinking any water, I start to get a headache and feel nauseas.
If you don’t like the taste of water then here are 10 fresh fruit infused water recipes to try.
13. Track Your Calories
There are two different camps when it comes to tracking your calories. Some say it’s you should never do it and it’s not sustainable, others swear by it and say it’s the only way they maintain their weight.
I’ve been on both sides of the fence and currently, I’m a fan. I used to hate it because I found it incredibly tedious and time consuming, but now I’ve found an app that I absolutely LOVE. It’s called LoseIt! and it’s available in the app store for both Apple and Android devices.
Whatever your thoughts on tracking calories, it might be worth at least giving it a try, especially if you’ve been struggling to lose weight and want to see exactly where your calorie intake is coming from.
14. Get a FitDesk
If you work from home or have your own office at work, then a FitDesk might be a good option for you. A FitDesk is basically an exercise bike and a desk in one. You can prop your laptop up, rest your arms on the massage bar and type away while you’re pedaling. Check it out here.
If you like the concept but want something that takes up a bit less space, then there’s also an under desk elliptical available.
15. Find an Exercise Partner
You’ve heard the saying, “there’s power in numbers” and this can be equally true when it comes to working out.
If you struggle to stay motivated, why not ask a friend or family member to become workout buddies with you? Set a time every day where you get together and complete your at-home workout, or go for a run, etc.
Having a workout buddy like this helps keep you motivated and increases your accountability (if you don’t show up, you’re not just letting yourself down, you’re letting your workout buddy down too.)
16. Start Running
Running is probably the ultimate low cost workout there is. Once you’ve invested in a quality pair of running shoes, there are virtually no other costs involved.
17. Start Thinking of it as a Lifestyle
It’s important to change your mindset from viewing exercising and healthy eating as something you’re just doing “for now” or “just to lose some weight.”
You need to start viewing exercising and healthy eating as a lifestyle, because for long term weight management and health, that’s what it needs to be.
Start telling yourself “I am a healthy person who exercises and eats clean” until it becomes your reality (and then keep doing it anyway!)
18. Check out Online Discount Sites
If you’re dying to try aerial yoga or you’ve heard that belly dancing provides a great workout, then make sure you checkout LivingSocial for deals.
Just recently I found a 5-class barre fitness pass, two week unlimited bouldering classes and two months of salsa classes that were all massively discounted!
19. Get Creative With Housework
While doing housework doesn’t replace the need to do intentional exercise, you actually burn a good amount of calories when you’re vacuuming, mopping, sweeping, etc. For example, 15 minutes of vacuuming burns around 90 calories!
You can get creative with your housework and turn it into a mini workout by incorporating things like lunges, squats, etc., into your cleaning routine.
As an example, when I’m doing the vacuuming, instead of walking along behind the vacuum cleaner, I do lunges. I have no idea how many lunges I would do in the process of vacuuming my entire house, but based on the burn I feel afterwards, I would be it’s a lot!
20. Join the Kids at the Park
Finally, in the same vein as getting creative with housework, joining your kids at the park is a great way to get in some incidental exercise.
Instead of sitting on the sidelines and watching, why not get in there and have some fun? Swing along the monkey bars, climb up and down the slide, do some lunges around the play equipment – there are tons of options and the kids will love you joining in the fun with them!