So you want to get fit, but you don’t have time to hit the gym? Or maybe you don’t feel confident about going to the gym? Don’t worry, the purpose of going to the gym is to get fit, but it is possible to get fit without a gym.
After all, many gyms have closed since the coronavirus pandemic started last year. According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, there was approximately $13.9 billion of loss in the US gym and health club industry from mid-March to August 31, 2020.
Though stay-at-home orders have already been lifted in some of the states in the US, and vaccinations are underway, some people still choose to stay at home. Well, you can still get fit without a gym. Below are some useful tips for you.
1. Practice Healthy Eating
One way to get fit without a gym is to practice healthy eating. Health and fitness always go together. You can’t get fit without getting healthy, isn’t it?
Healthy eating includes eating no more calories than you need; eating foods that have a good nutrition profile; eating foods that are low in unhealthy stuff such as saturated fats, trans fats, and added sugar; and eating unprocessed or minimally processed foods. Also, it’s important to have a balanced diet so that you get optimal nutrition from your diet.
If you do any type of workout that doesn’t require a gym, healthy eating is also important to provide energy for your workout. At the same time, healthy eating can boost your immune system to protect yourself from many diseases.
2. Optimize Your Protein Intake
You’ve probably heard about some protein supplements the gym-goers are taking. Optimizing your protein intake is another way to get fit without a gym. Though dietary supplements can fill nutritional gaps, they cannot replicate all the nutrients found in whole foods. So, get as much protein as you need from whole foods.
So, why do you need to optimize your protein intake to get fit? First, protein plays an important role in building muscle, and having more muscle is beneficial to your health. For example, having more muscle can increase your metabolism and longevity. Second, protein can help you with weight maintenance or weight loss.
Related to the latter, protein could help you feel fuller which in turn helps you avoid over-eating. Protein also has a high thermic effect, meaning the digestion and processing of protein requires quite a lot of calories. These factors can help in weight maintenance or weight loss.
Now, how much protein should you eat? The Recommended Dietary Allowance of protein for healthy sedentary adults is 0.8 grams per 1 kilogram (or 0.36 grams per 1 pound) of body weight per day. For active people, the numbers can be larger. In the bodybuilding world, the popular recommendation is 1 gram per 1 pound of body weight per day.
3. Stay Hydrated
As we all know, water is very essential for your body. Many processes in your body require water, such as nutrient transport, waste disposal, body temperature regulation, blood volume maintenance, etc. Therefore, to get fit, you need to drink enough water. Dehydration can cause a variety of health problems, from fatigue to kidney failure.
Drinking more water could also help you lose weight. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research in 2013, 50 overweight girls were advised to drink water above their daily water intake, half an hour before meals. After eight weeks, they experienced a decrease in body weight, body mass index, and body composition scores.
Furthermore, according to a mini-review published in Frontiers in Nutrition in 2016, there is considerable evidence that an increase in water intake leads to weight loss. The reason is that drinking more water can stimulate metabolism. Even though this article reviews animal studies, particularly rodents, the results of these studies are often applicable to humans.
4. Do At-Home Workout
Why would you go to the gym if you can work out at home? Indeed, you can get fit without a gym by doing at-home workouts. Doing at-home workouts could help you save monthly gym fees. It also helps you save time from going to the gym, and you can work out at your convenience.
There are many exercises that can be done without equipment such as planks, lunges, squats, crunches, push-ups, etc. If you are trying to build up muscles, you’ll more likely need free weights. But, some of them, such as dumbbells, can be bought and don’t take up much space at home.
5. Do Outdoor Exercises
When you hear about outdoor training, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably ‘running’. Certainly, running is one of the outdoor exercises but it doesn’t end there. Outdoor exercises are any exercises that you can do outdoors to improve your physical fitness such as jogging/running, walking, cycling, swimming, hiking, kayaking, etc.
Doing outdoor workouts could reduce stress and improve mindset, at the same time makes you more focused and committed with your training. Also, being exposed to the sun boosts the level of Vitamin D in your body.
6. Do Bodyweight Workouts
Bodyweight workouts are workouts that use your own body weight as their resistance. With bodyweight workouts, you can gain strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility. Crunches, push-ups, pull-ups, jump squats, and lunges are just some examples of bodyweight exercises.
The main advantage of bodyweight workouts compared to weight lifting is that they don’t require a lot of equipment. Many of the exercises can be done without any equipment at all. Even if certain exercises require equipment, such as pull-ups that require a pull-up bar or something sturdy to hold onto, it can be accessed easily, such as in a playground or park.
Thus, you can do bodyweight workouts at the convenience of your own home or in an outdoor area such as a park. It’s also cost-efficient since you don’t need to pay a monthly gym fee. You can use the money you save to buy healthier foods and improve your nutrition.
7. Do Yoga
Doing yoga has many benefits. Among them are having better posture, increased flexibility, improved respiration, improved strength, and having toned muscles. Yoga is also a good way to boost your mental health and wellness.
Yoga can be done at home or anywhere that you find comfortable and quiet. You may need some yoga equipment like a yoga mat, yoga belt, and yoga block, but they can be bought and don’t take up much space. Some of the types of yoga are vinyasa yoga, ashtanga yoga, bikram yoga, hatha yoga, and many more.
8. Buy Basic Exercise Equipment
You can get fit without a gym by making a home gym for your home workouts. All you need to do is buy some basic exercise equipment. This includes dumbbells, resistance bands, pull-up bar, jump rope, weight bench, mat, etc. You can purchase them online or at a fitness store.
Having your own equipment could make you more effective at exercising. For example, when you’re busy with other stuff, you can still have a quick workout at home―something you might not be able to do if you have to go to the gym. It would also help you save money from gym membership fees. Most importantly, you can work out at your own time, pace, and level.
9. Increase Your Daily Physical Activities
Physical activity is any form of activity that involves the movement of the body that uses energy. These are not limited to workouts but also the things that you do every day such as doing chores, walking, climbing stairs, etc.
Being active in daily life could help improve your health. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2014 found that an active everyday life was associated with cardiovascular health and longevity in older adults. Also, the more active you are, the more calories you burn. This could help you lose or maintain weight.
10. Get Enough Sleep
Have you ever craved more food while you are sleepless? A study published in Nature Communications in 2013 found that lack of sleep affects your brain activity in a way that increases your desire for more high-calorie foods.
Thus, having enough sleep is important if you want to lose or maintain your weight. But, getting enough sleep has other health benefits besides preventing weight gain. It can boost your immune system, strengthen your heart, and make your mood better.
The average hours of sleep that a person needs depends on his age. Younger ones require more sleep than older people. If you have an active lifestyle, you may also need more sleep. The CDC recommends getting 7 hours or more of sleep per night for adults aged 18-60 years.
Going to the gym is not the only option to attain your fitness goals. It’s not all about the gym equipment nor the coaching and training but also a matter of self-discipline. Many would still choose to go to the gym for their training, while some would want to do the training without going to the gym.
These ten ways of getting fit without a gym could be done by anyone who desires to have a fit body. Generally, healthy eating, proper exercise, and self-discipline will make you fit and healthy. Remember, you know yourself better than anyone else.