Now as you can probably tell if you read Sweat City regularly, I love the gym. But it wasn’t always that way, in fact when I first decided to get healthy and have the body I wanted/needed without resorting to starvation and stimulants I gained weight while my metabolism recovered. For a while I was very uncomfortable working out around people (and mirrors). So I found other ways to get my sweat on. Some people hate the gym for that reason, some don’t have easy access to one, and others find that it’s just too expensive in this economy (which having just renewed my yearly membership I get! Ouch!!).
So here are my top tips for burning some calories without being in the gym :)
Running the stairs :)
This is one of my personal favorites; I’m a big believer in running period BUT this works even if it’s cold and rainy out there because you don’t have to go outside. Use the stairs in your apt building, in your office…or even the local mall! You might get a funny look or two but once you’ve got a full on calorie blasting hardcore aerobic workout while toning your butt, thighs and calves you’ll be the one laughing longest and loudest. There’s a very good reason why a piece of exercise equipment was designed around this workout people!!
This activity burns more calories per minute than almost any other exercise; 11 calories per minute on average and as many as 20 calories p/m if you really crank up that intensity and go crazy . It can be done in the privacy of your own home, your yard, the park; wherever and however, all for a one time price of $10-$20. I like to have my i-Pod strapped on my arm and blasting some music in my ears while I go until I want to drop.
Volunteer with a youth athletic group.
If you used to play a sport in school then you would be surprised how many youth groups there are that would LOVE to benefit from your skills and expertise. There’s a double dose of benefits here; you get to get your sweat on for free AND you get that warm and glowing feeling that comes with making a positive contribution to peoples lives. AND it can be super fun as well as giving you a crazy workout. I’m a runner and for a while I volunteered with the Achilles Running Team in NYC and I’m not going to lie; I got my ass kicked regularly
Borrow a Dog
Yep, I’m serious. If you hate getting outside and sprint walking or running, there’s nothing that makes it more entertaining than a hugely excited dog having the best time and running several steps faster than you! Studies show people with dogs maintain a higher level of fitness and also successfully keep off weight they have lost for longer than the canine free population. Now I’m not suggesting that you go out a buy a dog just for that reason BUT there are so many dogs whose owners would be delighted to let you walk/run once or twice a week. OR you can always offer to walk the dogs at the local rescue center once a week. You might just fall in love…I did (see photo…and yes, even our dog is ‘eating’ sushi)
Obviously my favorite is Lacey’s downloadable workout series . Check her out at http://www.podcastgo.com/Channel.aspx?nid=933e27ca-97c8-41a0-a69d-ae5dcdda752b
Or click on ‘Video Workouts w/Lacey’ to the right of this post
My other favorite is an oldie but a goodie; if I was to pick a workout DVD that actually did get my heart rate up and got me feeling as though I’m actually getting a workout it would be the Billy Blanks workouts. Yes, I know I’m old school but that man is in it! If you’ve got any suggestions of ones that YOU love, drop a comment and let us know
Other ideas are to walk walk walk, try getting off the subway two stops early, or parking the car as far away as possible and walking the rest of the way. Try dropping and doing 10-20 push-ups every single time you think about it (but aim for a minimum of 5 times a day), or get a bike (and if you have one already, get on it and go )
Do you have any other suggestions/ideas about how to get your cardio in without stepping through the gym doors?