Who doesn’t want to have a fit physique? Sadly, it can be quite challenging to work 9 to 5 while also maintaining a regular gym schedule and a strict diet – I’ve learned this from experience. You tend to slip up once in a while, and more often than not, it cascades into an avalanche of cheat days and skipped gym sessions.
In the fast track world of today, the smart way to stay fit is to incorporate exercise into our routine activities, so that actually doing the exercise doesn’t require dedicated travel or equipment, which is usually the core difficulty in sticking to a fitness plan. Here are some of my favorite ways to stay fit without spending time and money on expensive gym memberships:
I used to be skeptical of the five (or so) minute workout videos that litter YouTube until I actually gave one a try – as it turns out, they do tend to have a significant cumulative effect even if you do them only a few times during the day. These workouts are great for people who often find themselves working late – they can be done just about anywhere.
Another possible use of these is during traveling – again regardless of where you go on holiday, you can work out without having to pay costly subscription fees to the hotel gymnasium.
Indulge in sports
If the only time you’re free to workout is the weekend, it doesn’t make sense to pay a monthly gym fee. You could join a weekend soccer or baseball team to give your body the intense physical activity needed to stay in shape.
Even as a student living on campus, if the gym fees are too high, you can join a casual sports group that gathers regularly over the week. The best part about involving yourself in physical sports is that it makes your body use multiple muscles in tandem, so each part gets a workout and you boost your stamina to boot.
This is not possible with targeted exercises that tend to focus on specific parts of the body.
Bike (or walk) to work
If you don’t have a terribly long commute to work, you may consider biking or walk to and from your workplace. Besides saving you a considerable amount of cash on parking spaces (seeing as free ones are almost impossible to find in most urban centers) and fuel, it will also serve as a great cardio workout that burns away your body fat and enhances your lung capacity.
Even if the distance between your home and workplace is too much, you can still do this for part of the journey and finish the rest through public transportation!
Public swimming pools are either free or have a tiny fee per session, so if you’re only free once or twice a week to do some exercise, then I would highly recommend swimming if mainstream sports isn’t your thing. If you don’t know how to swim, there are free swimming lessons available in many places that could teach you a valuable survival skill and enable you to exercise almost all of your muscles at the same time!
If you already know how to swim and have a natural slow running stream or lake that you can access, it will be even more fun than an ordinary swimming pool. Besides having fewer people around to distract you, you will also be in close proximity to nature, which can be a motivating factor in itself.
Take care of your house
Whether it is sweeping the floors, cleaning the windows, shoveling the driveway (if you get lots of snow in the winter), mowing the lawn, or trimming the hedges, if it gets you on your feet and moving, it is exercise. Not only will you be keeping your house in tip-top shape, you’ll also be doing the same with your body if you’re regular about it.
This is particularly useful for individuals who only have enough energy/time after work to do their household chores: you won’t have to exert yourself separately for exercise if you keep doing your housework punctually!
There are dozens of other techniques you can adapt to exercise easily and for free, but it should be kept in mind that exercise is only one part of the answer to staying fit. You also must maintain a healthy diet, and there aren’t any free workarounds for that unless you’ve got a decent amount of time on your hands after all your other duties are done – dietary supplements are one way to easily ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients to stay in shape, but make sure you consult a nutritionist before you start taking one.