6 Healthy Ways to Exercise Without the Gym


Dr. Jason Sellers

Working out at the gym can be difficult for people avoiding exposure to COVID-19. Here are a handful of alternatives for people looking to exercise outside the gym without risking their health.

As COVID cases spike around the country again, it has become riskier to spend time in crowded public spaces like gyms and restaurants.

For people who want to avoid getting the virus and stay fit at the same time, this presents a bit of a conundrum. They’re stuck choosing between different health priorities and that’s far from ideal. Thankfully, we have put together a list of tactics people can employ to get in some exercise without needing a gym and potentially exposing themselves to COVID-19.

Here are 6 tips for staying active and getting exercise safely without going to a public gym:

1. Exercise in your backyard (if you have one)

If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard, you can make use of it and get your sweat on outdoors and get some sunshine and fresh air in the process. If you’re feeling extra bold, you can even run a marathon in your backyard.

2. Workout from home

For those of us who don’t have a yard or when the weather is bad, you can always work out at home. Make sure you have a clear space and you can select from a variety of workout routines to get active: yoga, pilates, bodyweight exercises, wall sits, or even high-intensity interval routines. You can also use common household items to add weight to your workouts.

3. Take a hike!

Or a long walk. Walking is an underrated form of exercise, but it builds endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and muscle strength in your lower body. Plus, a nature hike can be really restorative, reducing feelings of stress, fear, and anger and even reducing your blood pressure, muscle tension, and stress hormone production.

4. Go for a jog or a run

It’s a classic form of exercise that boosts your cardiovascular fitness and gives you time to listen to some music or catch up on your favorite podcast. Make sure to plan for a safe route in reasonable weather and bring what you need in case of emergency, items like your ID, money, and your phone.

5. Take the stairs

If you live in a building with an elevator, you might want to consider taking the stairs instead. It’s an excellent way to get in some cardio and it often burns more calories than running. If you want more challenge, you can carry additional weight or skip steps – just be extra careful if you do.

6. Do some work around the house

Do you have any household chores or yard work you’ve been putting off? Doing staple tasks like shoveling snow, gardening, cleaning out the garage, all of it can be valuable exercise that contributes to strength, endurance, and cardiovascular health.

If you would like more ideas for staying fit outside the gym or want to chat with our clinical team to build a plan of action, you can chat with us in the app or book an appointment anytime.

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