16 Ways to Stay Fit Outside of the Gym

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You probably had the best intentions when you signed up for that 6-month gym membership contract at the beginning of the year, but hitting the gym day in and day out can get tedious fast. Whether it’s hunting for a parking space during peak hours, keeping an eye on your favorite machine so you can hop on when it becomes available, or constantly packing and unpacking your gym clothes, working out at your local gym can zap your inspiration and deplete your emotional wellness.

We believe that fitness comes in many forms. You shouldn’t have to suffer in order to get healthy. At our wellness retreats, we introduce guests to many fun and inspiring fitness activities that don’t require a gym membership. Switch up your regiment and get your fitness mojo back on track! Here are some of our favorites.

Step into liquid

Whether it’s a lake, river, backyard pool or the open ocean, water-based activities can calm your nerves while providing a full body workout. Work with a private instructor at home or at a fitness retreat to make sure you understand all the equipment and safety requirements before you try it on your own.

  • Stand-up paddleboard (SUP) surfing – SUP surfing tones your core, strengthens your upper body and improves your balance. Start on a lake or in a calm harbor before graduating to the ocean.
  • Surfing—Easy to try but difficult to master, this lifelong sport strengthens your entire body, improves your balance and increases your stamina.
  • Swimming – Swimming burns calories, tones muscles and develops cardio-respiratory fitness. Use a paddleboard if you’re not comfortable putting your head underwater.
  • Water aerobics – Find a class or fitness retreat that uses the natural resistance of water to gently tone muscles. This workout is perfect for those who don’t want to put much strain on joints.

Stroll through nature

Research local trails and health retreats in your area that encourage you to exercise outdoors. Immersing yourself in nature helps calm your nerves, elevating your emotional wellness while providing a change of pace.

  • Hiking— Start on easy treks then work your way up to more advanced hikes. Be sure to equip yourself with appropriate hiking shoes and always bring sunscreen and plenty of water.
  • Rock climbing – Begin your training at a rock-climbing center to learn the basics then head out to known rock-climbing areas to amp up your performance.
  • Bike riding – Get a breath of fresh air as you whiz through your neighborhood or local bike paths.
  • Jogging – Break out those running shoes and get your whole body moving with the grandfather of cardio workouts. Use a tech bracelet or fitness app to track your progress.

Walk it off

Walking is the ideal activity to start your weight loss journey or if you have physical limitations that prohibit more intense exercise. Join a mall-walking club, visit a school track after school hours or simply plot an interesting course around your neighborhood. A brisk 30-minute walk three to four times per week gets your heart pumping and can help fight off the blues.

Train for something special

Training for a triathlon, mud run, charity walk or any other activity with a hard deadline (and non-refundable entry fee!) can help you stay focused on fitness. Join a meet-up group, partner with friends or colleagues and create custom workouts that will serve your training purposes.

Join a sports league

Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of team sports. Most communities have adult recreation leagues for players at all levels in popular sports like softball, basketball, soccer, beach volleyball and ultimate Frisbee. Make new friends and get your heart rate up every week– all while propelling your team to victory.

Try a fun new hobby

Lots of hobbies have a fitness component. In fact, many are so fun that you forget you’re working out! Get creative with your fitness routine by trying something new.

  • Dancing – Ballet, tap, hip-hop and salsa are all excellent cardio workouts that you can do alone or with a partner.
  • Fencing – Get ready for a lower body workout! Fencing tightens your core and works your thighs and glutes.
  • Skyrobics—Experience a “weightless” workout as you bounce around an indoor trampoline park.
  • Hula hooping – Tone and tighten your waist as you master the art of keeping your hula hoop afloat.
  • Roller skating & roller blading—Skating and blading burn as many calories as jogging but are much easier on your joints.

Whether you try any of these activities on your own or at a fitness retreat, there are no more excuses for not getting fit! You don’t need the gym to get going on a new workout regimen. You can work your muscles while having fun and switching up your routine. You might discover a new passion for exercise–and life.

What’s your favorite non-gym workout routine? Let us know in the comments below.

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