The summer season is right around the corner, and maybe you’re a little nervous about getting your beach body on—and soon. Do you need a gym membership to get there? The answer is a resounding “no”! In celebration of National Walking Day, April 3, let’s look at some of the non–gym-based ways you can get fit and stay active—and not just for the summer.
Walk or take a hike.
try to incorporate walking into your everyday routine. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity every week. That’s walking just 21.4 minutes per day, or 30 minutes a day for 5 days. Think of how easy it would be to squeeze in a short, quick walk during lunch or even after dinner. And on the weekends, when you may have a little extra time, hit the great outdoors and enjoy a hike. The scenery alone will relax you, and the simple act of walking in the woods refresh you. The important thing to remember if you want to reap the benefits of walking is that it has to be done regularly.
Change up your commute.
Consider riding your bike to work a few days a week. Or, walk a little further to another bus or train stop. Or, just take the stairs instead of the elevator. Don’t make it into an ordeal that adds a big chunk of time to your commute. Even an extra 10 minutes can go a long way towards getting you fit. The key is consistency—since you consistently have to make it to the office each day, it will force you to consistently squeeze a little more physical activity into your commute.
Go to a track.
Of all aerobic exercises, running burns the most calories. To switch up the monotony of a treadmill workout, or that of running over the same old neighborhood ground every time, consider going to a track for a run. Most places have at least one neighborhood track close by, whether it be that of a school or youth recreational area. For best results, do your cardio exercises, such as running, either in early in the morning before you eat, or after weight training.
Do home workouts, including strength training.
Squats, lunges, push-ups, planks, crunches. None of these require anything more than 5 to 10 feet of space in your living room, bedroom, family room, or even backyard. Check out fitness guru channels on YouTube, where there are literally hundreds of home-workout options available. Stick to a few that you like, or vary them anytime to change up your routine. With a few weights, you can also add basic weight training exercises to increase the intensity of your workouts.