How to stay active without a gym

With the gyms closed, how do we stay fit?

It’s a question many folks have been asking throughout the country.

While gyms provide fun classes, lots of equipment, and social connections — all of which are important — you can get and stay active and healthy without them. And that’s good news, especially now.

Want to get moving but not sure where to start? Here are some ideas:

  1. Do some chores. Raking leaves or sweeping the driveway can actually burn calories while making your parents happy. Double win!
  2. Take the dog for a long walk. If you have a dog, you know how much they LOVE a good walk. Spend a little more time than normal outside, and wear a mask if there is any chance you will be within 6 feet of others. You get your steps in and your dog gets a whole lot of happiness.
  3. Walk and run around the neighborhood. You don’t need a treadmill to get that heart rate up. Walking and running around the neighborhood is free, and it’s a great way to discover new areas you might not have noticed before. Make sure you keep your route to areas you know and feel safe in.
  4. Find and use your local trails. Depending on the season and where you live, walking on local trails is a great way to get exercise and safely discover a new part of your town or city you may not have seen before. Trails are often maintained by the city or county on a regular basis so local residents can enjoy them. Again, if you plan on going out on a trail, make sure you have a mask with you that you can put on in case you come within 6 feet of other people. Here’s a great guide on where to run, hike, and get outside in the Bay Area right now.
  5. Skate! Do you have a skateboard? Do you like to rollerblade? Now’s the time! Skating is great exercise especially when you alternate between fast and slow speeds in a safe area that you know well. Of course, you ALWAYS want to have a helmet and exercise caution.
  6. Ride your bike. Cycling is a great way to explore your neighborhood and get exercise at the same time. Depending on where you live and how far you want to go, there are some great roads that go from the city into the country and let you see beautiful trees and landscapes. Again, be sure to wear a helmet. Sunglasses are helpful too so you can protect your eyes from sun, dirt…and bugs.
  7. Use your bodyweight. Some of the most effective exercises don’t require any equipment at all. Have you ever tried 50 push-ups in a row? How about 100 sit-ups? Or even 25 burpees? There are a bunch of challenging workouts that don’t cost a penny. You can see a sample routine for beginners here.
  8. Explore online workouts. There are a ton of online platforms and apps that provide great workouts. You can find a lot of free YouTube workout videos and apps that have free trial periods so you can see what you like best. If you need ideas, check out Peloton (free 90-day trial), CardioCast, Aaptiv, Beachbody On Demand, and Openfit.

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to being active. You just want to find something that you enjoy so you keep doing it. Your mind and body will definitely thank you.

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