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Sheltering Arms Blog

9 Ways to Stay Active Without the Gym

Posted on: September 30, 2019 by Jenny Lankford

By: David Puhala, MS, ATC, CSCS

Sometimes things get in the way and we are unable to get to the gym to work out like we want to. Work, family obligations, trips, vacations, and a variety of other reasons cause us to be unable to work out. How are we supposed to stay active when we cannot get to a fitness center?

The gym-going experience can complicate the exercise experience to the point where we feel like we are not capable of ‘working out’ unless we are at a fitness center. “How can I work out if I do not have any equipment?” is something many of us have said to ourselves. What we need to remember is that exercise is important as it replaces the laborious work our ancestors used to do in order to live. All we really need to do to maintain our fitness regime, when we cannot make it to the gym, is to not sit still.

Not making the simple decision to get up and move around in your home or outside is the only thing that limits us from exercising outside of the gym.

Here are nine exercises that can be done outside of the gym:

  1. Sit-to-stands or body-weight exercises can be completed at home or in a hotel room
  2. Anything that has weight can be used as a free weight for weighted exercises like arm curls, shoulder raises, or presses
  3. Walking around the house and/or up and down stairs
  4. Gardening
  5. Mowing the lawn with a push/self-propelled lawn mower
  6. Walking around the neighborhood, a park, or a local mall. Many local county parks also have stations along their trails with benches and bars with instructions on how to do various exercises
  7. Balancing exercises
  8. Playing with grandchildren
  9. Getting up during TV commercials and completing various aerobic exercises like marching in place, stepping side to side, or high knees. If you prefer reading over watching TV, set an alarm every 15-30 minutes and do the same type of exercises

There are also a number of opportunities local counties and cities offer for seniors to get out and get active (links to some of the local government sites provided below). Additionally, a website called Meetup.com offers people with similar interests the ability to safely get in contact with each other and set up gatherings to stay active together. Meetup.com also has a number of walking, hiking, and meditation groups available that promote physical activity, which do not require a gym.

In conclusion, you do not need all the equipment that gyms offer to get a workout in. If you cannot make it to the gym, the only thing preventing you from getting a workout in is our own motivation. A body in motion stays in motion. Please be safe in all exercise endeavors and always keep your limitations in mind.

Do aquatics classes, chair yoga, and nutrition seminars interest you? Visit our calendar of events to see upcoming health and wellness events at Sheltering Arms. All events are free or low cost and are open to both members and non-members.