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7 practical ways to stay fit that don’t include going to the gym

Life is busy nowadays. Whether it’s responsibilities related to work, balancing between the house chores, taking care of the kids and in the meantime trying to socialize with your friends in order to “keep your sanity” – multitasking can get difficult. Now try fitting exercise to all of it, and yes, we understand that it can get tough. Especially if you think of exercising as something that requires spending money on specialized clothes or a trip to the gym. Nevertheless, there is evidence that regular physical activity has many advantages, and the truth is, well, it doesn’t actually have to be that hard. There are actually a few simple things that you can add to your daily routine which count as exercise and will improve your shape in weeks!

man on a bicycle in the park
Photo by Sudo

What is actually keeping us from exercise?

If you happen to have difficulties beginning an exercise or following one through for a longer period of time, trust us, you are not alone. As you already know, there are many awesome reasons to exercise. It can improve your energy, self esteem, mood, quality of sleep and it is even said to reduce stress and anxiety.

There is an array of detailed workout plans and exercise instructions only a click away. So what’s stopping people from exercising? If knowing why and how to exercise was enough, we would probably all be in great shape. But, you see, adapting exercise as a permanent habit requires more – you need a smart approach and the right mindset.

It’s no surprise that concerns like poor health or a busy schedule can make exercising a bit more challenging. However, for most people, the most common barriers are mental. The lack of motivation, or perhaps a lack of self-confidence can sometimes keep you from taking positive steps and discourage you. That’s why we sometimes give up, and yes, almost each and every one of us has been there at some point. Good news is that you actually can do something about it, even if you have never exercised a day in your life!

Positive thinking is the first step toward a positive change!

Be kind to yourself

Try not to beat yourself up about your current fitness level or your lack of motivation to include exercise as a daily routine. This can turn out to demotivate you even more. Instead, think of your past mistakes and unhealthy choices as a helpful opportunity to learn and grow.

Say NO to the ‘all or nothing’ attitude

Trust us, you don’t have to spend hours every day in a gym or force yourself into doing painful activities that you otherwise hate just for the sake of exercising. It’s pretty simple, a little exercise is better than nothing.

Are you expecting too much?

Well, you see, people don’t get out of shape overnight, so don’t expect to rapidly transform your body either. On the contrary, expecting too much might lead to frustration, and soon you might find yourself discouraged by what you can’t accomplish. So, the key is to focus on consistency rather than obsessing over rapid fast results. And yes, the improvements in mood will happen much quicker than the physical change.

7 activities to boost your activity level!

Try these simple activities and you’ll be in a better shape in weeks. And the best part of it? None of them involve paying a trip to the gym!

1. Ditch the car when you don’t need it

Let’s be honest, sometimes we get into our cars even when we don’t need them that much. Walking or biking to your destination can be a great exercise for your body. So, unless you really need it, spare yourself the stress and time required to look for parking, put on your comfortable shoes and get everywhere you need to be by walking or cycling.

2. Take the stairs more often

It’s so simple, but we choose to avoid it very often by taking the elevator or the escalator. Well, from now on try taking the stairs whenever you can, even if it’s just for a floor or two. You see, the elevator goes up, but it doesn’t make your heart pulse faster, nor does it activate your muscles. And try not to ride the escalator – choose to walk it instead! Believe it or not, those steps count as an exercising activity, too!

3. Time to hit the mall

Shopping and exercising at the same time? Can a more perfect combination exist? No matter the weather outside, paying a trip to the mall can always be a good idea. It can be a fine move for everyone, and if done properly, it will actually burn calories and work your muscles. Keep your shoulders back, back straight, head and chest up and get going. If you think it’s a good idea, you can choose to download from an array of health apps which will count the number of steps and how much you walk on a daily basis. Time to abandon online shopping and take a stroll around the mall instead.

4. Taking your pet out for a walk counts as exercise!

Both your dog and your body will most certainly be thankful. Researchers have proven that dog walking contributed significantly to the total amount walked in a week. Moreover, dog walkers were found to be more physically active than those who didn’t own a dog, or had a dog but didn’t walk it on a daily basis. Besides, people who walk their dogs were more likely to meet the recommended levels of weekly physical activity. So, find the leash and take your dog or cat out for a walk! And yes, you can actually walk your cat on a leash too!

5. Walk more

Even if you consider yourself to be a person who is ‘glued’ to their phone for business calls, the good news is that you don’t need to be ‘glued’ to your chair as well! You can talk and walk at the same time, it’s a great way to burn calories.

Taking a walk in the nearest park can also be an excellent excuse to leave your phone at home and enjoy some time off by yourself. Invite your kids, spouse or friends and enjoy spending time with them without screens. If you want to make it more challenging, try walking fast or even jogging in small intervals.

women walking in the park
Photo by Wonderlane

6. Try a new hobby

Perhaps not all, but most people can find a physical activity they enjoy. If you aren’t a big fan of the standard swimming, running and cycling options, there are other activities that you may find fun. Taking dance lessons, horseback riding, hiking, Zumba, or kayaking are just a few of the many activities you could try in your free time.

7. Going through life with the minimum of physical effort is no longer an option!

Saving effort is good in some situations, but when physical activity comes to question – saving effort should not be an option. If you want to change your attitude towards exercising, you have to stop thinking about it as something that has to require spending money on a gym membership or sports clothes. Move around a bit, and soon it will become a daily routine with visible results.

man and woman kayaking
Photo by Razvan Chisu

Earn money by burning calories – is it possible?

Believe it or not, there is an app designed to help people achieve their fitness goals in a really interesting way – by earning money! Lympo is a free app that allows you to earn money simply by walking or running. It’s available both in the Apple store and Google play, and it is said to be great for both beginners and professionals. And if you are wondering about how it works, well, it’s simple. Lympo is  an app that uses block-chain technology to create a redeemable currency that can be earned and spent from within the app. The token that is generated from the block-chain technology has a real world value. Now you will not only adopt the positive habit of being more active, but receive real rewards for your efforts as well!

Now that you have learned how to make exercise more enjoyable, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone!

If the thought of going to the gym fills you with dread, or you find it expensive, intimidating or simply boring, you are not alone. In fact, there are many alternatives that count as physical exercise, and most of them are activities that can become part of our daily routines. Turning exercise into an enjoyable part of your everyday life has never been easier. So, what better time to start than now?

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