Is a gym out of your budget? Maybe it’s not, but perhaps you still hate the thought of having to exercise in a specific place, the local gym is in an inconvenient location, or you just don’t like people watching you while you work out. Regardless of the reason, you have to exercise to get to that weight loss goal – and yet all you hear about is why you should be using the elliptical exercise machines, stationary recumbent bikes, stair climbers , state-of-the-art treadmills , and the endless number of weight and strength training equipment. So, do you really need a gym membership to lose weight? No!
Weight loss comes from increases the number of calories you burn, and burning more calories than you take in; so, the primary form of exercise you should be doing is cardiovascular – as little as 30 minutes a day (twice a day if time permits). This type of exercise not only burns calories, but also strengthens the heart and improves the efficiency or how your body uses energy as a whole. However, doing cardio every day does not mean it has to be on an exercise machine. There are many other options to choose from . Take a look at the following to see how creative you can get; any combination of one or more will do!.
- ParksThere are several ways to take advantage of your local park. Grass is a natural exercise mat that allows you to stretch and do “floor” exercises like leg lifts, crunches, and push-ups. In an effort to promote health, many parks now incorporate what I call “fitness pit-stop” stations. Not only will they have a certain path marked for distance reference (how many miles the path is), but they will also have strategically placed stations along the path where you can stop for some interval training. For instance: parallel bars for elevated knee lifts (abs) and “dips” (triceps/shoulders); a short stepping area, for lunging, stepping, and stretching; and directive exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups, burpees, and squat jumps. These stations are usually accompanied with a sign that tells you exactly what to do.
- Local high school stadiums In addition to the track for running and walking, you should be taking advantage of the stairs. Nothing boosts your weight loss more – and makes you work harder – than running up an extended flight of stairs. It will give you a cardiovascular workout, and also provides muscle building movement for just about every leg and gluteal muscle – not to mention a little strengthening of the core if you tighten your abdominal muscles as you move.
- Home fitness plansToo cold to go out, or not enough time? Virtually everything you do at a park, you can do at home. Walk in place, run, do jumping jacks, or even grab a lower-height, sturdy chair and step on and off of it. You can do just about anything, as long as you get your heart rate going.
- Exercise DVDsWhile this is technically included in the home fitness plan, if you can afford to purchase a DVD, some of the most intense workouts come from no machines or little weight at all. Two of the most popular DVDs include PB90X and the Insanity workouts – both of which fuel rapid weight loss; however, there are some great DVDs that go the less-strenuous route. Just check them out and see what interests you.
- Interval Training — Indoors or Out
These are just a few ideas to get you moving. If you still are wondering if you need a gym membership in order to lose weight… read the article again! As long as you make weight loss and fitness plan, it is very plausible that you may get even more benefits by staying out of the gym, and doing it on your own.
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