Gym-free fitness

Recently I stumbled upon a book at the library titled Move Yourself by Mitchell, Church, and Zucker (2008).  This book discusses how to add activity to your daily routine, without joining a gym.  This book explains the health benefits by adding even a little exercise to your life.  Coincidentally, this month’s Fitness Journal article, Embracing the Joy of Movement (Halvorson, R., 2017), discusses how movement should be fun and relevant to you.

Going to a gym is not for everyone.  Show how can you achieve fitness without a gym?  Hopefully, after you read this post, you will have some ideas on how to get moving and achieve fitness – gym-free.

Not everyone like the same type of exercise, or even likes exercise.  Me, I’m a hiker.  Give me fresh air, scenery, and a challenging path, and I’m there.  Others like to run, or swim, or bike, or lift weights…  You get the idea.  If you don’t like to exercise, don’t give up.  Find something to get you moving, something you enjoy, and doesn’t require a gym.  Below are some ideas.

  • Dance
  • Try Pokemon Go
  • Join a team
  • Take a walking tour of your city
  • Sign-up for an obstacle-course race
  • Take a hike
  • Try a track workout
  • Turn chores into a workout (add some music)
  • Volunteer for a community service project
  • Practice yoga, Pilates, step class at home
  • Take a bike ride
  • Swim
  • Kayak/canoe/row
  • Golf (walk the course)
  • Paddle-board
  • Rock climb
  • Rollerblade
  • Jump-rope
  • Garden
  • Take the stairs
  • Pace while talking on the phone
  • Play with your kids at the park

No matter what it is, you don’t need a gym.  you can check-out exercise videos from your library and do them at home.  Turn on the music and dance in your living room. Take the dog for a walk.  Do push-ups, squats, lunges, tricep dips, and crunches at home or at a park.

Find a friend to join you.  Friends keep you motivated, make the activity more enjoyable, and provide support.  Know someone is waiting for you to go for that walk or run will keep you from blowing off that day’s activity.

I have a home gym for those days I don’t want to endure the weather and to add variety.  But most days I venture outside.  Fresh air always makes me feel better, even when it’s raining or snowing.  It’s also easier for me to put on my shoes and head out the door that to drive some place to exercise.

Whatever you decide to do, don’t make it a chore.  Make it something you look forward to and is important to you.  The reasons don’t matter.  But get moving!

Save

Save

Save

facebook

80/20 rule for eating healthy

Have you heard of the 80/20 approach to eating healthy?  Basically, it means you eat healthy 80% of the time, and eat in moderation the other 20%.  Nutritionist and personal trainer Teresa Cutter, the author of the book The 80/20 Diet, suggests that the 20% portion of less healthy eating should occur once per week, and not 20% of what you eat each day.  Another approach is to moderate four meals per week, based on three meals per day.  Weight Watchers also used a “cheat” day approach in one of their plans.

So…let’s talk nutrition using the 80/20 approach.  The 80% includes eating mainly whole, unprocessed or minimally processed foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.  Fruits, vegetables and other foods high in water and fiber are low in energy density, or calories per gram.  This allows you to eat larger portions of them to help fill you up without eating too many calories at meals.  Be cognizant of your calories, as you can still consume to many calories even when eating healthily.

Moderation is key to the 20% when your healthy eating is relaxed.  One serving of a treat food is fine, but eating a meal containing a whole day’s worth of calories is not.  An appropriate indulgence may be enjoying one serving of dessert at the end of a meal or choose a serving of a comfort food like lasagna for your main dish.  Avoid both indulgences in the same meal, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

When eating healthy, whether using the 80/20 rule or any other approach, planning your meals is essential to success. Without planning, you may indulge way more than the 20%.  When planning, consider your schedule for the week.  If you’re eating out or having a special occasion, save your treats for those times.  Use your 20% for your favorite indulgences.  By having your indulgences planned out ahead of time, you will be able to avoid unhealthy food on other occasions.

Exercise is still important, no matter what eating plan you choose to follow. For more information on this topic, refer to Cardiorespiratory training: Components and guidelines, Cardiorespiratory training: Aerobic-base training, Resistance training: Load training.

For additional information on the 80/20 rule approach to healthy eating:

Save

Save

Save

Save

facebook