5 tips for being fit without hitting the gym

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5 tips for being fit without hitting the gym
Credit: Erica Lewy/Northeastern University.

Here are five gym-free workout tips to help you build a fitter physique, with insight from Rui Li, an associate clinical professor in the Department of Health Sciences who studies training strategies for fitness and sport performance.

Turn housework into a workout

Although doing housework won’t replace your gym workout, it can significantly reduce your sitting time, better manage your blood sugar level, elevate your heart rate, and improve your overall health.

For example, mopping the floor can burn more than twice the calories you’d burn at rest—or even during a moderate workout.

Take advantage of TV time—which amounts to almost five hours per day for the average American, according to a report from Nielsen

Don’t be a couch potato. If you have the space to make a workout station, you can invest in a stowable exercise bike or treadmill.

You can also use free weights or exercise bands to work your whole body, all the while following the rhythm of the music during a TV show or commercial.

The goal should be to burn 300 to 500 calories for every hour you exercise while watching TV.

Turn your home into your gym

There are plenty of bodyweight exercises that you can do at home, including burpees, planks, and plyometric push-ups.

To combine both fat-burning and muscle-building, you may adopt any or all the above exercises by adding a cardio movement or lunges in between each set. Just make sure your training session lasts at least 20 minutes.

Take the stairs

Taking the stairs is a great way to add physical activity to your daily life. You just might take them more often than you do now if you think to yourself, “I am trying to take every opportunity to stay active.”

Download a fitness app

Fitness apps can make your workout more structured as well as provide motivational cues and incentives—but they are only effective when you act; it’s ultimately up to you to make physical activity part of your everyday life.