|CC courtesy of Ed Yourdon, Flickr|
When you don't have access to a gym either due to time constraints, financial reasons, or even distance then it can be quite difficult to motivate yourself to get some activity into your lifestyle. The good news is that you don't actually need a gym to get fit, you can do it in the comfort of your own home or neighborhood. All you need is your body and if you want it some inexpensive equipment for resistance, or your can just use your body weight.
If you're just starting out you might just want to start with walking. This can be done by scheduling in a walk at lunchtime, after work or on the weekend or even just by taking the stairs or parking your car further away from your destination. Taking the stairs can give you a real cardio and resistance boost as it works your heart, calves, quads and hamstrings.
If you find walking or taking the stairs far too easy then you could starting jogging or running to up your cardio. There are plenty of programs out there to help you progress from walking to running but I'll include some information in the Related Posts section.
Walking or running might not be your thing so you could always try circuit training. These will often include body weight exercises but you'll get a great workout for your heart and burn some calories at the same time. Here's a couple of videos to demonstrate:
If you don't have a heavy bag then you could always make one at home. Here's video showing you how to make a piece of equipment known as the Sandbag (doesn't always contain sand though):
You also don't need a gym to gain muscle either you can use your entire body to get the same effect with little or no equipment needed. Body weight exercises include:
- Wall squats
- Calf raises
- Reverse crunch
- Press ups
- Pull ups
- Tricep Dips
You can make circuits using any combination of these exercises. Ideally with just body weight exercises you need to go to your maximum reps each time to get any real benefit. Here's a couple of videos showing these moves in action:
You might find that you're looking for something with a bit more structure, if that is the case then I would recommend investing in a couple of workout DVDs. There are thousands of options out there but my favorite brands are the Beachbody products and anything by Jillian Michaels (the Biggest Loser trainer). Here's a couple of excerpts to see if that's your thing:
P90X - I love Tony and in the past has got me some great results
Insanity - I haven't done this routine yet but the results I've seen from my buddies have been amazing!
Charlene Extreme - this lovely lady has brought some amazing results from me in the past too.
These DVDs are just a few of what's out there. I would suggest doing some research of your own before heading and getting anything. Some of the programs listed here do require some basic equipment like dumbbells or resistance bands but they can be purchased fairly cheap online or at charity stores.
Let me know what you think in the comments and have fun working out.