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4 Ways to Stay Active Without Setting Foot in a Gym

One of the realities of modern life is that we have to actually find ways to stay active.  There were no such things as gyms in times past because people got exercise simply by going about their daily lives, whether that was working in the fields or walking to and from town.  Today our lives are so simple, so engineered for comfort, that we have to take a little bit of effort to make sure we don’t send up like those human blobs in Wall-E.  

Walk

We’ve gotta start with this one.  Walking gets mentioned by famous inventors and authors as ways that they started thinking about an idea or got an insight.  Walking lets you get outside (yes, even when the weather is really unpleasant!).  Walking tells your body to get the blood flowing, we’ve got work to do!  

You don’t need to walk for miles and miles, but you’ll be amazed at how much you can walk simply by taking a break once or twice a day.  Pop in some headphones if you want to catch up on your reading or podcasts, or try silent mode to just be alone with your thoughts, something we so rarely let ourselves do these days.

Take the Stairs

Once again, there’s nothing wrong with elevators (especially when you’ve got luggage!).  But stairs will still get you where you want to go, don’t involve any waiting time, and allow you to get a little bit of exertion and exercise.  Remember that those opportunities have been removed from our daily lives so we have to consciously add some back in.

You can take the stairs at whatever pace you want, just remember when you want to grumble that your body is thanking you, no matter what signals your brain is angrily telegraphing.

Do Bodyweight Exercises

One of the fundamentals of training in most armed forces around the world is the use of your body for exercise.  These are simple movements like pushups, pullups, squats, etc.  This makes sense because taking barbells into combat would be the dumbest idea ever, but also because there’s no friction to “set up” to work out.  

You might set an alarm once or twice a day to do a mini-set of these body weight exercises, e.g. ten push-ups and ten pull-ups or ten sit-ups and ten squats.  Remember that it’s not about quantity or training for the Olympics, but about taking care of your body so it can take care of you.

Use Equipment

There are a few pieces of “equipment” that you can have in your home that can deliver a powerful punch.  These could be barbells and kettle bells, jump rope, or the aforementioned pull up bar.  

Sometimes we have to trick ourselves into being active by making it more convenient.  This might be the most difficult of the four ways we’ve listed here as it does take a bit more discipline, but it’s still easier than going to the gym.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t step into a gym.  We’re just saying the gym isn’t the only place you can be active, and if you make being active a place you go to instead of a lifestyle you live, it’s that much easier to put off being active…while reaching for those Cheetos.  Beware! 

This content originally appeared in our monthly Open Calendar Club newsletter.

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