When it comes to fitness a lot of us think that in order to become FIT, we have to join a gym….or at least sign up for classes or buy some fancy gear. Well, just like the world is embracing the idea of DIY projects around the home…there’s a new DIY fitness movement as well. My daughter Britta decided to be the “guinea pig” for this post, and now that she’s done it, she has definitely inspired me to find my own DIY fitness FIT! :-)
Britta writes……… I just want to start off by saying that I am in no way a Fitness Expert. Like many people in this world, I’m just an average citizen who is looking to improve their health and fitness. However, I have come to the conclusion that the mainstream fitness world, with all its expensive gear and group classes and spandex, is just not for me. In short, I’ve chosen to take a DIY approach to fitness, and I know I’m not the only one! So whether you’re just starting your fitness journey, or beginning a new chapter, here are some tips to help you get fit – without a gym membership!
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1. Take up hobbies that get you moving
Hitting the gym even a few times a week can be time-consuming. If fitness isn’t your passion, there are probably other things you’d rather be doing with your time, like a favorite hobby or pastime. So why not check out an activity that is equal parts fun and exercise? Activities like hiking, rock-climbing, or any number of sports can be excellent exercise, and they’re fun to do with family and friends!
Recently, my husband and I wanted to find something we could do to be active together. We are both die-hard fans of our local soccer team Real Salt Lake, so playing soccer was an obvious choice! Now we love going out to the park and passing the ball around together. Not only is it a fun way to spend time together, but we also benefit from feeling supported in our efforts to be healthy and fit.
2. Rethink your transportation
One simple way to build more activity into your day is to hop on your bike instead of getting behind the wheel! Especially now that the warmer weather is here, there’s no reason to spend these beautiful days cooped up in a car! Of course, sometimes a car is necessary for those longer distance trips, so try setting a reasonable mileage limit for car trips. For instance, if a destination is 3 miles away or nearer, you’ll bike there. Not only will you be getting a great workout, but you’ll be keeping more money in your pocket as well!
3. Make goals and track your progress
Taking your fitness into your own hands means that you are only accountable to one person – yourself! Minimize your chances of getting complacent or falling off the wagon by setting realistic goals for yourself. If you can only do 5 push-ups now, set a goal to be able to do 15 push-ups next month.
It’s also a good idea to track your progress as you go, to keep you inspired to keep it up! If you like to keep it old school, any notebook can serve as your “fitness journal”. However, new-school fitness tech is so much more fun! :-)
Me, my brother, and my sister-in-law all recently got Fitbit Flex wristbands, and we’ve been loving them! The Flex not only works as a pedometer to track your steps throughout the day, but it also records your calories burned, minutes of activity, and your quality of sleep. Pretty much any stat that will help you work toward a fit and healthy lifestyle, this device tracks for you. And because I know it’s tracking all of my stats, even just seeing it there on my wrist reminds me to be more active!
In addition to the Flex, I also got the Fitbit Aria, a scale that wirelessly tracks weight, body fat percentage, and BMI. I really like that the Aria gives more data than just my weight, because we all know that weight alone is NOT a great indicator of overall fitness!
And last but not least…
4. Make your fitness routine work for YOU
If you are really committed to improving your fitness in the long-term, you’ll need to find a fitness program that fits your needs. Plain and simple, if a program doesn’t have what you need or fit into your life easily, you probably won’t stick with it. An easy way to find out what you need from a fitness program is to pinpoint what you don’t like about your current or past fitness routine.
For example, I used to go to our local Rec Center a few times a week to use their elliptical and weight machines. In order to go, I either had to wake up super early (and I’m no morning person), or I had to squeeze it in before dinner (because the Rec Center closes at 8pm). Neither of these was an attractive option most days, so I often just didn’t go. When I did go, I felt as though I didn’t really know what I should be doing once I got there. Was I supposed to do just cardio, a mix of cardio and weights, some body weight exercises, or what?? What I eventually realized I needed was a fitness program that was really flexible, but that also provided me with direction and structure.
I ended up signing up with an online fitness club called M5 Fitness, and I’m so glad I did! Their exercise videos were the perfect solution for me. Now I can fit my workout into my lunch hour, and I don’t waste any time in transit since I can do them right in my living room. Plus, M5 offers a variety of structured programs put together by trainers that I can choose from to provide me with the direction that I need. I just finished their 28-Day Fitness Challenge, which I would highly recommend to anyone! Every day of the Challenge, I received an email in my inbox giving me a link to the workout for that day, so all I had to do was DO IT! No more guesswork. Because it meets all of my needs, I can see myself sticking with M5 for a long time!
These tips highlight just a few of the many ways you can improve your health and fitness without joining a traditional gym.
Have you joined the DIY fitness movement? What keeps YOU fit?