Six Ways to Exercise Without a Gym

Does the thought of going to a crowded gym with loud music and sweaty bodies make you want to toss aside your exercise shoes? Health clubs aren't for everyone. They're expensive, overpopulated and you have to wait to use the equipment during peak hours. Fortunately, you have another option. Why not exercise without a gym? At-home workouts are growing in popularity as people look for more convenient and inexpensive ways to stay in shape. Here are some fun and easy ways to exercise without a gym.

Turn a Small Room into an Exercise Studio

Why not make a gym at home? No, you don't need expensive exercise equipment. All you need is a room with television screen, a DVD player and an exercise mat. You can always add hand weights for more resistance later on. Make sure your "home gym" has a fan to keep you cool - then head to your local library and check out a selection of exercise DVDs. Once home, pop one into your DVD player. Make it your goal to do one of these free workouts every day.

Choose a diversity of workout DVDs - aerobic, strength training, boot camp, yoga, core workouts to work all the muscles in your body. If you have cable, look for free exercise shows on some channels, or tune into Exercise TV where you have instant access to a variety of at-home workouts.

Dance the Pounds Away

Dancing is a super effective calorie-burner. You can burn between 300 and 400 calories per hour dancing to your favorite music - and it doesn't feel like work. Dance 20 minutes in the morning, then shake your hips and booty for another twenty minutes in the evening to get a cardiovascular workout that's comparable to any aerobics class - and a lot more fun. For more resistance, hold light hand weights while you dance. Dance hard and dance often. It'll make you better on the dance floor too.

Challenge Yourself with a Pedometer

Chances are you'll walk more if you wear a pedometer, so buy an inexpensive one and strap it on. Challenge yourself to step 10,000 times during the day. When you do, you'll have walked about 5 miles. Take a brisk thirty minute walk first thing in the morning and then see how many steps you can add to that throughout the day. Reward yourself on days you hit 10,000.

Jump Away the Pounds

Remember how much fun it was to jump rope as a child? Rediscover the pleasures. Jump ropes are inexpensive - and you burn almost 350 calories when you jump rope for 30 minutes. You don't have to do it all at once. Turn on some music and jump rope for 15 minutes in the morning and again in the afternoon. Not only does it burn calories, it improves agility and coordination while boosting your cardiovascular fitness.

Get Back to Basics

You can do a highly effective at-home workout without any equipment at all. Do a series of exercises consisting of jumping jacks, running in place, sit-ups and push-ups. Do each exercise for two minutes without pausing. Focus until you can do this three times without stopping. This type of interval workout burns a significant number of calories and builds strength at the same time. Finish with a series of lunges and squats to strengthen your lower body. No gym equipment required.

Turn Housework into Exercise

Did you know scrubbing floors counts as aerobic exercise? To make scrubbing more of a fat-burner, get down on the floor with a sponge and scrub fast and hard. You'll burn 100 calories in 20 minutes doing this - and you'll get clean floors too. Moving furniture or boxes is another way to burn significant calories while getting a job done. You'll blast away almost 130 calories in 20 minutes doing these activities - and strengthen your biceps too.

The Bottom Line?

Yes, you can exercise without a gym and without special equipment. Try these at-home workouts, and get in shape without the hassles and expense of a health club membership.