Jessica Duff: 6 Tips To Get Fit Without a Gym


When it comes to working out, there are a hundred excuses we come up with in order to avoid that trip to the gym. Trust me, I know. I’ve used a few of them myself. But I’m here to tell you there are some simple activities you can do as part of your fitness routine to get fit. The best part? You may not even realize how easy some of these are and that you’re actually burning calories in the process. So let’s dive on in:

  • Pick the spot in the back of the lot – rather than fighting someone for that spot 10 feet away from the front door (or worse, taking that handicap spot when you know good and well you shouldn’t park there) snag a spot in the back of the lot. The extra steps will give you a chance to burn a few extra calories. Added bonus: picking a spot further away from the rest means you’ll avoid those pesky door bumps if you were to park between cars up front.
  • Take the stairs – we all know how convenient it is to catch a ride in the elevator or glide up the escalator, but you can get a tremendous workout by taking the stairs instead. You’d be surprised how many muscle groups you work out with a little stair climbing. From your hips to the soles of your feet and everything in between gets some serious toning and stretching. There’s a reason why athletes incorporate stair-climbing (or really, stair-running) in their workout routine. So don’t complain when the elevator, or escalator, is broken…as the late Mitch Hedberg once said “You should never see an ‘Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order’ sign, just ‘Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the Convenience.’”
  • Head to the top – Whether you’re headed to watch your kid in a little league matchup or catching a Travs game at Dickey-Stephens, head to the top – the top of the bleachers, that is. This is another version of the stair-climbing. But when it comes to bleacher-climbing, you’re going to be getting more bang for your buck. With each trip to the concession stand, every time you take one of the kids to the bathroom, you’re burning extra calories as you trek up and down those bleacher stands.
  • March in place…while brushing your teeth, washing your hands, etc. – Okay, this one may seem strange, but trust me on this. I’ve got one of those activity trackers (I love my FitBit!) that tracks my steps each day, among other tidbits that it can monitor.  When I’m winding down for the night and just a few steps shy of my 10,000 step goal, I’ll march in place while brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed. It’s part of everyone’s daily routine that you often just stand still while doing, but why not move those legs a bit at the same time? It’s probably the easiest “activity” on this list!
  • Carry your kids – remember how fun it was to get a piggy-back ride as a kid? Well, it’s time to share the fun! Grab your kids, have them hop on your back and trot to your destination. They’ll think it’s fun and you’ll work up a good sweat in the process.
  • Stretch, Push-Ups, Sit-Ups while watching TV – don’t just sit there! I know you want some time to kick back, relax and watch the next game. But hop down on the floor and knock out 10 push-ups and 20 sit-ups during the commercial breaks. When the game is back on, sit up and stretch it out. Yes, even stretching can burn calories. Plus, you’ll need to stretch to recoup your muscles from all the stair-climbing and long-distance parking-lot walking you did today and prepare for another round tomorrow!

It’s really not that hard to make small changes to your routine to help burn some extra calories here and there. Once you do it enough, it just becomes a habit and you won’t think twice about it.

Have a tip you want to add to the list? Share it with us in the comment section below.

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