21 Ways to Exercise Without Heading to the Gym

It can be difficult for busy moms to squeeze the gym into their schedules. Try some of these simple ways to fit exercise into your life.

I’m not a big fan of exercise. At least, not the kind that involves changing into special workout gear, driving a few miles to the gym, and then climbing on the treadmill. I just have such a hard time dragging myself out of the house and despite my good intentions, I rarely do.

Sure, I always feel great when I do make it to the gym, and I’m glad I went. But the getting there is just so darn hard!

News flash: the word “exercise” is not synonymous with “gym membership.” Once I realized that I didn’t actually have to go to the gym to get my exercise, I stopped feeling guilty and started trying to move my body a little bit each day in whatever way I could.

Exercise does not have to take place at the gym to count. There are so many ways to burn calories and move your body—be creative!

When you put your mind to it, you can come up with so many alternatives to the gym. Some of them will involve playing and having fun, and others will actually involve working and being productive. Whichever type of exercise you choose, you’ll burn calories and feel just as good as you would have if you’d gone to the gym.

21 Ways to Exercise Without Going to the Gym

  • Walk the dog
  • Go on a hike
  • Vacuum the entire house (don’t forget the stairs!)
  • Ride your bike to run your daily errands
  • Shovel snow
  • Put on some music and dance your heart out
  • Take your kids to the park and play tag
  • Mow the lawn
  • Go letterboxing(with or without your kids!)
  • Rake leaves
  • Take your kids on a nature scavenger hunt
  • Jump on a trampoline (if you don’t have a big one—try a mini trampoline)
  • Play laser tag
  • Walk around the block once every hour (set a timer!)
  • Speed clean the house
  • Play the Just Dance video game
  • Organize a game of capture the flag
  • Go swimming
  • Jump rope
  • Weed your garden
  • Track your steps using a Fitbit, a Misfit, or an Apple Watch (you’ll be surprised how motivating the data is!)

I’m pretty sure you can easily come up with many more ideas. The point is to move your body on a daily basis and stay fit and healthy—not to feel obliged to do that exercise only at the gym.

  • Small Habit: Exercise daily however you can
  • Big Difference: Be healthier, have more energy, feel better, lose weight.

This post is part of a Small Habits That Will Make a Big Difference 30 day challenge. To see all of the posts in this series, click here. Or, join the challenge and receive a daily email with a new small habit that can affect your life in a big way.

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