The No-Gym Workout

woman doing crunches on workout ballLet’s face it: the gym isn’t for everybody. For some it’s the cost that hinders its appeal, and for others it’s the atmosphere. But the good news is that you don’t need a health club membership to get in shape. There are a lot of exercises you can do around your house or in your neighborhood that don’t require a gym for a good workout.

Workout Guidelines for Fitness

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) recommends that adults include a certain amount of physical exercise in their weekly routine as one means of staying healthy.

Keep in mind that all of the regular walking, standing and lifting you normally do in your daily life does not constitute a workout, according to HHS. Even including some short-burst exertions like climbing a few flights of stairs or lifting a heavy box or two won’t help improve your overall health.

Instead, you should engage in what the HHS describes as health-enhancing activities—exercises and workouts that go beyond your normal daily activities. The specific recommendations for adults involve:

• At least 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic workouts, such as brisk walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic workouts like running or jogging

• For even better results, about 5 hours a week of moderate workouts or 2 hours and 30 minutes of vigorous workouts

• On top of these aerobic activities, strength-training workouts at least twice a week that involve all major muscle groups

Spread out these exercises throughout the week, mixing up your routine often to keep your body guessing and work out different muscle sets at different intensities.

Work Out at Home: How To Skip the Gym

• Get up and move. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise can be as simple as marching in place while you watch television. You also can take a long, quick-paced walk through your neighborhood.

• Jumping jacks. People ready to pursue a high-intensity aerobic workout can get more advanced. Biking or swimming also are good activities, but…

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