Getting in a good workout doesn’t require a gym membership. In fact, there are countless ways you can burn calories and build muscle without logging time on the treadmill or lifting weights. Although routine workouts will help you stay on top of your fitness goals, here are some other ways you can live an active lifestyle, whether you’re at the gym or not.
Whether you prefer the solitude of walking on your own or welcome the company of a friend or loved one (or your dog), taking regular walks is a great way to burn fat and stay fit. To determine how many calories you burn per mile of walking, multiply your body weight in pounds by .57. For example, if you weigh 175 pounds, you’ll burn approximately 100 calories per mile. While you should be able to carry on a conversation, be sure to keep up a brisk pace to get your heart rate up.
Take your kids outside for a game of tag, stuck in the mud, kick the can, flag football, hopscotch, jump rope or a bike ride around the neighborhood. Not only is playing outdoors with your kids a great way for you to stay active, you’re also setting an example of fitness for your children. For a fit and healthy family, encourage outdoor play rather than sitting inside watching TV or playing video games.
Why pay someone to do your yard work for you when you can save some cash and get in a good workout at the same time? Heavy yard work such as landscaping, moving rocks or hauling dirt can burn up to 400 to 600 calories per hour. Raking and bagging leaves burns about 350 to 450 calories per hour. Mowing the lawn (with a push mower) burns approximately 250 to 350 calories per hour, and pulling weeds and planting flowers burns about 200 to 400 calories per hour.
Whether you’re at work or the shopping mall, skip the elevator or escalator and take the stairs. Taking one flight of stairs burns about 5 calories. That may not sound like much, but it can quickly add up if you make an effort to go up and down at each opportunity.
You don’t have to be a pro to play team sports. Check out church or recreational sports leagues. You can find a rec league for just about any sport — basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, etc. Or, simply gather a group of friends for a game of flag football or ultimate Frisbee. Take your mind off the work and play a game you enjoy.