Gained more than a few pounds over a year filled with lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders, have you? Your gym membership is still sucking the life from your bank account because … you know … contracts. But, with no way to get to the gym and with the gloom of the past year casting a pall over any desire to work out at home, you’ve discovered love handles and quarantine weight gain where none used to exist.
Does that sound about right?
If it does, then you’re invited to pull up a chair and lend an ear because there are some great ways to lose the Quarantine 15 without risking going to the gym and without doing the same old routines in your bedroom that you gave up six months ago.
Even before the pandemic, some people considered gyms to be a waste of money, space, and time. Oh sure, if you’re the type who needs a personal trainer, some gyms could offer that. (And there’s nothing wrong with wanting a personal trainer.)
That said, just think about:
- All the time spent traveling to and from the gym.
- Contracts that lock you into spending anywhere from $25 to $200 or more per month. (That could potentially be up to $2,400 per year!)
- Time spent waiting for particular pieces of gym equipment.
- People ogling you while you try to get in shape.
- The smell of rubber is overwhelming.
- It’s noisy as all get out.
With all the negatives surrounding gyms and the fact that there are fantastic fitness programs and classes available online for a low price or even for free, don’t you think it’s worth considering ditching the gym for good?
There are superb alternatives to going to the gym. Let’s explore.
Go for a jog (or not)
One option is simply getting outside and going for a jog. Along the way, do some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. Use the pull-up bars in the park. Use the kids’ monkey bars. Do some bodyweight exercises. You might be surprised at how effective everything just mentioned can help you drop unwanted pounds.
You don’t even have to go jogging. Even walking can help burn calories. If you’re worried about not knowing how much to walk for weight loss, you can always head over to YouTube. There are literally thousands of free videos with advice on the subject.
Also, according to the Journal of Physical Exercise and Nutrition, you merely have to walk about an hour three times per week to start dropping the weight. The only caveat is that when you walk, it needs to be brisk. You can’t just stroll down the promenade and expect any real benefit.
Back and core exercises
- Calf raises
- Leg raises
- Tricep dips
There are lots of household items that you could use in place of weights when you’re ready to do some strength training. It might sound corny but think of all the different things Sylvester Stallone used to train in the Rocky films.
- Went jogging with bricks in each hand for weights.
- Went jogging up and down stairs.
- Used a heavy sledgehammer to work his back, shoulders, and arms.
- Used a jungle gym to do pull-ups (like we mentioned above).
- Did squats and hopped like a frog with a log across his shoulders.
You get the idea. The point is that you have a mind that can find all kinds of creative, exciting solutions to provide yourself with a cool, interesting, and fun workout.
If you’ve racked your brain and none of the suggestions above work for you, it’s time to break out the fitness apps. There are many available, and these solutions are as close as your phone. Some of the best workout apps on the market are the following:
- The 7 Minute Workout
- Zones for Training (you need an iPhone or Apple Watch for this one)
- Daily Workouts Fitness Trainer
- My Fitness Pal
While fitness apps aren’t for everyone, if you’re the kind of person who is uber busy, doesn’t like improvising, and just wants a bit of advice and a robust plan that takes out all the headwork, a fitness app could be right up your alley.
Remember that there’s a reason you might have packed on the dreaded Quarantine 15, right? Lots of people have sort of used the pandemic as an excuse to sit and binge-watch their favorite shows for just about a year now. Don’t let that be you. Allowing yourself to become sedentary isn’t a good move when it comes to your health. If you’re not going to go to the gym (and we don’t recommend that you do), you still need an exercise solution that does the trick. You also need to engage in it consistently. YouTube it up in the comfort of your home, download a fitness app and get busy, or head outside and innovate. Whatever you do, remember that there are healthy ways to improve your fitness levels!
- The best quarantine activity ideas start with your iPhone
- Our “good enough” guide to staying healthy
- Forget gym equipment — why bodyweight workouts are best for full-body fitness
- The USDA dietary guidelines just dropped. What do they mean for you?
- 3 seated workouts to break up the monotony of working from home