Ditch the Gym and Still Shed Pounds
A lot of people have the common misconception that you have to be an active gym-goer to lose weight. And going to the gym when you’re in less than stellar shape can be intimidating, overwhelming and discouraging. Seeing all of the people that are already in shape can lead to feelings of inadequacy and as though others are judging you for being out of shape.
The truth is that it’s unlikely that anyone even notices if you’re in shape or not, as they’re focused on their own workouts and their own fitness goals, but that doesn’t stop people from going once and never returning to avoid feelings of embarrassment. This is where working out at home comes into play: it’s a great way to get in shape, save you the gym membership fees, and avoid any judgment – real or imagined –because it’s just you there working out. Unsure how to start?
Here are different ways you can ditch the gym and the excess weight:
1. Start Walking
The great thing about walking is that you can do it virtually anywhere: in good weather you can lace up your walking shoes and walk the neighborhood a few times; if it’s bad weather outside you can walk in the comfort of your own home with the guidance of a walking-geared workout DVD. Walking just 30 minutes a day improves your cardiovascular fitness and will help you steadily lose weight. Eventually, if you’re so inclined, you can add in jogging – even if it’s just short intervals at first – which will help rev up your metabolism. For every mile you run you burn about 100 calories, making it one of the most effective ways to get in a good cardio session.
2. Invest in DVDs
Exercise DVDs are a great way to get toned muscles without ever leaving your living room. Many DVDs have several different workout options so that you can constantly switch up what you’re doing and most cost around $10, making them an affordable addition. You can also check out the exercise TV shows, search the internet for free workout routine videos online, or go to your local library to check out DVDs there (usually for free!), so you can constantly add in new routines to keep your body from reaching the dreaded plateau.
3. Buy Free Weights
You can get a set of free weights relatively inexpensively at most sporting goods stores, and they’re a lifelong investment that you’ll get plenty of use out of. Since it’s a one-time cost you’ll get more bang for your buck. Weight training is one of the most efficient ways to burn fat and will keep your metabolism burning for hours afterward – more such than cardio even. Don’t want to spend the money? Look around your house and see what you have to utilize: soup cans, water bottles, milk jugs… just about anything can be used as a free weight.
4. Don’t Just Sit on the Couch
We lose so much time every day to sitting on the couch watching TV, but that’s the perfect time to sneak in some exercise. Each commercial break pick an exercise and try to do it for the duration of a commercial. For instance: do crunches through one commercial and bicep curls through the next. By the end of an hour long TV show you will have gotten in a good round of exercise and you’ll still have gotten to watch your favorite show at the same time.
5. Join an Online Fitness Community
Online fitness forums have the benefit of connecting you with other individuals who are trying to lose weight as well, so you can help each other stay motivated to reach your fitness goals. They also routinely post new routines that you can try out and usually employ professionals for you to interact with as well. Having a support system in place will help make the whole process easier.
Don’t be blinded by the illusion that the only way you can lose weight is if you hit the gym – people are losing weight and staying in shape every day by using the tools they have at home and investing a little money (far less than they would invest in a gym membership!) to buy a few key fitness tools. Follow these tips and clean up your eating habits and you’ll be shedding the pounds in no time.