Did you know that 41.9% of Americans are obese? That’s nearly half the population! It’s no wonder more and more Americans are trying to get into better shape.

Many start by getting a gym membership. This seems like the obvious route to go since you need a place to work out, after all, and paying for a gym membership will help motivate you to go. Right?

Not necessarily. According to Exercise.com, up to 67% of gym memberships go completely unused! In fact, many gyms build their business model on the bet that most people will stay home.

So if you want a more reliable way to get fit, here are 3 ways to exercise that don’t require a gym:

1. Go For A Run

Though running as a recreational sport probably originated in ancient Greece about 2,700 years ago, humans have been running since Adam and Eve.

For most of history, people didn’t have gyms, and yet many in the past were a lot fitter than we are today. It just goes to show that you don’t need fancy gym equipment to get into shape. 

Running regularly will iprove your cardiovascular health, lower your blood pressure, improve your blood sugar control, lower cholesterol and fat, and help you feel healthier overall. So why not try it?

You don’t need to be a marathon runner to get the benefits of running. Even a light 30-minute jog every other day can do wonders. The key is to make it a habit. Consistency beats intensity in the long run.

2. Build A Home Gym

Just because you don’t go to the gym doesn’t mean you can’t have one in your home. If you have the space, a home gym can be a great place to exercise. And it doesn’t have to be expensive either.

With the right know-how, you can build a home gym for under $1000. All you need is some basic equipment:

  • A barbell
  • A squat rack with a pull-up bar
  • Weight plates
  • A flat bench

That’s more than enough to get started. Over time, you can add more equipment if you want.

What are the benefits? A home gym has no fees, requires no commute, and allows you to work out in the privacy of your own home. For introverts, it’s a win-win.

Plus, if you really decide you like building home gyms, you can make some for others. Own a rental property? Build a home gym in it and hire a local property management company to take care of it for you.

3. Do Bodyweight Exercises

If you prefer to build muscle without any equipment at all, try bodyweight exercises (aka calisthenics). You’d be surprised at how strong you can get just by working against gravity.

Here are some bodyweight exercises you can try: 

  • Push-ups—Lie face-down and place your hands about shoulder-width apart on the ground. Push up until your arms are straight and then lower your body back down slowly by bending at the elbows until your chest touches the ground. Then repeat.
  • Pull-ups—Find a horizontal bar or ledge (this could even be a stair or a strong tree branch). Grip it with both hands with arms about shoulder-width apart. Then lift your body by pulling yourself up with your arms. Slowly lower yourself back down and repeat. 
  • Sit-ups—Sit on the ground with your legs together, bent at the knee, and pointing forward. Then put your hands behind your head and lower your torso backward until your back hits the ground. Lift your torso back up without moving your hands or legs. Repeat.
  • Planks—Lie face-down on the ground, bend your elbows, and keep your forearms at your side. Then lift your body with your forearms supporting your weight and your body straight. Hold this position for 60 seconds or more.
  • Burpees—Considered the ultimate all-in-one exercise by many, the burpee is a full-body movement. Start standing. Then bend your knees and drop to the ground by placing your hands on the ground, shoulder-width apart, and going into plank position. Then reverse the motion by kicking your legs forward and pressing your body upward by jumping and lifting your arms to the sky. Then repeat. 
  • Squats—Stand upright and extend your arms forward. Then bend at the knee and lower your body while keeping your back straight. Once you go as low as you can, press with your legs to lift your body back up to a standing position while keeping your arms straight. Then repeat.

The Bottom Line

Getting fit doesn’t need to be expensive. Running, working out at home, and doing bodyweight exercises all cost little to no money. What counts is how much time and effort you put into your exercise regimen. 

If you master daily exercise, you’re guaranteed to see results over time. How you do it is up to you.