Fit without the Gym? Yes, You Can!

If you had asked me at this time last year if it was possible to get and stay fit without going to the gym, I would have said, “No way!”

Before I got pregnant, I was a total gym rat, spending anywhere from 1-3 hours a day at the gym lifting weights and doing various forms of cardio. Even after I found out I was pregnant, I continued to go to the gym (probably too much at times) until the doctor told me to stop at 32 weeks. Even then, I refused to cancel my gym membership because I thought, “If I’m ever going to get back into shape, I’m going to need to get to the gym.”

Enter baby.

Any delusions I had of being able to get to the gym went out the window when we brought our beautiful baby girl home. I barely had time to eat; how was I supposed to get to the gym?!

I had no choice but to adapt my routine. I had to find activities I could involve the baby in, and activities I could do here and there while she was sleeping. I started walking with the stroller just days after coming home from the hospital. It doesn’t sounds like much, but walking is one of the greatest forms of exercise – and everyone can do it!

Once I was able, I started doing workout DVDs in my living room. I like to do circuit training DVDs to get a good mix of cardio and strength training in a short amount of time. All I need is my 5- and 8-lb weights. I’ve started cycling through my DVDs – beginning a new workout series about every 4 weeks.

I’m also fortunate enough to have a Spinning bike in my basement. (I bought it on Craigslist for $175. Such a steal!) It’s great because I can hop on for a few minutes at a time whenever get a chance.

I’m happy to say that I have lost my pregnancy weight in 3 months and have regained significant muscle tone. I have far exceeded my own expectations about getting fit outside the gym!

So, here are my tips for getting fit without the gym:

  • Get out and walk! (or hike or jog or run – whatever your preference) It’s not necessary to have your own bike or elliptical at home. All you need are some sneakers! Take a walk before breakfast, on your lunch break, or after dinner. Add some hills to your walk for en even better workout!
  • Invest in some light dumbbells. All sports stores carry small dumbells from 1lb up. They are fairly inexpensive and worth the investment. Definitely cheaper than paying for a gym membership!
  • Start a collection of workout DVDs. Do one for 4-6 weeks, and then move on to another. I’d recommend at least 3. You can do each one for a month, then start back on your first DVD with heavier weights for more of a challenge.

If I can get fit at home, you can too! 🙂

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10 responses to “Fit without the Gym? Yes, You Can!

  1. Love this post! You’re so right!

    Last year I didn’t have the money for a gym membership. When I could, I would run outdoors in the wintertime on nice days, and used exercise DVD’s along with pull-out exercise cards from Self and Shape magazines. I stayed in shape without the expensive fees.

    LOVE all your ideas..thanks so much for sharing! 😀

  2. Great tips, even for those of us without a baby! 🙂 Getting away from the gym can be a great way to re-motivate myself to find new ways of exercising. Good for you for seeing that the gym isn’t the only way to keep fit!

  3. Fantastic post! I’m not a mom, just a poor college student so no gym membership for me either this summer :). I savor my walks and runs outside, they make me so much happier than any treadmill or elliptical. I do miss exercise classes though but DVDs seem to be filling that gap. Thanks for the tips and inspiration!

  4. Great post!! I don’t belong to a gym because honestly I think they charge WAY too much! It’s free to do push ups, walk/run around your neighborhood, take the stairs, etc 🙂

  5. I agree, you can definitely get fit at home without a gym membership or owning your exercise machines. Body weight exercises are free!

    Congrats on losing the baby weight so quickly, that’s something so many women want to do. Way to be an inspiration!

  6. Just found your blog and at the right time! I recently found out I am pregnant, so I love to know that I will be able to get back in shape quickly. Will be following your lead! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Emily (Healthy Fit Mama)

      Congratulations! I hope you find some helpful tips on here. Feel free to ask questions. 🙂

  7. Pingback: 1 Year Gym-Free « Healthy Fit Mama

  8. I found your site while looking for a recipe for peanut butter soup. The wonders of Google, huh? For me, the gym is a place for social connections and I’m not sure I could do without that. I joined my gym, which has almost-free childcare, when my twins were 4 months old. Before I knew it, I had a great group of mom friends to chat with about all things pertaining to motherhood. Plus, my kids got a chance to make their own friends. How do you fit in social interaction for yourself and your baby?

    • Emily (Healthy Fit Mama)

      Trish – Thanks for stopping by my blog! I have to admit, social interaction has sort of fallen by the wayside for me. It’s been a hectic few months… We’ve moved a couple times, and I took a new job. Most of my social interaction these days is in the form of chit chatting with my co-workers. I definitely need to find some baby friends for my baby though!

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