Want to know how to get fit when you dislike the gym? Then you’ve come to the right place. This list will give you ideas to get fit, (and have fun), without heading indoors.
How To Get Fit By Running
For maximum effect it’s best to combine running with healthy eating and mix in some body weight, strength building exercises such as yoga or pilates.
Beginner runners need to take it easy at first and gradually increase their mileage. Alternating running with walking is a good way to start – there’s no shame in walking, it’s putting in the effort that counts. Find out more with my post:
Here are some ideas to mix up your running and improve your fitness!
- Try fartlek, (speedplay in Swedish). Mix up fast bouts of running with slow running or walking. Run based on how you feel.
- Hit the trails! Trail running is so much fun.
- Try a Parkrun. Free 5km timed runs. This movement started in the UK but it’s now worldwide with 35 locations in the US and growing!
- Enter a marathon. There’s nothing like the fear of running 26.2 miles to make you take your fitness seriously.
- Add intervals to your training.
- Join a club. Running with other people will help you stick at it. Plus you’ll make friends and run harder.
- Complete a Tough Mudder. Huge fun if you don’t mind a bit of mud. Think everyone should do at least one!
- Add hill reps to your training. Running uphill is so beneficial for building strength.
- Take part in a relay. Relays can be all sorts of lengths from short runs to relays over long distance footpaths. It’s a good reason to join a club!
- Sign up for cross country. No you don’t have to be at school. The good part about cross country as a senior, is it’s more fun when you’re not being forced to take part!
How To Get Fit By Cycling
Just like running, joining a club is a great way to get into cycling. Clubs cater for all different standards and you can choose between road or mountain biking.
Here are a few suggestions for getting fit on the bike:
- Try fat biking. Think oversized tires and messing about on sand or snow.
- Use an electric bike. It won’t get you fit as quickly but if you live somewhere very hilly, an electric bike can be a good idea to help you transition to fitness.
- Discover bikepacking. The joy of camping out on a bike. Essential fun for gear freaks!
How To Get Fit By Hiking And Trekking
Hiking may not burn as many calories per minute as running, but you’re out on the trails for longer, making the total calorie burn higher. Add in hills or carry packs and hiking is wonderful for all-over body fitness.
The best way to get fit for a trekking trip is by hiking! Read my tips:
Here are some ideas to get you out on the trails!
- Start off with short day hikes.
- Add excitement with Via Ferrata, accessing steep mountain cliffs with ladders and iron walkways!
- Plan a multi-day hike, stay in hostels overnight or carry a tent for maximum effort!
- Hike the Pacific Crest Trail, 2,650 miles should get you in shape! (Just like Reese Witherspoon in the film Wild).
- Try scrambling. Scrambling is best described as a mixture of hiking and rock climbing. It’s normally without ropes but covering airy ridges where you need to watch your step and often use your hands to get round obstacles. The Costa Blanca in Spain is a fantastic destination for scrambling enthusiasts.
- Hike the whole length of the Great Wall Of China. If a catwalk model can do it – so can you!
- Climb Mount Kinabalu. You may have wobbly legs by the time you get back down (it’s a steep descent) but it’s a mountain anyone can climb – no technical skills required.
How To Get Fit By Climbing
Climbing is really strenuous and just an afternoon at your local climbing wall can leave you aching for days. There are many different ways to climb from bouldering to high mountains.
Just remember you need to know what you’re doing when it comes to climbing. Go with an experienced friend or mountain guide.
- Climb Everest – only kidding! Who wants to shell out that much money to climb in a long queue when there are so many other mountains!
- Try speed climbing. This sport will be in the Olympics in 2020 for the first time. You basically hurl yourself up a climbing wall as fast as possible.
- Take up bouldering. A pure form of climbing – just you and a bouldering mat.
- Climb on a sea crag. There’s nothing quite like the tide coming in to make you climb harder!
- Try one of these must climb mountains almost anyone can summit!
How To Get Fit Through Yoga
Yoga is wonderful for all round body fitness and muscle strength. It’s a good way to supplement your other activities by keeping you strong and supple.
A regular yoga practice will help prevent the muscle imbalance associated with sports such as running. Find out more in my post:
Here are some tips to get fit with yoga:
- Develop a daily practice – even if its just 10 minutes a day. Read 5 Ways To Make Yoga A Daily Habit (That Actually Work).
- Supplement your yoga classes with online classes you can take anywhere – even on the beach!
- Go on a yoga retreat. Being away for a few days with like minded yogis will inspire and refresh.
- Take part in a wellness festival. Combine the excitement of big events with topping up your fitness levels!
- Try aerial yoga. It’s a fun way to practice your alignment while suspended from the ceiling!
How To Get Fit By Making Lifestyle Changes
Sometimes just small lifestyle changes can make a big difference to your overall fitness. Try out these tips:
- Walk to work (or get off the tube/bus a few stops before your normal stop).
- Run or cycle to work (best if you have showers at work).
- Ask your boss for a standing desk. (Standing is much better for you than sitting all day. It’s good for your back and burns extra calories).
- Take the stairs at every opportunity.
- Go for a walk in your lunch break.
- Leave your yoga mat out as a reminder to use it.
- Get up early and exercise first thing in the morning.
- Try a new sport.
- Sign up for a challenge (for charity) so you have to get fit and complete it.
How To Get Fit By Having Fun
This could be an endless list but here are just a few ideas, (it’s best to take a guide for many of these activities):
- Take part in a zombie race.
- Try paddle boarding.
- Discover Tai Chi and practice in your local park.
- Learn how to canoe and try sea kayaking.
- Go pot holing – squeezing yourself into tight places is a good incentive to lose weight!
- Try coasteering where you explore coastlines and jump into the sea.
- Take up deep water soloing – it’s a little like coasteering but you climb up the cliff before jumping off.
- Go for a night hike and tell ghost stories.
These are just a few ideas. The key to being fit is regular exercise. Instead of aiming for perfection, find some activities you enjoy and work them into your daily life.
If you have your own tips please add them below! I’d love to extend the list!