How to Exercise Without Joining a Gym

Want to get fit without having to go to the gym? You're not alone! Noisy, crowded, expensive gyms certainly aren't for everyone. These steps will help you attain physical fitness without having to pay a membership fee!


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    Turn off your TV or computer, and get out of the house. Sometimes getting yourself to exercise is as simple as telling yourself to open the front door.
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    Walk or bike to work, instead of driving or taking public transport. Don't forget that walking is a mode of transportation, as well as a mode of exercise.
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    Develop a routine. Whatever your favorite type of exercise may be, you're more likely to do it if you make it a regular habit. If running is your thing, start running on a schedule. You can begin by just running a short distance once or twice a week. Over time, run longer distances more frequently. This is a great way to get in shape, because you set your own pace, and you control your own progress.
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    Rediscover the great outdoors! Go on a hike with a friend, or take a walk in the park. Find a nearby fitness trail. You'll probably be too distracted by how good it feels to be outside to even realize that you're exercising.
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    Buy a workout DVD, or rent one from your local library. It's fairly easy to find workout videos (dance, Pilates, yoga, Tae Bo, aerobics, etc.). Pick out something that sounds fun!
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    Invest in work-out tools that you'll be able to use for a long time. Yoga mats, dumbbells, jump ropes, and stability balls don't cost much, and they're versatile enough for you to get a lot of mileage out of them. Try to buy tools that will go well with your workout videos, if you have them. Consider buying a cheap home gym. Home gyms rely on elastic bands that generate up to 250 pounds of resistance, providing a full-body workout. They are versatile, portable and inexpensive.
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    Look for free or inexpensive exercise classes. Many colleges and community centers offer this sort of thing. If you can find a class that's really fun (such as a ballroom dancing or swing-dancing class), you might forget that you're burning calories, because you'll be too busy enjoying yourself! You might even make a few friends in the process. Social interaction can be a great motivator.
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    Sign up for a marathon, or start training for a century. Many marathons and centuries are benefits for a good cause, so you'll be able to feel that you're doing something altruistic while also getting in shape. These tend to be fun, social events. You'll enjoy a sense of solidarity and camaraderie when you find that there are other people out there who are doing exactly what you're doing.
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    Rediscover the joy of dancing. This can mean something as simple as turning on your radio and dancing in your own room; or it can mean going out to a club and dancing in a social setting. Just don't be one of those people who has to drink alcohol in order to dance, as this will only be counterproductive to your goal of getting in shape.
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    Be active. Do the same simple exercises that you did during gym class in high school (sit-ups, crunches, push-ups, etc.). Shoot hoops with friends and neighbors, or organize an impromptu game of badminton in your own backyard! Clean your house, go shopping, see your friends, and check out local art galleries or museums. Hang out with kids. Even the small things (bending over, picking up heavy objects, and opening doors) add up. Fill any down-time with short workouts. If you're bored, go for a walk. If you have a few minutes to kill while waiting for someone to show up, do a few push-ups. Be creative!


  • Dancing is an excellent way to get an exercise. You can do it in the comfort of your own home, to whatever music you like best.
  • Try running at intervals. Sprint for twenty seconds, and then slow down for ten seconds. Treat each interval as you would a set in weight-lifting. Try to do three or four intervals.
  • Try to find a friend to exercise with. You can motivate one-another. Friendly competition can be a good thing.
  • Avoid gimmicky exercise gear that you won't realistically use.
  • Look for exercise books, DVDs, and videos at your local library.


  • Develop healthy eating habits that complement your exercise routine.
  • Remember to always warm up and stretch before working out.
  • Make sure to exercise correctly, in order to prevent physical injury or pain.
  • Exercise regularly in order to maintain a good body weight.
  • Check with your doctor before starting a fitness program.

Things You'll Need

  • Optional:
      • Exercise mat
      • Dumbbells (1 pound, 3 pound, 5 pound)
      • A jump rope
      • Stability ball
      • Bodylastics home gym
  • Mandatory:
      • A good attitude

Article Info

Categories: Personal Fitness