Want to get fit without hitting the gym? Follow these tips

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Looking to tone up without hitting the gym? Try turning housework into a workout. Graphic by Erica Lewy/Northeastern University.

By Jason Kornwitz

News at Northeastern

Here are five gym​​free workout tips to help you build a fitter physique, with insight from Rui Li, an asso­ciate clin­ical pro­fessor in the Depart­ment of Health Sci­ences who studies training strate­gies for fit­ness and sport performance.

Turn house­work into a workout

Looking to tone up without hitting the gym? Try turning housework into a workout. Graphic by Erica Lewy/Northeastern University.
Looking to tone up without hitting the gym? Try turning housework into a workout. Graphic by Erica Lewy/Northeastern University.

Although doing house­work won’t replace your gym workout, it can sig­nif­i­cantly reduce your sit­ting time, better manage your blood sugar level, ele­vate your heart rate, and improve your overall health. For example, mop­ping the floor can burn more than twice the calo­ries you’d burn at rest—or even during a mod­erate workout.

Take advan­tage of TV time—which amounts to almost five hours per day for the average Amer­ican, according to a report from Nielsen

Don’t be a couch potato. If you have the space to make a workout sta­tion, you can invest in a stow­able exer­cise bike or tread­mill. You can also use free weights or exer­cise bands to work your whole body, all the while fol­lowing the rhythm of the music during a TV show or com­mer­cial. The goal should be to burn 300 to 500 calo­ries for every hour you exer­cise while watching TV.

Turn your home into your gym

There are plenty of body­weight exer­cises that you can do at home, including burpees, planks, and ply­o­metric push-​​ups. In order to com­bine both fat-​​burning and muscle-​​building, you may adopt any or all of the above exer­cises by adding a cardio move­ment or lunges in between each set. Just make sure your training ses­sion lasts at least 20 minutes.

Take the stairs

Taking the stairs is a great way to add phys­ical activity to your daily life. You just might take them more often than you do now if you think to your­self, “I am trying to take every oppor­tu­nity to stay active.”

Down­load a fit­ness app

Fit­ness apps can make your workout more struc­tured as well as pro­vide moti­va­tional cues and incentives—but they are only effec­tive when you take action; it’s ulti­mately up to you to make phys­ical activity part of your everyday life.

(This article is reproduced here with permission from News@Northeastern.)

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