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15 Ways to get a Killer Workout in Without Stepping Foot in A Gym

July 27, 2018

Getting physically fit does not mean you have to spend a lot of money or buy an expensive gym membership, although, many gyms are reasonably priced and can offer excellent workout opportunities.  If you really don’t want to step foot in a gym, the following 15 options may work for you!

15 Killer Workout Options


No, it is not trendy or glamorous, but walking at a moderate to vigorous pace for 30 or more minutes per day has been scientifically proven to improve your fitness level and help you lose or maintain your weight. Walking outside in nature is fantastic, but if the weather is bad, walking inside around a shopping mall or large store will do the trick! After getting the ok from your doctor, start walking 3 days per week for 15-20 minutes. Gradually increase the duration and frequency of your walks.  Increasing gradually can keep you from developing overuse injuries.

High-Intensity Intervals

Sounds complicated, but pretty simple and easy to follow.  Perform a high intensity (gets your heart rate up fast) as many times as you can in a specific (and short) amount of time.  Rest, then repeat.  Some examples would be to do jumping jacks for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds.  Repeat 8 times (adds up to be 4 minutes).  This form of exercise can become quite intense and should be done no more than 1-2 times per week, but adding in some high-intensity intervals to your walking routine may help you see results faster!

Bodyweight training

Using your own body weight as resistance is a tried and true form of physical training.  It requires no equipment and very little space.  Squats, lunges, pushups, triceps dips, planks, sit-ups, abdominal crunches, back extensions, and leg lifts are all examples of body weight exercises.  Aim to work each muscle group in 30 minutes.  Be sure to rest between body weight exercise days, and aim to add in body weight exercises 2-3 days per week.


Have fun, meet people, spend time with friends, and get fit?  What could be better?!  Numerous adult sports teams exist in towns all over the country.  Softball, baseball, soccer, rowing, tennis, racquetball, handball, and volleyball are just a few examples.  Check your local community center or search online for a team near you!


Make a playlist or push play on your favorite CD (or tape or record) and move to the music for 30 minutes a day.  Be sure to set a timer (or create a playlist that is the perfect length) and try to keep moving throughout the entire 30 minutes.  You will not only be fitting in fitness, but dancing has been scientifically proven to elevate your mood and studies are showing a strong correlation between dancing and brain health.

Free classes on the television or the Internet

Maybe you don’t want to go to a gym or fitness studio, but you like the idea of a fitness class.  Public Broadcasting Stations often offer fitness class that can be done in the comfort of your own home.  The Internet is full of full-length classes encompassing almost any type of fitness program on the market.  As with anything on the Internet, beware of scams, phishing schemes, etc.

Fee-based at-home programs

Many of your favorite types of group exercise classes can be streamed directly into your home!  You can get the best of both worlds-amazing group fitness classes and the comfort and flexibility of doing it in your own home!

Equipment plus apps

One of the newest trends to hit the market today are equipment (treadmills and indoor cycles, for example) that live stream classes from a studio.  Many have on-demand options to further increase the flexibility of this type of training.

Climbing stairs

Don’t have a stair-climbing machine, but you have a set of stairs in your home?  Put on some great music and climb up and down the stairs for 30 minutes a day.

Jumping rope

This type of exercise can be quite strenuous and may not be ideal for someone who is new to exercise, but jumping rope can give you a killer cardio workout in a short amount of time.


Dust of your beach cruiser and take it for a spin outside.  Or maybe you have a stationary bicycle gathering dust.  Commit to riding for 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.

Lifting weights

Purchasing an inexpensive set of dumbbells (or using ordinary household items such as cans) may help you tone up those trouble spots and increase overall muscle mass-which leads to an increase in the number of calories you burn throughout the day!

Chair Exercises

Chair Exercises can be an especially good option if you are new to exercise or just getting back into exercise after a long absence.

Find a straight, high backed, stable chair to use in all the exercises. Start sitting in the chair with your feet on the floor and lift your right knee, put your foot back to the floor, then lift your left knee.

Keep alternating your knee lifts for one minute.

As you start to feel more comfortable with this movement, you can add some arms, bending your arms at the elbow and slightly lifting opposite arm as your leg, as if you were running in place. You can add an extension of your leg to increase the work.

Lift one knee, extend the leg straight, bend the knee, and put your foot back down to the floor.  This move can also be done in an alternating fashion.

A playground ball makes a great addition to chair exercises. Sit towards the edge of your chair and place the playground ball between your thighs. Exhale as you squeeze on the ball, inhale as you release that squeeze.  Perform this exercise for one minute. You can alternate knee lifts and ball squeezes to get you on the right path to physical fitness.


If you are lucky enough to have a pool in your backyard, swimming and other water exercises are a great way to stay physically active!  Many communities have swimming pools for use at a minimum cost to you and often they will have a designated time for lap swimming.


While you may not equate yoga with a killer workout, many studies have shown that yoga can build strength and increase flexibility, making you more physically fit.  Yoga has also been shown to aid in weight loss, perhaps by decreasing inflammation, increasing a sense of well being, and decreasing your appetite. Check online, on cable television, or your local library for yoga resources.


Whatever options you choose, start today and you will be on your way to increased physical fitness!


Nikhilesh Sekhar MD, FACS, FASMBS currently practices at New York Bariatric Group and has performed hundreds of WLS procedures including Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass, Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy and Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding. He also has background performing laparoscopic Nissen, laparoscopic inguinal and ventral hernia repair, laparoscopic colectomy and laparoscopic lymphadenectomy. Read more articles from Dr. Sekhar