7 Ways To Get Fit Without Equipment: How To Work Out Without A Gym Membership

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How can I stay fit without going to a gym?

This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Stephen Walling, Marathoner.

I have never had a gym membership, and I'm fit, if you define that as maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) and an ability do everything I want to do in life without being exhausted, injured, etc. With that in mind, here are things you can do that never require a gym or lots of expensive equipment, in order of intensity:

1. Stand Instead of Sit 

Try a standing desk, or just using your computer, book, phone, etc, at a countertop instead of a couch or chair. You can do this even in places like meetings or while you're talking on the phone.

2. Take A Walk 

A surprisingly large number of the most brilliant and interesting people have had a daily habit of going for a stroll. Walking is the kind of exercise that leaves room for you to think, and doesn't feel like "exercise" in that intense way.

3. Go Hiking

Just think of hiking as advanced walking, with more awe inspiring views.

4. Always Take The Stairs

It's a cheap way to get a hike-like exercise indoors.

5. Bodyweight Exercises

You can do all kinds of strength training without any equipment. Your dad or grandfather called this Calisthenics and you can do most of these pretty much anywhere or any time you like. A good beginner's list to try is the 7 Minute Workout by The New York Times. A controlled study actually showed that even just short daily workouts like this are as good for you as running a few miles.

6. Cycle 

Riding your bike for pleasure or for your commute is a great way to get aerobic exercise. If you're just riding to get some fresh air and a bit of exercise, you don't need a $10,000 carbon fiber road bike, so I think this still qualifies as much cheaper than a gym.

7. Run 

This one is pretty much a no-brainer. Maybe one of the best things about running is that you can do it whenever you want and almost where ever you want. See How do I get started with running?

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