How To Work Out If You're Not A "Gym Person," Because There Are So Many Options

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I like a good sweat as much as the next person, but the gym is not my jam. I'm the kind of person gyms love — I sign up, and then I never set foot in the place again. Same? If you're wondering how to work out if you're not a gym person, there are a lot of options that don't involve touching gross fitness equipment. Whatever your reasons for avoiding the gym, it doesn't mean you can't get a little exercise in on your own.

Whether it's walking around your city, running up and down stairs (you can even do this at a subway station), biking, hiking, roller skating, swimming, doing yoga at home, and more, there are tons of fitness options at your fingertips. Before gyms were a thing, people got all of their exercise playing sports, spending time outdoors, or simply lifting soups cans at home in place of free weights. What's more, exercise doesn't have to feel like a chore if it involves something you enjoy doing, which is pretty much the secret to everything in life. If you're looking for some ways to get your sweat on without setting foot in a gym, here are some fun ways to work out.

1. Walking


Walking is a great way to get in a little exercise, and it's something you have to do anyways. I end up walking about five miles a day just walking my dog. If you want to get more walking in, use your getaway sticks to get to where you're going instead of driving or taking the subway. Even if you don't have a FitBit, you can use that little health-button thingy on your phone to track your steps.

2. Scientific 7-Minute Workout

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If the mere thought of working out fills you with dread, you can actually get it all over in seven minutes. Check out the Scientific 7-Minute Workout, which incorporates cardio, abs, and strength training in a super-fast workout you can do at home. The best part? If you do it right when you wake up you don't have to think about it for the rest of the day. This is my go-to when I'm busy AF because I can do it and forget about it.

3. Roller Skating


I don't know about you, but HBO's Sharp Objects filled me with roller-skating FOMO, and I immediately ordered myself a pair of roller skates from Amazon. Roller skates are back, they'll totally transport you back to those childhood skate parties, and roller skating is a super fun way to get a workout in.

4. Swimming


Most cities and towns have public pools that offer hours for lap swimmers on the cheap. If you have access to a pool, swimming is a great way to get a zen, low-impact workout when you want to feel like a fish.

5. Fitness Apps


If the gym is not your jam, but you still need some motivation to get going, there are tons of fitness apps that can help you create a personalized workout, provide nutrition advice, and even offer virtual coaching to keep you working toward your fitness goals like a boss.

6. Dancing

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Love to dance? Aside from hitting the clubs on Saturday night, there's a dance video on YouTube for everyone. Not only is dancing a powerful way to work up a sweat and tone your body, it's also a proven way to relieve anxiety and stress.

7. Gym In A Bag


Grab all of your gear — a yoga mat, free weights, and resistance bands — throw it in a bag, and head to your favorite outdoor location. You really don't need much to get in a good workout, and by making your own gym in a bag, you can carry everything you need with you wherever you go.

8. Walking Your Dog


If you have a dog, consider taking Fido for more walks so you can both get in a little bit of exercise. When I first started working from home, I began walking my dog a lot more as a way to ensure I got up from my desk every few hours. If you don't have a dog, most animal rescues and shelters rely on volunteers to walk their dogs. Find a shelter near you and ask how you can help, which will also help you get in a workout. It's a win win.

9. Take The Stairs


Getting in a workout can be as easy as taking the stairs. If it's safe to do so, opt for the stairs instead of the elevator at your office or apartment. Many cities also have hidden staircases all over town. Find the outdoor stairs near you, turn up your favorite tunes, and start climbing.

10. Biking


If you haven't been on a bike since you were a tween, you're totally missing out. Along with roller skates, I recently got a bike, and I totally love it. You can grab yourself a beach cruiser at places like Target for a little more than $100. Tune in to your favorite podcast, find the nearest bike path, and enjoy the ride. The key to getting in a good workout without going to the gym is not overthinking it. Do something you enjoy that also makes you feel good, and you'll win at workouts.