Thank you BJ’s Wholesale Club for sponsoring this post.
Like a lot of moms, I’m extremely busy. I have two kids under 6, I work full-time as an Assistant Dean at a University, I travel a lot for work, and I also somehow manage to maintain nearly a full-time side-hustle as a blogger, while trying to also fit in family time and parenting duties. It’s a lot. The first thing to go is getting to the gym, so I’ve had to get really creative on other ways to get more exercise throughout my day.
Since moving to Boston, it’s been really difficult for me to find time to go to the gym. Back in Phoenix, I lived less than 5 minutes from a major national gym that also offers really great rates. In Boston, the nearest decent gym that’s also affordable is at least 20 minutes away. Unfortunately, this means I hardly ever get there. Of course, distance and time are convenient excuses, but it’s difficult to find the space and time to get there. Thus, I’ve had to figure out other ways to fit in exercise without actually going to the gym.
Despite the fashion posts I create for the blog, on most nights and weekends, I wear pretty casual clothes. A lot of the time, you’ll actually find me in athletic and gym clothes like this outfit I’m wearing from BJ’s Wholesale Club. Leggings are so comfortable, and this shirt is super handy with my kids because there is a zip pocket on the back for my keys. It’s really perfect for running errands or a trip to the park.
I’m definitely one of the people who is happy about the athleisure trend. I’m also really into this outfit because it’s functional, comfortable, stylish, and was extremely reasonably-priced. BJ’s Wholesale Club is a one-stop-shop for the latest trends in apparel – you can dress the whole family with BJ’s extended selection of kids’ sizes ranging from 7-14 for girls and 8-20 for boys.
BJ’s is committed to providing families with the best value of any supermarket or club. Families can save $500 a year, including 25% off grocery store prices. Plus, you can share your savings through the refer-a-friend program. When you refer a friend by visiting BJs.com you and your friend will both receive a $25 gift card when your friend joins.
Here are 7 ideas to do more exercise without going to the gym.
7 Ways to Get More Exercise Without a Gym
1. Walk More
The best part of moving to Boston for me has been the public transportation. I know that might sound weird, but as someone who values the social and environmental benefits of public transportation, it feels good to take the train to work every day. Plus, if you’ve driven in Boston, you know that it’s pretty terrible and extremely stressful to have to drive here. The added benefit of public transportation for me is that I walk at least 2-3 miles every day. Although this still doesn’t get me to the amount of exercise I should get in a day, it does get me a lot closer.
2. Take the Stairs Intentionally
Once a day at work, I force myself to take the stairs to the 6th floor. To be honest, by the 4th floor, I’m usually pretty winded. But walking up and down stairs is such a great way to fit in exercise throughout your day. If you work in a building with stairs, try using them as a quick break, to get a little exercise and get your heart going. On my commute home, I also have to walk up 4 flights of stairs to get to the bridge that crosses a river toward my house. I’ve seriously noticed an improvement in the muscle tone in my legs, which I think is an added benefit of my daily commute and also the next point – a standing desk.
3. Buy a Standing Desk
When I arrived at my new office, I was surprised and excited to find a standing desk. It’s the kind that actually goes up and down so I can stand or sit throughout the day, depending on my mood. The surprising thing I’ve found Is that I hardly ever sit. I love standing so much and I actually find I’m more productive when I’m standing. They can be pricey, but I think they are totally worth it. It is so much better for our bodies to stand and not to sit too much, so a standing desk is so helpful in this regard.
4. Play Harder with Your Kids
Let’s be honest, our kids love it when we play with them. I can’t even tell you how many times my kids have asked me to play tag or run races with them. Most of the time, I decline the requests. Playing with our kids is a really simple and meaningful way to fit more exercise into our days. Thinking back on my own childhood, I can distinctly remember moments when my parents played physical games with me – shooting hoops with my dad, running races with him, playing catch. Even though my mom wasn’t into sports, the times she tried to play catch with me really stand out in my memory.
This is giving me incentive, to get more physically active with my kids on a regular basis. They just started riding bikes, and I can’t wait until they get a bit better so we can start going on bike rides together. In the summer, I also like to swim with them, so those are a couple of fun ways to get involved with the kids in the summer.
5. Carry Your Groceries
Instead of using a cart, carry your groceries. You’d be surprised what a good arm workout you can get from carrying groceries. Just the other day, I had a gallon of iced tea in one hand and a full bag of groceries in the other. I actually used them as dumbbells. As I walked to the car, I literally curled them. I’m sure this looked very silly, but I doubt anyone even noticed. Plus, even if they did, I don’t care. I got a mini bicep workout while I walked to my car
6. Park Far Away
No matter where you drive to, don’t park right in front of the store or work. Park in the back of the lot and walk. I know this won’t get you to reach your daily steps. But it will definitely increase the amount of walking you do each day.
7. Add Some Body Weight Exercises
There’s no gym equipment required to do certain functional fitness activities like squats, lunges, and pushups. You can pretty much do these activities anywhere, even without gym clothes or tennis shoes. If you have a few minutes break or you are feeling tired or lethargic, why not break out 25 squats, 25 lunges and 25 pushups (girl ones count too). I am certain that will get your blood flowing and will get you stronger in no time.
These are just a few simple ways to get more exercise daily life without having to go to the gym. It’s been almost 10 months since I moved to Boston and despite having way less gym time, I’d say my overall fitness level has remained about the same. My legs are stronger, thanks to the walking, standing desk and stairs. I think my arms, chest and back are a little weaker. I will need to find more ways to get upper body exercises into my daily fitness routine. The good news is, I have actually lost weight while improving leg strength, all without a gym. Excuses for letting ourselves go are easy, putting in the work doesn’t have to be that hard. I hope these ideas help you fit in more fitness too.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.