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When it comes to getting more active to lose weight, it can be hard to work up the motivation to go to the gym. Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to stay active without having to go to the gym.

One of the hardest parts of weight loss is finding the motivation to exercise. Whether it’s because it’s exhausting or because you don’t know what to do, starting is the hardest part of any workout regime. 

And one of the primary reasons many people never start exercising? 

Because the gym itself often doesn’t feel like a welcoming place. The atmosphere in many gyms is often a deterrent for anyone who is already reluctant to want to exercise. 

50% percent of Americans feel intimidated by the gym environment. It’s a leading reason why many people put off going to the gym at all. 

But putting off all exercise because some gym environments are intimidating will not put you on the road to living your healthiest and happiest life. While gyms could stand to be more welcoming and inviting to everyone who wants to get fit, avoiding exercise altogether isn’t the answer.

So when you’re ready to lose weight, but don’t want to go to the gym to get results, what kind of exercise is best?

Below are 5 alternatives to going to the gym so you can get effective workouts and hit your weight loss goals.

How to lose weight without having to go to the gym

1. Go for a run

Running is one of the best options to lose weight. For one, there are fewer barriers to starting—all you need is a pair of running shoes. You do not need to buy special equipment to run, nor do you need a gym membership.

And secondly, what running is great for is burning more calories in one workout session. Depending on your pace, 30 minutes of running can burn anywhere from 200 to 500 calories. It’s one of the best types of exercises to improve your cardiovascular system as well. 

2. Try HIIT from home

HIIT is high intensity interval training–a type of exercise that alternates between bursts of high activity with resting periods. For example, during a HIIT workout, you might do 45 seconds of squats followed by 15 seconds of rest. You would repeat that work and recover cycle until the end of the workout. 

What makes HIIT so effective for weight loss is that it combines cardio with strength training. You get the calorie-burning benefits of a cardio workout combined with the muscle-building benefits of strength training.

It’s also an excellent option for anyone who does not want to go to the gym because you can do it without any equipment at all. There are free videos online you can follow, which makes it something you can comfortably do from your own home. Plus, HIIT workouts are one of the most effective workouts you can do in a short about of time. Many HIIT workouts are under an hour, with some being only thirty minutes. 

3. Bodyweight strength training

Building more muscle is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. The reason is that muscle requires more energy to sustain itself. As a result, you can burn more calories throughout the day by building more muscle—even when at rest.

The best part of bodyweight strength training is that it requires no equipment at all and it makes up the foundation of any strength training routine. Exercises like pushups, planks, squats, and lunges get your heart rate up, burn calories, and help you build muscle. 

4. Walking and hiking

Walking alone can be one of the most effective ways to increase weight loss when combined with a healthy diet. 

A brisk or fast-paced walk for 30 minutes can burn around 150 calories. That might not sound like a lot, but when your goal in weight loss is to expend more energy than you take in, this amount can help you get in the range of weight loss.

But walking has other benefits like helping improve your cardiovascular system and your mobility. Plus, when the weather is right to walk outside, it also helps you get 

This is especially true of hiking. Plus, when hiking due to the increase in difficulty as you climb at steeper inclines, you will burn more calories in less time. Hiking also helps you develop your leg muscles as you use more of your quads and glutes to propel your body upwards. And as we know from before, building muscle helps you burn more calories at rest.

5. Swimming

If you have access to a pool, swimming is one of the most enjoyable ways to get active and lose weight. It’s easy to feel light and free in the pool, it’s easy to overlook how much energy you actually exert as you swim. But in 30 minutes of swimming laps in the pool, you can burn 250 calories.

Not only that, but swimming helps develop your latissimus dorsi, also known as “lats”. These are the muscles down your back, and as they get stronger, your posture improves. 

Ready for help losing weight?

Losing weight becomes more manageable when you have the right plan and ongoing support. At Valley Medical Weight Loss, you get weekly check-ins with your doctor and a plan tailored to your specific needs. 

To get your initial consult, visit your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss Center today.

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