How to keep fit at home with gym alternatives

There’s nothing like a good workout – but gyms are expensive. They’re noisy. They’re busy. They’re packed with guys who want to be seen lifting the biggest weights and gross people who sweat all over the treadmills and don’t wipe them off. Yes, we might be speaking from bitter experience here. So if you want to get fit but don’t fancy trekking to the gym every day, then you’re in the right place. 

Fortunately, we’ve come prepared. Outlining five of our favourite gym alternatives, we detail the ways you can get fit without gym access – and they all come with the happy bonus of helping you get fit for free!

1. Boost your cardio with a gentle jog

It’s a favourite for a reason. One of the old school gym alternatives, from a cardio and fitness point of view at least, there really is no simpler way of getting a sweat on than by heading out for a steady jog. Whether it’s early morning, late evening, or a quick lunchtime circuit, it’s as easy as stepping out your front door and maintaining a gentle pace. The only requirement is a pair of trainers. A very low-maintenance activity, there’s no specialist training or equipment required and it’s a sure-fire way to help you get fit for free.

If exercising is a means to achieving specific success, download a fitness tracker on your phone. With countless to choose from on the Apple App and Google Play stores, you’re bound to find one that suits your lifestyle. Not only do they accurately measure step count and calories burnt, but you’ll also be able to ‘keep score’ and monitor your progress as you improve your fitness.


2. Transform your housework experience

It’s truly astonishing just how many calories you can actually burn through performing simple household chores and tasks. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to get down and dirty with the dishes! In fact, taking just 30 minutes out to vacuum or change bedding can shift over 100 calories, while venturing outside, spending the same half hour raking, weeding, or mowing also works up a sweat to the same impact. Exercise at home has never been more productive!

Shake things up a bit and turn up the radio or your favourite playlist as you work. It’s a great way to get you moving a little more as you naturally follow the sway of the music. Put it this way: if you can sluggishly burn triple-digit calories ticking off your mundane checklist of jobs, imagine how many you can shake by submitting to a rhythm…

By shifting out of a lethargic mindset, and making daily chores a little cheerier, you’ll soon discover a more pleasurable side to traditionally laborious tasks.

3. Head out hiking

Learn to love your local beauty spots and get into the habit of enjoying a long, meandering walk on the moor side, along the river, or even just around the park. It’s the easiest way to get fit for free, after all. Heading out for a hike can be achieved year-round, just so long as you have appropriate footwear for the conditions!

Alternatively, if you live within a city or built-up environment, why not get out and explore the inner workings of your surroundings? You’ll be surprised with the discoveries you make in venturing beyond your doorstep and there’s a strong chance you’ll uncover some secret gems along the way.

4. Embrace the world of online fitness

Even if you can’t face the stresses of SoulCycle or the pressure of a gym class, that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved with a fun activity – just take it online. The good news is there’s so much to choose. With everything from yoga and Pilates to blood-pumping activity, finding an exercise that suits your lifestyle shouldn’t be too complicated.

If you’ve ever wondered how to get fit without gym equipment, you’re in the right place. Whether it’s subscribing to regular YouTube routines or following your favourite Instagram influencer’s daily classes, there’s endless discoveries to be made from the comfort of your own home and you’ll soon begin to see your living room in a completely new light!

Sometimes, facing the gruellingly cold outside world is a little too much to handle, so, with the necessity for gym alternatives, exercise at home could be the way forward. Try and squeeze in movement wherever possible, whether it’s before or after work or spread across the day.

5. Take advantage of local facilities

If sport is more your bag, one of the more common gym alternatives is making use of free facilities – they’re there for you to use so make them a part of your daily exercise routine.

From football fields to tennis courts, you’ll often find a good standard of surface to enjoy a kickabout or game of tennis at your leisure. The only downside is you might need a little specialist equipment, although nothing beyond a pair of boots/trainers or racket and ball. It’s a fun way to work up a sweat, and a great opportunity to improve your mental health through a little social interaction. 


Whether you’re just not a fan of the gym or looking for long-term alternatives that will help you get fit for free, you’re certain to find success with one of our suggestions. Explore the latest from thortful for more fun DIY tips, tricks and guides.