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How to Get Fit Without a Gym

Get in shape with zumba

Do you dread going to the gym? Does the thought of being around buff bodies in Lycra fill you with apprehension? There’s an assumption that you have to be a gym bunny to get fit, but that’s simply not the case. While many people love working up a sweat at the gym, it’s not for everyone. If you’d rather be alone, want to be outdoors, or simply find the fitness clubs boring, here’s how to get fit without a gym. There are other ways, and you might love one of the options below!

Bootcamps and fitness classes are popular with people who don’t want to go to the gym or as a gym alternative. Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain.


Bootcamps and military fitness classes have become very popular over the last few years. The idea of someone shouting and screaming at you may not seem all that fun, but this is a great option if you want to push yourself and lack motivation.

For example, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t run the extra mile or aim to lift a PB (personal best) every time, bootcamps might provide the push you need to up your fitness level. When you’ve got a trainer spurring you on, you can learn a lot about your character. And the instructor will likely push you harder than in a normal gym session.

Bootcamps also can deliver fitness results quickly. Plus, if you like being outdoors in a group then it’s likely one to try! If you find the concept intimidating but want to give it a go, take some friends along with you for moral support.  

Dance to Get Fit Without a Gym

Do you love to dance on a Saturday night? Are you the first on the dance floor and the last to leave? If so, take some dance-based exercise classes to get fit and have fun at the same time. Choose from a range of styles, such as:

  • Latin
  • Ballroom
  • Ballet
  • Zumba, or…
  • Try a bit of everything
Golf has many benefits, including plenty of walking and time outdoors. It’s another way to get fit without a gym. Photo via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain.


While you might associate golf with older people, it’s actually a trendy pursuit in recent years thanks to the successes of young professionals. Even if you don’t have visions of earning a cabinet full of golf trophies, it might be worth booking some lessons and seeing how you get on with the sport.

Golf isn’t the most strenuous activity but it does have many perks. For example, you’ll get outdoors, see some beautiful greens, and have social time. Plus, you’ll walk more than you realize over the course.


Lastly, a great spring and summer activity when the weather’s nice is playing tennis! When you get in shape with tennis, you’re also in the fresh air and enjoying the company of others. Fitness-wise, tennis works every major muscle group. You’ll need stamina to go the distance and speed to cover the court.

It’s a fast and exciting sport! If you’re itching to get on a court, have a look online for local clubs and facilities.

Getting Fit Without a Gym: Final Words

Does the gym bore you or you’re too nervous to even walk through the door? If you’re not a fan of the fitness club, you don’t have to give up. Instead, there are many other activities to try for better long-term physical health. Hopefully, the suggestions above have got you thinking and you’ll find a new sport you love in no time.

What’s your go-to fitness activity if you’re not going to the gym?

71 thoughts on “How to Get Fit Without a Gym”

  1. Love all of these! I talk to so many people who absolutely HATE the idea of working out; they have this idea in their head that exercise = instense, sweaty, pain. I firmly believe that there is a type of exercise out there to fit every lifestyle/personality. I recently shared some of my personal tips that I use to look and feel my best. I am hoping they can help anyone who despises the word “diet” or dreads a work out :)

  2. Riding a bicycle is as simple as it gets. No need to
    re-invent the wheel. Get on a bike, take a 20 minute
    bike ride & breath in some fresh air. Fitness 101.

    It blows my mind that people actually pay for a gym
    membership to sit in a spin class? Not to mention
    how unhygienic it is using equipment that hundreds
    of people are coming into contact with. No thank you

    1. I actually like spin class :) It’s the motivation of the teacher that resonates with me – and pushes me to the next level in my workouts. The bikes are cleaned at the end of each workout with disinfectant. And I wash my hands upon getting home. To each their own :) Stay fit, be happy xx

    2. Very true, but today there is MRSA, resistant
      bacteria. I am always shocked seeing people
      in hospital scrubs going straight to the gym
      after work it creeps me out thoroughly.

      My mother did her nursing & midwifery training in the UK, & she always told me that their facilities had ON SITE laundry, so no contaminated clothing EVER left the hospital.

      In the US it is a very different story indeed.

    3. Eeek wearing scrubs to the gym –>> I just got the shivers.. Noooo! Thanks for the heads up as really I want to be healthy and happy.. Taking your points under consideration, my friend. Your comments are thoughtful and I appreciate them.

  3. Great tips here, I personally love to play netball…It helps to motivate you when you have a team of girls who you don’t want to let down by not turning up!

  4. I wish I could do these in my recliner with my laptop. Ha ha. Great options, Christy. I’ve found that I can read on my elliptical and I can get the legs moving and heart pumping enjoyably. :-)

    1. Ohhh reading AND exercising at the same time – now THAT is going to keep you going :D You’re a reading machine this summer, Diana!

    2. Haha – exactly! By the way, excellent guest post over on Sue’s site :) I was just over at Debby’s “house” and saw it. Happy weekend to you in your recliner xx

    1. Great :) And now that it’s summer there’s more opportunity to do outdoor activities. We have some nice walking trails here. Enjoy your weekend <3

  5. YES to the dancing. I have to add TRY PARTNERSHIP DANCING. It is a romantic, fun way to get into shape with your spouse. Nothing burns calories quite like the swing or two-step!

    1. Cool about your belly-dancing past! It’s a good point you make that we have to alter the exercises as we age and that weights are an important part of a fitness routine. Thanks Les for participating in the conversation xx

    1. The gyms are likely quieter than usual now that it’s summer and more people are taking advantage of the nicer weather. Great to see you, John!

  6. I have been doing a lot more walking than what I used to do, albeit it has fallen a little by the wayside over the past few weeks, I will pick it up again at some point, it did a lot of good for me. Did used to swim twice a week but cut this due to my current circumstances, made me feel good at the time, and yes I do miss it. Now, here is another thought or a few for you, what about the one’s I would class as ‘natural exercise’, “getting fit without the gym”, as in, keep moving during every day tasks, make exercise work alongside, fit naturally with your daily activities? gardening – natural growth, exercise (connection between this blog and your recycling one), keeping moving as a family or with friends, encourage ‘play’, outdoor ‘play’, ‘activities’ examples, friends playing football, netball, rounders, hockey, volleyball, cross country running, tag (cannot remember how that one was played), some of my childhood favourites. Putting a ‘business’ slant to it, don’t IM someone, don’t pick up the phone, don’t send an email, don’t fill in one of those ahhhhh I hate saying this database fields, get off one’s butt, walk, go and talk to a person, integrate routine exercise with your day :)

    1. These are all wonderful suggestions for being active and also making the most of the day (they often go hand in hand) :) There are so many options. There’s also parking farther away from the store than you normally would to get in a few extra steps. I hope you get back to swimming soon as it sounds like it was quite enjoyable for you. Wishing you a nice weekend!

    2. Yes there are, much forgotten, disregarded options but think people are more attracted to ‘the status’ of something now rather than the practicalities of something these days. I did enjoy swimming albeit not at first. Thought I would be able to do 20 lengths no problem. Ha needed to think again. I did do them but not as easily as I thought, after which exited the pool via the deep end steps, full of the wobbles, nearly fell back in haha but, hey I persevered, setting myself wee targets each time I went. If I remember correct I was at 55 lengths in around 40-50 minutes, depending upon how busy the pool was.

    1. Great that the gym works for you, Chris! And awesome that you vary the type of exercises to keep them exciting :) This is exactly how to keep on the fitness trail. Happy weekend!

  7. Amazing post about fitness. I use a Fitbit to help me but I wish I had read this article before I had one. Great advice 💗💗💗

  8. You know I love really long walks. It’s the only exercise I truly enjoy. Long walks bear great results. While walking, when I walk past windows, I check to see if I have remembered my posture. After about 15 minutes, I feel my core muscles kicking in.
    Picking up groceries on the way home adds some weight bearing, & and I have little barbells at home, which I am guilty of conveniently forgetting exist.
    Thanks for the reminder, and I am going to look up some core muscle exercises when I leave here.
    Boot Camp? The only Boot Camp I’m going to, possibly, is one where they teach the craft of making boots! LOL!

  9. If the only way to exercise was by going to a gym-I’d be very out of shape. I have found a dance class that I attend 2 to 3 times a week that gives me more exercise than anything else I’ve ever done, including the times I was a runner as well as a tennis player. Dancing and walking and yoga make me feel like a fit woman! Such a great post, Christy.

  10. You need to include some weight bearing exercises into your fitness program. There are ways to do this without going to the gym, but this is a must; not an option.

    1. I would always suggest getting doctor’s approval before starting any weight program. Thanks for the additional feedback, Wm.!

  11. This is good information. Joining a class definitely builds momentum, and pushes you to go further. I find things I love to motivate me to workout such as, spinning, jazzercise, and walk/running intervals. I focus on how much better, and more energized I feel instead of becoming overly fixated on the results to stay committed. I think of physical activity as an important part of everyday life, versus a means to and end and this helps me to remain consistent.

    1. I like how I feel so much better mentally and physically after a workout :) I love your sharing of your positive experiences here!

  12. Hi Christy!
    I really enjoyed this post because I am definitely one of those ladies who will probably never be a gym bunny. I have just never felt really comfortable in that setting unless there was a dance class in a studio.
    It’s great to see that there are other ways to get fit that don’t involve going to the gym!

    <3 Alana

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