If getting fit is at the top of your goals list this year, there are so many great activities and easy diet hacks that you can incorporate in your daily life without having to step foot in the gym. Whether it’s losing weight, living healthier, or improving your fitness, try this 30 day challenge and see how you can be fit without working out.
Not that the gym is bad.
It’s great for you! I just know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and that there are other ways to accomplish your goals besides doing squats and push ups.
Why The Gym Isn’t The Answer
The two biggest reasons why these get fit without the gym activities will help you get fit, lose weight, and feel awesome comes down to cortisol and gut health. You can lift weights until you are blue in the face, but if your hormones aren’t working in your favor or you have dysbiosis, workouts aren’t going to be enough.
Getting outside and into nature lowers cortisol levels.
Many of these activities get you out into nature, which will shift you to your parasympathetic system and give you an endorphin release. Both of which are great for lowering cortisol and regulating hormone levels.
Improving gut health is the easiest way to improve fitness, wellness, and happiness.
The nutrition hacks below will improve the good bacteria in your gut, making it easier for you to lose weight, give you more energy, and often get rid of feelings of anxiety and depression.
Disclosure: If it’s improved performance you are looking for, then your butt better be getting to the gym and getting stronger. It’s Victor’s specialty after all! But you can still add these 30 things to your day to help you live happier and healthier.
Remember, it’s all about aligning goals with actions.
Here ya go. Thirty things to do this month to be a fitter, healthier, and probably leaner YOU without a gym.
1 Blaze A New Trail: Find a trail near you (The Outbound is a great place to find hikes near you) and go for a hike. Nature does amazing things for the mind and body.
2 Walk or Run In A New Setting: This one doesn’t necessarily have to be in “nature” but it would definitely be a plus. All you have to do is go walk or run in a place you haven’t walked or ran. The excitement of newness will do wonders for your overall wellness and happiness.
3 Be A Kindergartener, Hopscotch or Jump Rope: Yep, for reals. It’ll make your kids’ day and it’ll add some movement to your day. Don’t have kids, that’s okay! You can still act playful and boost your wellness.
4 Take A Vinyasa Yoga Class: Trust me, yoga isn’t as intimidating as it seems. Start with an easy Vinyasa class if you’re new to it. I have vinyasa videos on our Nomads With A Purpose YouTube Channel if you prefer to practice at home. If you practice yoga often, try going outside your comfort zone and try new teachers and new styles of yoga.
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5 Bike To Run An Errand: Whether its 1 mile or 10, try using your bike as a means of transportation today.
6 Do Some Cartwheels: Go find a small patch of grass or sand and try some cartwheels for a little bit. Bring the kids and let them show you how it’s done 😉 If you don’t know how to do a cartwheel, here is a tutorial.
7 Drink a Greens Juice: If you have a juicer, make a greens juice with a combination of spinach, kale, celery, cucumber, beets, carrots, lemon, apples, ginger, or garlic. Or, head to Whole Foods or any other place with a juicing bar and order one. This is our favorite juicer if you decide to buy one.
8 Sprint Training: Go to a park and try to do 50 yard sprints 3 to 5 times. Do the first one slow, then build in speed so that your last one is the fastest. Or just play tag with your kids. It has the same effect and is more fun.
9 Try a Yin Yoga Class or MFR: Yin yoga, restorative yoga, or myofascial release are all great ways to recover from exercise or simply to reenergize your mind after a stressful day. Most yoga studios have yin or restorative yoga classes or you can find a free one on YouTube. We also have a very inexpensive Guided MFR Course that is perfect for recovery and stress relief.
10 Try a Water Sport: Pick any water sport to do today- kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, swimming, diving, etc. If you live somewhere that snows, go play in the snow–inner tube, ski, snowboard, ice skate. It all counts as a water sport.
11 Stretch While You Watch a Movie: Instead of sitting slouched over on the couch while you watch a movie, try killing two birds with one stone and stretch on your floor during the movie.
12 Try a Primal Workout: Some great primal movement patterns include animal walks like bear crawls or plyometrics like box bounds. Click here and choose any of these primal workouts to do. Primal workouts are a great way to move and exercise when you don’t have a lot of time and they don’t require weights.
13 Drink Kombucha: Kombucha is a probiotic and has many great health benefits. Buy some at a local health food store or read our blog How To Make Kombucha at Home.
14 Swing or Hang: Go to a park or playground and hang or swing on one of the bars for a little bit.
15 Eat 10 Servings of Veggies In One Day: You can do it.
16 Go by Scooter, or Skateboard, or Roller Blades: Go ride around like a kid for 30 minutes to an hour. Just have some fun!
17 Sit Quietly in Nature for 20 Minutes: Similar to meditation, find a quiet and comfortable place to sit outside in nature. The goal is not necessarily to sit perfectly still in half lotus and not think about anything. Just connect with your breath and see if you can lengthen the time it takes to inhale and exhale while you allow your mind to wander and reflect. No judgement on yourself. Breath with gratitude for spending time with your favorite person in the world…YOU
18 Play a Team Sport With Your Friends or Kids: Soccer, football, baseball/softball, volleyball, or even frisbee. Play a sport that involves a little bit of running and you can involve your kids in.
19 Go For a Bike Ride: Find a new bike route where you live or tour the city you live in by bike.
20 Have a European Style Dinner: Europeans have got some things nailed when it comes to eating. Dinner is one of those things. Try eating olives with cheese and wine before having a big, healthy meal with lots of well-sourced protein and salad for dinner. Don’t forget the artisan bread and French butter.
21 Jump into Water (The Colder the Better): Did you know that immersing yourself in cold water for short durations has huge health benefits? If you’re lucky and live by waterfalls, go jump into its pools. If not, find a lake or the ocean and go for a swim. No matter what it is, just jump in and splash around a bit. There isn’t much quite as playful as that. If all the water around you is frozen, go make snow angels and have a snowball fight with your kids or try finishing your shower with the water turned all the way to cold for 1-2 minutes.
22 Watch the Sunrise: Wake up before dawn and try to go sit somewhere with a great view of sunrise and watch the beautiful time of day occur. It’s my favorite way to start the day.
23 Brave the Ocean or Conquer a Fear: If you live near the ocean, I highly encourage you to go swim, boogie board, bodysurf, or surf in the ocean. Check out my video Teach Yourself To Surf. If you don’t live near the ocean then try to conquer another physical fear.
Related Blog: 3 Tips to Know Before Learning to Surf
24 Be Vegan for a Day: No animal products. No cheese, milk, butter, or meats. That means no goat, sheep, beef, chicken, pork, or any animal. Focus on veggies and whole grains. Honestly, this one is the hardest for me but can easily be done by focusing on all the great foods you can have: salads, squashes, beans, potatoes, coconut, nuts, olives, rice, quinoa, etc.
25 Try Mountain Biking: Download the Trail Forks app or go to their website to find mountain biking trails near you and aim to try a “green” trail (an easy route). It’s not as hard as it sounds. Most of the time green trails are wide, flat trails but keep an eye out for elevation change. The rating of difficulty doesn’t count for elevation change only how technical the trail is.
26 Go to a Farmers Market: Pretty much every city or town has a farmers market. If you don’t know of one, just google it. The quality of food at a farmers market is significantly higher than most grocery stores and the artisan foods are delicious. We love finding amazing sourdough breads at farmers markets.
27. Go Scramble Over Some Rocks They don’t have to be huge rocks. Just find some rocks that you can jump between, use your arms to pull yourself onto, or big rocks with handholds on them that you can hang on and move between. Here’s a video on tip for scrambling.
28 Try Rock Climbing: Find a climbing gym near you and try rock climbing for the day. Most gyms will have belay lessons so you can learn how to belay your partner or kids on routes in the gym. (Hint: bring another adult climbing with you so you can have someone to belay you.) Or hire a guide and try outdoor climbing. Click here to watch our video guide for your first time rock climbing.
Related Blog: Complete guide to learning how to Rock Climbing
29 Bag a Peak: Use The Outbound again and find a hike that goes to the top of a peak. The elevation change will be much harder but the views will be epic (hopefully). We love bagging peaks! Here are some guides to our favorite peaks.
- How To Thru Hike Eccles Pass, Frisco to Vail, Colorado (YouTube)
- Section 7 of the Colorado Trail (YouTube)
- Ten Mile Traverse, Colorado (YouTube)
- Quandary Peak, a Colorado 14er (YouTube)
- Mountain Boy Peak, Independence Pass, Colorado (YouTube)
- Highline Trail, Glacier National Park (YouTube)
- Day Hike Yosemite (YouTube) or (Blog Post)
- Best Hike in Rocky Mountain National Park (YouTube) or (Blog Post)
- Day Hiking The Enchantments, Washington (YouTube) or (Blog Post)
- Gray’s Peak from the south ridge, a Colorado 14er (YouTube) or (Blog Post)
30 Have a Trifecta Day: That means three sports in one day. There’s a good chance these sports will be ones you’ve done in the last 29 days. Now it’s time to live the ultimate playful day and try 3-in-1. My personal favorite trifecta is surf, climb, and yoga. Bonus points if you can go warrior style and eat very lightly throughout the day, then at dinnertime, throw down big time. Eat as much as you want as long as it’s well sourced.
Make fitness and health easy. Download and print it out this PDF, then check off each box off each activity when you complete it and see how fit you can be without needing to hit the gym.
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