Those with unrealized fitness goals tend to put off working out because they don’t have the time or the money for the gym. But all three types of exercise that make up a well-rounded regimen – slow movement, sprinting, and lifting – can be completed just as effectively at home, or in the great outdoors. Below are some helpful tips to get a complete workout without the membership.

Long and Slow

Moving great distances at an easy pace, such as a nice hike in the woods or a swim in the ocean, doesn’t just improve your blood glucose control or help you lose weight. It can lift your mood, lower stress, and boost your everyday energy levels.

On sunny days, the vitamin D intake from being outdoors offers its own health benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties that can give you an immune system boost. Even if you aren’t an outdoors enthusiast, a long walk around the neighborhood a few days a week can be just as effective as hiking, cycling or swimming.

Fast and Furious

Ten or fifteen minutes is all it takes to complete a sprint workout, including short breaks for rest. Sprinting involves just about any aerobic activity that you do at maximum effort in intervals of 30 seconds up to a few minutes at a time. After a warm up, sprinting is about working up to high effort exercise, somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of your body’s maximum heart rate.

You can run up stairs or a hill, skip rope, swim as fast as you can, or even just turn on some music and dance. Whatever you choose to do, sprinting can improve your performance across the board by increasing insulin sensitivity and boosting muscle efficiency and cardiovascular capacity.

Hard and Heavy

Most people are intimidated by trying weight training at home, but you don’t need any fancy equipment to get started. A study in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Journal of Health and Fitness identified 12 exercises that can be completed with just your body, a chair, and a wall. These exercises make up a seven-minute set that gives your body everything it needs to turn hard work into hard muscle.

If you can fill your week with these three activities — a couple body weight workouts, one sprint session and two or three long walks — you won’t just be saving money on that gym membership. You might just find that the great outdoors makes for a better workout than the gym ever could.

Sources:

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2013/06/03/dc13-0084.abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3119587/

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/06/how-walking-in-nature-prevents-depression/397172/

http://harvardmagazine.com/2015/05/is-vitamin-d-a-wonder-pill

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131003132112.htm

http://jap.physiology.org/content/98/6/1985

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22540332

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16825308

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2958671