How many people do you know that have a gym membership, but they don’t use it? Are you in this category? The fact is, most people do not like going to the gym – but they still want to be in shape and to look good! However, unless you are super motivated, losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be quite the challenge without a regular fitness program.

Fortunately, there are many ways to get slim outside of the gym.

Workout DVDs

Workout DVDs are essential to the “gym-free” healthy lifestyle. There are so many varieties of workouts and is you’re looking to save on money, look no further. Forget purchasing expensive system DVDs (like P90x) and opt for the cheaper ones. Of course, if you want to buy a more expensive DVD workout set, be my guest. That is the beauty of workout DVDs: you can get a lot for a little. Even your local library usually has a few workout videos in stock for you to try before you buy. Websites like allow you to trade your older workout DVDs for newer titles…at little to no cost. It doesn’t matter if you want gentle yoga or Pilates, a hardcore strength workout, dancing or even step aerobics; workout DVDs can provide endless options.

Use your feet

The best cardio can be achieved through walking, hiking and running and persons of any fitness level can do all three. To begin, start with a walk then progress to a walk/jog interval routine and then (if you really want to up the ante) transition to a running routine. You can add variants like hills, increased or interval speed, added distance and increased time to your workouts to continue challenging yourself in new ways. Lace up a pair of running shoes and hit the trail, your neighborhood park or the streets of your neighborhood.

Back to basics

It’s time to break out the two wheeled machine. A bike is something many of us have but few of us use. Dust off the bike for a weekend ride. If you live close to work, try riding to work a few times a week to get a workout and save money.

Yard work

Oh the burn that yard work can give the muscles. Ask any regular gardener and you’ll find that yard work is hard work. Whether you haul dirt and compost, weed, rake, plant seedlings or mow the lawn (with a push mower, not a riding one) you will get an excellent workout. Hitting the gym will be a thought long lost after a good gardening session. In addition to being an effective calorie burner, your yard will look well manicured and spectacular. Your body will experience a range of motion through various planes and directions of movement, which help you develop strength, balance and coordination.

Everyday objects

Moms may be on to something when they do arm curls with five pound bottles of detergent. You don’t have to go to a gym to get a good strength training workout. Take stock in the items in your home: What could double as weights or other workout equipment. Everything from a towel to a can of peas to a liquid laundry detergent bottle can double as weights. Do squats with groceries for added weight. Just get creative and do a few moves everyday to transform your body sans gym.

Farmer’s Market workout

Here in San Diego, we have strawberry patches and Farmer’s Markets at every turn. Go out and pick some fresh fruit, get a nice walk in and before you know it you will have burned a few calories too. If you’re really into it, try joining a farm share that requires a commitment of hours (40 hours seems to be standard) over the growing season. The produce fresh, local and less expensive and you’ll be getting great exercise and learning a lot in the process.

Visit the Bootique Fitness blog

Our blog offers some awesome workout tips and exercise videos that you can do at home to help you get or stay in shape. You’ll also find healthy recipes, exercise tips for every fitness level and more. We’re always updating the blog so check back often for new information. Then, when you’re really ready to get in shape outside of the gym, join our outdoor fitness classes for women and Zumba dance classes.