• Taking a regular walk is a great excuse to get out
  • Burn calories as you undertake housework
  • Even a sauna can help circulation

Keen to get fit, but not in the mood to hammer it out at the gym? Read on to find out how you can get into the exercise zone with lower-impact alternatives

For many of us, while we like the idea of keeping fit and appreciate the sentiment behind it – healthy body and mind – however, the idea of sweating it out at the gym is less than appealing. Do you have the time to go and can you afford the monthly fee?

From high-energy classes the likes of which we've seen on those Insanity infomercials, to muscle-destroying workouts, many gym routines don't necessarily leave us feeling enthused.

There are, however, more sedate lower-impact alternatives for those of us who don’t want to sweat it out in a gym:

Take a stroll

Walking is one of the most understated forms of exercise around, but it is often taken for granted because it’s so routine and normal. It doesn’t come across as being anything other than functional, yet it’s also one the simplest way of losing weight, getting healthier and becoming more active.

Even if you take the bus to work or to the shops, why not jump on one or two stops later or get off before your final destination? Or maybe walk to get the paper and milk at the weekend – do you really need to fire up the car? Maybe your neighbour would appreciate you taking out their dogs for a walk – you and the pooch both get some exercise and you do a good turn at the same time. 

Burn calories in your ‘home gym’

We’ve all heard of spring cleaning, but what about autumn cleaning? If the weather has turned sour, why not use the opportunity to burn some calories by clearing out your garage or making some room under the stairs. Climbing up and down the loft ladder while tidying out the attic will also add to the calorie burn – It’s a home-based extreme form of step aerobics after all!

Giving the garden its final tidy before winter can also be very satisfying and exercise your muscles – and think how rewarding it will be to see the tidy back yard or garden – one more thing ticked off your ‘to do’ list. 

Sit back, relax and enjoy a sauna

After all that walking and tidying up you’ll probably feel like relaxing. Maybe a sauna? Yes, really, enjoying a sauna has its benefits. Although it is entirely passive, studies have shown that a daily, 15-minute stint in a hot room can help keep your heart in good order, boosts blood circulation and rid your body of toxins.

We all want to be more active, but what we’re looking for is something that is feasible, enjoyable and practical.

Of course, you should speak to your GP before you embark on any significant change to your exercise regime.

And share your ideas too. We'd love to hear about your exercise tips for outside the gym.