Hate the Gym? 11 Ways to Work Out Without Hitting the Gym

Not everyone enjoys sweating it out in a crowded gym. Here are some calorie-burning exercises that won’t feel like exercising (Bonus: Many allow you to accomplish tasks while also burning calories!):


Typical gardening (like pulling weeds and planting) burns an average of 200-400 calories per hour, while heavy yard work (such as landscaping, moving rocks and hauling dirt) can burn an average of 400-600 calories. Extend this exercise past summer by raking leaves in the fall and shoveling snow in the winter—all provide a great calorie burn!


Dust off your old Schwinn and hit the road! Biking can be an enjoyable way to get in cardio and leg work while breathing in fresh air. Riding your bike to a neighbor’s, the grocery store or work burns calories while also saving gas.


Hiking a nearby park can be a great way to enjoy the great outdoors while breaking a sweat. As a bonus, hiking and being in nature has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.


Whether as part of a class, following a video tutorial, or just for fun in the privacy of your own home, dancing can be a fun and full body workout. Lose yourself in the beat and movements while you also lose the weight!

Rock Climbing

There’s a reason indoor rock climbing is performed at a rock climbing “gym.” Rock climbing burns about 454 calories per hour on the way up, and 284 calories on the way down. The good news is whether done indoors or outdoors, rock climbing gives you a non-traditional (but fully comprehensive) workout.


If you love to be around the water, consider investing in a canoe or kayak. Using these water sport tools can help build your upper body strength and relax. Depending on your weight, you can burn about 350 calories per hour kayaking.


Another water-loving sport, swimming is a low-impact way to build muscles and strength. The good news is that with swimming, you can break a sweat without even feeling it.

Skating or skiing

Skating (like in-line or roller blades) and skiing (water or snow skiing) can help you burn calories with movement and balance. Both activities can be done year-round and build great core strength.

Doing chores

Doing chores around the house can burn many calories (and help keep your home looking beautiful). Consider washing the car, mowing the lawn, walking a pet, vacuuming, scrubbing or painting to shed the calories.


Doing historical walking tours—or even some sightseeing while walking to lunch—can help keep you in shape. As a bonus, you can explore and learn more about your local area!


Volunteering is a healthy way to work out while also helping others. Often, volunteer positions require manual labor (like lifting and stocking shelves), which builds body strength.

Don’t forget to balance exercise with nutritious meals for a healthy lifestyle. Healthy Meal Plan makes it easy to supplement your physical activity with food designed for energy, metabolism and muscle restoration.

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