You Don't Need a Gym to Exercise

Posted by Karen Archia on

Just starting out? Looking for a workout you can do outside of the gym? Becca Batttaglini, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Director of Lifetime Fitness suggest this workout plan to get you started at home with little or no equipment – just a floor and, if you choose, a mat.

 “Many people think you have to have a lot of equipment to get started, or going to a gym just doesn’t appeal to them or may be intimidating,” Battaglini said. “Exercise can be done any where you are.  If you work in an office, get up and do knee raises at your desk. Run or walk up stairs in any building.”

 When choosing a routine, Battaglini recommends you aim for a well-rounded exercise program that includes cardio, weight training and flexibility. Knowing how to put these together in a week of workouts can be confusing. Should you do cardio and strength training on the same day? Which one should you do first? This will depend on your goals, schedule and fitness level, which means there are endless ways to set up your workout program. Below are some basic guidelines for getting started with a complete exercise program.

 For Beginners:  You should start slowly with a basic cardio program and a full body resistance training routine. You'll want to have recovery days to allow your body to rest and your muscles to heal from your new routine. A typical beginner program will include about three days of cardio and 2 days of strength training.

For Intermediate Exercisers: If you've been exercising for a while and your goal is to lose weight, you want to aim for 20-60 minutes of cardio about 5 or more times a week. You can do cardio and weight training on the same day, depending on your time constraints. It doesn't matter which one you do first, so vary your routine and try different combinations to find the one that is right for you.

Whatever you choose to do, if you’re just getting starting or just are not sure about your fitness level, you can take the quiz, What's Your Fitness Level? to get insight and resources to help you get started.


Karen Archia
Associate Producer, The Fitness Files


Related Links

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