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10 Ways to Lose Weight Without Paying for a Gym Membership

10 Ways to Lose Weight Without Paying for a Gym Membership

More than 68 percent of Americans are considered to be overweight, even though studies show that we are actually taking in fewer calories than a decade ago. The next step toward getting healthy is to reduce our stress levels and work out, but the average monthly gym fee of $40 is high for budget conscious individuals. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to lose weight for free.

1. Walk 30 Minutes a Day

Doctors have begun prescribing daily 30 minute walks, and this has proven to be a great way to lose weight, experience mood improvements and reduce your risk of developing diabetes. You can start off with a light stroll to build up strength and stamina, but be aware that you will need to work up to a brisk pace of three to four miles per hour in order to burn a significant amount of calories. Either way, though, committing to a 30 minute walk once per day will provide you with numerous health benefits for free!

2. Use a Free Calorie Counting App to Stay Focused

There are numerous paid calorie counting apps and programs that you could join, including Weight Watchers, but this is not the most budget friendly approach. Instead, look for a well-rated free app that makes it possible to record your daily calorie intake. Fooducate is a good example, and this particular app will even give you a daily food grade so that you can improve the quality of each calorie that you consume.

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3. Go Swimming at a Free Local Beach

If you live in an area that has a free or relatively inexpensive beach, you can take advantage of the massive calorie burning potential of swimming. This will be much less expensive than joining a YMCA or local community center that has a pool. As an added bonus, swimming is known to tone muscles, boost endurance and lead to better cardiovascular health. Be sure to select properly fitted men’s or women’s swimwear, especially because research shows that wearing the wrong bikini size can lead to health complications such as indigestion and skin rashes.

4. Utilize Proven Stress Reducers

Stress and anxiety often lead to weight gain, which makes it imperative to reduce the stressors in your life. Adult coloring is one of the latest trends, and it has its roots in Carl Jung’s stress reduction research from the early 1900s. Reading is also a simple way to relax, and studies indicate that it is even more effective than walking, listening to music or enjoying a cup of tea. In other words, adding at least six minutes of reading into your daily routine can help you stop gaining stress weight.

5. Do Not Starve Your Body of Carbs

Low carb diets are all the rage, and they will help you lose weight temporarily. However, the human body needs a certain amount of carbs daily in order to function properly. If you starve yourself of carbs, you will eventually experience muscle loss, impaired thinking and even mood swings. The emotional issues that are attached to a lack of carbs are caused by a reduction in the body’s testosterone levels and an increase in cortisol. That’s right: carbs actually reduce the stress hormone. As long as you do not overdo it, carbs can be a very beneficial component of a healthy diet.

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6. Boost Mental Health by Getting Out in Nature

Stanford researchers have discovered that taking a walk or hike in nature is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of depression. Therefore, if you take your daily walks in a nearby park or wooded area, you will receive multiple benefits from exercising. As an added bonus, this reduction in the symptoms of stress and depression will make it easier to avoid destructive patterns such as binge eating.

7. Take Advantage of Free Fitness Centers

If you live in an apartment or condo community, the odds are high that you have access to a free fitness center or a reduced gym membership. Additionally, many hotels offer free fitness centers for guests. Utilizing these fitness centers whenever applicable is a fantastic way to burn calories and lose weight without paying anything. The cost of these facilities is worked into your bill, so you will actually be throwing money away if you do not take advantage of them.

8. Reduce Your Salt Intake

Salt is linked to bloating and water retention, so slashing your salt intake can make you quickly lose 5 to 10 pounds. Some researchers have also stated that a high sodium diet will increase your odds of becoming obese by a shocking 20 percent. The daily recommended amount of sodium for adults is 2,300 milligrams, but most Americans consume at least 3,400 milligrams per day. Fortunately, salt alternatives such as Also Salt can help you get this problem under control. You will also want to steer clear of most microwavable and restaurant meals to stay within your daily sodium guideline.

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9. Take 5 Minute Exercise Breaks

One of the major reasons that people fail to exercise is that they believe they do not have enough time in their day to fit it in. A close analysis of your day and how much of it is actually wasted should help you find 30 minutes for exercise, but if not, you can take five minute exercise breaks multiple times a day to help you get fit. Doing push-ups or planking for five minutes at a time will be very beneficial, and this can give you much-needed mental boost during your workday. Doing this six times a day will allow you to reach the 30 minute mark.

10. Increase Your Veggie Intake

Many people believe that vegetables cannot make them feel satiated, but this is not true. The fact is that some veggies, including broccoli, have enough fiber to be very filling. To make things even better, broccoli is one of the foods that burns more calories during the digestion process than it adds to your body. Zucchini, cauliflower and asparagus offer similar rewards. Fruit is another way to reduce calories without feeling hungry. Watermelon is an especially good choice because it has a lot of fiber but a small amount of calories. The best part about all of this is that turning to fruits and vegetables in lieu of higher calorie options will slash your grocery bill!

Now that you have a better understanding of how to lose weight for free, it is time to motivate yourself to get started. Watching a Netflix marathon instead of taking a walk or swimming might sound like more fun, but choosing this option repeatedly will reduce your life expectancy by two years. Even worse is the fact that your quality of life will be dramatically reduced if you maintain a sedentary lifestyle.

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Featured photo credit: by Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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