You’re a woman on the go and finding the time to work out and stay healthy is a challenge. The good news is that waking up at the crack of dawn and stumbling off to a gym is not your only option. At-home alternatives for getting in the daily dose of activity may suit your lifestyle best. Forget the restrictions of a workout class or intimidating exercise machines. Instead, set your own schedule and your own terms for staying healthy and feeling great.

Walk it off

Walking is one of the most effective movements for burning fat. It is low impact, perfect for all skill levels, and the best part is that it can be done anywhere; all you need is a pair of shoes! Walking offers something for everyone, so turn your workout into time to spend with someone special.

  • Go on a walk in the morning with your spouse before you have to dive into your daily schedules and just enjoy each other’s company.
  • Do as the Europeans do and take a walk with the entire family after dinner. Spend some quality time catching up.
  • Take your dog for a walk and use it as an opportunity to explore a new park or neighborhood you’ve been dying to see.
  • Find a walking buddy or just a group of girlfriends you haven’t seen in a while and get in your girl time in the morning or as an after-work activity to unwind and vent to your friend after a long day.

Take it up a notch

So you’ve mastered walking, how about taking it to the next level with jogging! You’ll love the intensity boost, and it can also be done just about anywhere.

  • Take a jog around your neighborhood; meet some other families and socialize while you get a great workout.
  • Race yourself and try to beat your previous time or distance each time–you’ll be amazed at your progress.
  • Set a big goal like being able to run a 5K or 10K. You can find training plans online that take out all the guess work by telling you exactly how far to run and when! You can find a plan for you at websites like

Tone it up

It’s time to say goodbye to those flabby arms! Keeping a set of small weights at home is the key to your success. They are inexpensive, require minimal space, and are easy to use. Since most women want to tone rather than build bulk, small 5-10 pound weights are perfect.

  • You can get a great strength workout right in your living room—do squats, lunges, curls or abs while you watch the news or just spend time with the kids.
  • We all hate watching commercials, but instead of clicking the DVR fast forward, use the commercial break as a chance to get in a few extra reps.
  • Focusing on high repetition and low weights will allow you to tone muscle without adding bulk to your body so you look healthy, lean and feminine.

Have fun with it

Working out should never be boring. Have a little fun with it by playing sports with the family, trying something new, or challenging a friend. Time and workouts fly by when you are having a blast!

  • Playing basketball or touch football with the family is a great way to get the whole family together and to stay active.
  • Take the pedometer challenge! Pedometers measure the number of steps you take each day; they are very inexpensive and easy to use. Have some fun and challenge your family or friends to see who gets in the most steps. A little healthy competition adds fun and accountability. Get in some extra steps by parking farther from your office, taking the stairs, or walking to the coffee shop.
  • Shake that booty! Whether it is on the dance floor at the club, in a class, or just in your living room, dancing is a creative way to get a fun cardio workout and to strengthen your core.
  • Jumping rope is an excellent cardio workout for any age and a nice throwback to those recess days when you were in grade school! Take the opportunity to double-dutch with your kids and then amp up your own solo routine for some more intense cardio.
  • Opt for pushing the lawn mower rather than hiring a service or riding a mower. You can do it yourself—you will save money, check another thing off your to-do list, burn fat, get some sun, and enjoy the day while you do it!

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