Once upon a time, I lived in Sydney, Australia and had two separate gym memberships. There was no shortage of classes, equipment and floor space at my disposal at any given time. I was spoiled for choice with the Pound, Barre and Les Mills classes at my disposal.
Now I live on a mountain where the population is about three people and a dog (it's actually around the 300+ people mark, but mostly it feels like three people and a dog). The closest gym is 60km away - my days of multiple gym memberships are over.
So here are my secrets to staying fit & strong with no gym:
1. Make your own gym.
Tucked away in the corner of my living room is Nat's Fitness Emporium. It's a majestic name to cover up what it really is: one yoga mat, two free weights, a medicine ball and a skipping rope. All from Walmart and purchased for less than $40 all up.
When I want to work out I roll out my yoga mat behind the dining table and do one of the brilliant Kayla Itsines workouts available through her online e-books. 28 minutes all up, three times a week, will change your body - guaranteed. Sometimes I need to add a chair into the routine, but otherwise I've never needed more equipment than what's already in the Emporium.
I have a love/hate relationship with Blogilates but mostly it's love. She has a ridiculously large range of videos (my favourites are the six-minute routines) and if you sign up to her newsletter, you can get a monthly calendar of workouts to do. All free. All awesome.
Yoga Studio is maybe the best thing that ever happened to me. I downloaded it for my iPad and it was so worth the $4. Lots of classes all at your fingertips, depending on what you feel like doing. I used to do nighttime yoga at Fitness First - now I just do it in the living room and crawl straight into bed after. The lady narrating all the moves is very soothing and non-judgmental and always congratulates you for taking the time to improve your health at the end of the class, which really would make anyone feel excellent about themselves.
*bonus note - Buy an all-natural, anti-bacterial yoga mat spray and spray all over before you lie down - this one from Saje is full of essential oils and goodness and makes yoga practice all the more lovely.
Walking is one of the best things you can do for your body. It's the perfect fat-burning level of workout and it's also incredibly cathartic. When I was living in Sydney, I used to do the coastal walk as much as humanly possible. The natural beauty and challenging nature of the walk makes for a workout that's almost too good to be true.
Now that I live on a mountain, I hike instead. 4km up the mountain and 2.5km back down, twice a week if I can. The first time I hiked, my legs were shaking after 2km - the downhill is especially hard on the body. But I improved. And slowly grew to understand how healing it is to spend time in the great outdoors with no one but yourself for company.
5. Make the most of your surrounding environment.
Everyone in the Okanagan is nuts for watersports on the lake so I get amongst it where I can. This summer has been full of paddle-boarding, although I've also tried wake-surfing. Off the lake, I've experimented with hiking and mountain biking. Not stuff I would do at home, but it's fun to experience new things and enjoy exactly what a specific location might have to offer.