Working Out Without Equipment| Exercising Our Bodies Efficiently

Salutation Pose

A fit body looks healthy and vibrant.
A fit body looks healthy and vibrant. | Source

The human body is designed to be the ultimate fitness equipment. We have everything we need to make our bodies flexible, strong and healthy. There is really no need to spend thousands of dollars on the latest fitness equipment, unless you are designing a very specific fitness program, and even then, you can find barely used equipment on Craig’s List or similar local sites, newspaper ads. I still have an elliptical I barely used because it felt too strange. I guess I’m one of those who would rather go hiking in the woods, swim and take my dog for daily walks.

I have always been interested in fitness and believe the keys are knowledge and motivation. I am not a certified personal trainer and highly recommend checking with your doctor before starting any new fitness program. I provide links and references at the end of this article for additional reading.

Benefits of Stretching

Increases flexibility

Improves range of motion of your joints

Improves circulation

Helps relieve stress

Stretching the Body

There are three major areas of fitness I would like to discuss. The body needs first to be flexible, stretching the muscles and moving every part of our body, including our toes. The second requirement for our body is aerobic fitness, enabling our heart rate to increase and pump life giving blood and oxygen throughout our bodies. Third is strength training, making our muscles and bones stronger. Remember, all you need is your body and some space indoors or outdoors.

I remember when I was younger, I took dance lessons and gymnastics and although I was very athletic and had a slim build, I could never do the splits! I'm not talking about being that flexible, but flexible enough where our body is limber and has a good range of motion. Stretching has some new rules and proper stretching only requires a few seconds of isolating the muscle. The muscle is like a rubber band and if stretched too much, the muscle loses its elasticity. Stretching arms above our head and pulling for a couple of seconds is adequate, out to the side and stretch, down as far as you can comfortably stretch. These are simple stretches and feel amazing. Once you are more flexible, touching the floor with your hands flat is a great stretch for the back and legs. Yoga is also great for flexibility and stretching the body.

Having worked with young children, we often would start our day with fun, simple stretches and simple yoga stretches. Even our young children can benefit from daily stretches and it's great to get blood circulating and helps to calm their bodies.

  • Stand on tiptoes,reach for the sun, hold on tight and bring it slowly (squatting) down to the ground.
  • Pretend you're polishing a huge round table in front of you and stretch to reach the other side.
  • Sit cross legged and hold one hand on the opposite leg, turn around slightly to see behind you.

I've also found it beneficial to stretch the entire body before getting out of bed in the morning, arms over the head and stretch the body to the toes. Stretching can be done at periodic times throughout the day, even while sitting. Once it becomes a habit, you'll find yourself doing it subconsciously. It feels fantastic!

Denise Austin Cardio Workout

Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

Reduces risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer.

Helps to control blood sugar levels

Increases mental clarity

More energy and well being

Quick Burn Cardio - Denise Austin

Aerobic Fitness

Aerobic exercise increases the oxygen consumption in the body. Aerobics increase the blood flow and trains the heart under stress. Most body parts become stronger when they are used. The body is very efficient and does not waste energy feeding parts of the body that are not being used. So we need to work our body, our heart to make it stronger. We've all heard the phrase, "use it or lose it". We want to use it!

The body is truly amazing as it delivers oxygen throughout the blood during aerobic activity. The heart beats faster and in turn more blood flows to our muscles and back to the lungs. One starts to feel energized!  Waste products (carbon dioxide, lactic acid) are expelled from the body and those wonderful endorphins (body's natural high) are released which gives a sense of well being. It is best, as stated above, to check with a doctor before beginning aerobic exercise. Start out slow, if it has been a while. Twenty to thirty minutes, three times a week of any of the following exercises will increase aerobic fitness without exercise equipment:

  • walking briskly
  • jogging
  • swimming
  • bicycling
  • dancing

Benefits of Strength Training

A stronger body can prevent injuries

Stronger bones help prevent osteopososis

Helps to raise your metabolism

Improve balance

A strong body can allow more fun

Strength Training Without Equipment

O.K. We're getting more flexible and our heart is pumping stronger and the oxygen and increased blood flow to our lungs is helping expel the wastes from our body. Now we need to strengthen the muscles and bones of our body. Strength training is important for both males and females. A strong body feels more balanced as we go through our day. Edward Laskowski, M.D., is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at the Mayo Clinic. He states that; "strength training can help you preserve and enhance muscle mass at any age." Two to three sessions a week, lasting from twenty to thirty minutes, or broken up into two ten or fifteen minutes sessions also works. Make sure there's a day of rest in between the days to rest the muscles. Here are a few examples of simple strength exercises that can be done easily without equipment.

  • push ups, regular or modified
  • lunges
  • squats
  • counter top resistance exercise
  • pull ups ( a bar across top of doorway) or the local playground
  • sit ups (strengthen the core, abdomen)

Conclusion: Healthy and Strong

I'm sure if you've read this far, your goal is to be healthy and strong and you're ready to take the steps necessary. Even without equipment, our bodies can be flexible by stretching, full of energy and healthier by ridding our bodies of toxins with aerobic exercise. We can strengthen our bones and muscles enabling us to be strong and enjoy our lives, engaging in activities that are fun and meaningful. Best of luck with all of your fitness goals!

More by this Author


Thank You for Reading and Feel Free to Leave a Comment! 41 comments

hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

Good hub rebekah. Very well written and interesting. Rated up. :)


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

I know you're right, but it's just so much easier to use equipment...like the treadmill.

Good hub with lots of good information.


jim10 profile image

jim10 6 years ago from ma

Great hub. A lot of people don't seem to realize they don't need all of that expensive equipment in order to get in shape. I have been taking Karate and cardio kickboxing for many years and it gets everyone into great shape with minimal equipment. Just some paddles and a punching bag. But, even those are not necessary.


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay Author

thanks hypnodude for coming by and reading and the thumbs up!

@alekhouse, yes, I have a treadmill also and it looks upon the pool and the trees and nature of the backyard, which is very nice and I love it, but there's still something about working out with nothing but our bodies which is very satisfying. It's for anyone who wants to exercise and may not have equipment or the opportunity to travel to a club, or those who may not like working out in a club. We have our bodies which is all we really need. Thanks for commenting. :]


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay Author

Jim, thanks for including your comments about karate and cardio kickboxing. I've heard it's a great way to work out and yeah, nobody's going to mess with you! Great way to stay healthy. Enjoy! :]


LaShawn Pant 6 years ago

This is a really great hub!


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia

I think the only piece of exercise equipment I own, is a rebounder. I have tried several of these suggestions, but there were a few that I can incorporate. Thanks for giving us some great tips, and detailing how each exercise can benefit us.


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay Author

thanks for stopping in LaShawn! :]

Veronica, thanks for reading and commenting. I think with anything, especially exercise, the desire and willingness is there, but the lack of inspiration and motivation keeps us from staying with it. I know when I get out of the habit, it's hard to get going again, but when I do, it feels so good (most of the time...) I'm lucky to have my future daughter in law as a certified personal trainer, now I need to get moving! :] happy exercising!


Dr. Cherie 6 years ago

You are so right. Using our own bodies is also safe for the most part, unless we get crazy. People are so busy these days, so it's easy to get on the floor and do some stretches. And you can do these while watching a movie or TV!

Thanks for reminding me. I am newly inspired. Great hub.


Jess Killmenow profile image

Jess Killmenow 6 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

Great fitness advice, Rebekah! I'll have to ask my artist to draw me a little slimmer... :)


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay Author

thank you Dr. Cherie for stopping in. so nice to know you're newly inspired! I think if we're more conscious of it, we think of things we can do easily during our day, even if it's just standing up and stretching our arms over our shoulders!

ha, Jess, funny. just put on your work out shoes and start walking and stretching and pumping out a few push ups! :]

thanks for commenting, always happy to see you.


TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago

I enjoyed watching the video. Simple stretching can be done even when the person is in the office. Whether one is using an equipment or just doing aerobics, kickboxing, or yoga, the most important thing is the discipline and determination to exercise daily.

You have provided a good information about healthy exercises. Great hub!


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

Aaaahhh, my neck feels better already. I was just sitting here getting that stiff neck that usually happens when it turns cold. I participated in your video exercises and now I feel so much better. Thanks for sharing such a very informative hub on stretching!


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Hi Ms RebekaElle, nice one, I dance my way to fitness and without equipment too, I want to have a dancing session with you, (I can split, am very thin that's why) will you try that, BTW, keep warm there as I read in the news it is also very cold there now, Thank you, Maita


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay Author

thanks tina for your commments, I do agree that discipline and determination are necessary, realizing it is our bodies and health to take care of. :]

@money, it's always my neck that feels the stress, so nice to just gently roll it. I thought that video would be easy to get started while reading! thanks for your comments. :]

@maita, I have tried to become more flexible to do splits, but I can't do it. I am tall and slender and quite flexible, but no splits. hey, let's dance!! often I will put on music and just start dancing. one of my favorites is I'm Alive by Celine. I think I have it on my 'make your dreams true' link in my profile. happy new year, trying to stay warm, very cold here today! keep smiling~~


Sue Adams profile image

Sue Adams 6 years ago from Andalusia

I totally agree with you, with a little know how the body is perfectly capable of moving in such a manner that it doesn't need machines or gym clubs. Stretching is great. When you gently stretch a child it giggles with joy at the discovery of its extended movement range.

The only piece of equipment I like to use is the gravity invertor but you won't find those in gyms as they need supervision. I wrote a hub called "Hanging Upside Down" about it which you might like to read.


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Hi RebekahE - Great Hub. You've covered all aspects of keeping fit. I had an instructor who used to say she knew people who could lift 50 pounds with one arm, but didn't have the aerobic strength to run to the gate in time to catch a plane! They probably couldn't touch their toes either :)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hi R Elle, if you read my hub, I'm Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, you know I really benefited from your well written article. I mountain bike, but I can't touch the floor. I need to be more flexible so will try some of your tips. Thanks for your help.


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay Author

sue, thanks for reading and leaving a comment. I think it's fun to see what our bodies can do, we only have one! I don't know anything about the gravity invertor... hope your year is fantastic!

@green, thanks! I think all aspects are important and if focusing on overall fitness, it's nice to know we have all we need to do it ourselves.

@hello winsome, nice to see you here. I will read your hub, now I am curious. thanks so much, hope you'll be touching the floor soon, consistency is the key. come back and let us know how you're doing. :]


Sue Adams profile image

Sue Adams 6 years ago from Andalusia

R.E. You being so interested in the body it would be a great addition for you to learn more about the gravity invertor. Balancing over the centre of gravity (the pelvis) and hanging upside-down is extremely beneficial. So is the Yoga Swing. Find out more from my hub "Hanging Upside Down".


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 6 years ago from Northern California

This is a great Hub! I love to run, but on days when I don't run, I like to switch it up by using fitness equipment to work out areas I usually don't through running. Yoga is also my favorite way of really stretching and getting a good start to the day :)


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay Author

Sue, thanks for the info. I will take a look at your hub!

@glass, thanks so much for your comment. I can see you like to run with your avatar, so much fun! I used to jog years ago while in college. Yoga really has so many great benefits, doesn't it? :)


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 6 years ago from Australia

rebekah, as one getting on in years I find I need to exercise on a regular basis. I will be following your great tips to take our some of the boredom. :-)


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Calisthenics - using your own body weight is the very best! Great Hub! Love low impact exercise - my old, aching body does too! And you quote my favorite place for info - Mayo Clinic!


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay Author

thanks agvulpes for the comments. I so agree about exercising on a regular basis as we age. not only does it help our bodies, but it helps to keep our mind alert and we just feel better!

@gmagoldie, thanks for some nice comments! I think using our body weight feels right, it feels good and it delivers results. Mayo Clinic are so reputable, I feel safe using their advice! happy exercising! ;]


casey kaldal profile image

casey kaldal 6 years ago

Great hub. Being creative and using what you have available is an excellent way to stay in shape.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 6 years ago

RebekahELLE O.K. O.K. I am stretching while I am reading.Your hubs are so good and so right.Better late than never.


philip carey 61 6 years ago

I recently took up trail running (but am sidelined for the time being due to the heavy snows) for the days when the trails are too wet to train on the mountain bike. There's a simplicity to the running that I like. No expensive equipment, I can do it almost anywhere, etc. It's so much different than the mountain biking. I'm really into the riding, but it does require a lot of equipment, and it can get expensive.

Nice hub, and thanks for stopping by and reading the poem I posted.


parrster profile image

parrster 6 years ago from Oz

Ok, now just to do it.

Thanks


hubby7 profile image

hubby7 6 years ago from Chicago

I agree with everything you said in your hub. You do not need equipment. Or, as I often put it: "You are the equipment." Like you, I do not use equipment, for the most part. I use only the treadmill on which I run nonstop for 1 hour and from there I lift weights by performing squats. Other than that, I simply stretch, do push ups, crunches, and I do a lot of walking. Great hub!


strength training for women 6 years ago

Bodyweight routines are great for overall muscle definition and endurance as well as building strength. Compound exercises such as press ups, inverted rows and chin ups can all be done without weights and target many muscles and joints at once.


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay Author

thanks for the comments. nice to see people want to find ways to use their body to make it stronger and more fit. I say, we have everything we need and it's much easier than going to gyms or spending lots of money on big machines that take up a lot of space. enjoy. :]


charanjeet kaur profile image

charanjeet kaur 6 years ago from Delhi

Rebekahelle, Very practical and sound information given here. The gyms around my area cost a fortune, might as well give home training a try. Doing something is always better than nothing. Thanks for an inspirational hub that health comes first.


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay Author

thank you charanjeet for stopping by and reading and leaving such a nice comment. I agree, doing something is always better than nothing and can make such a difference in how we feel mentally and physically. in fact, I'm getting ready to go for a swim after I respond to you! big smiles, thanks! :)


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 6 years ago

Alas, all the knowledge in the world will not keep the human body fit, fatless, and fulfilled.

Knowledge without infrastructural and ethical support of a whole society is pretty useless. That's why, after many years of a fitness revolution and information craze on fitness, civilized people really are not that much better off than they were before all the hype started.

Most people simply do not have the time and the moral support of their workplace and peers to be fit.

It takes a very compelled person to weather the constant negative imapacts of a world out of touch with the human body.

Your inspiratin is admirable, and I hope those few compelled people will get the jolt they need from your words to find their best being.

Robert


Jill - Fitness Equipment 6 years ago

Cool videos I hope I can incorporate them to my own routine.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 6 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

I need to start doing some of these!


nicole holler 5 years ago

indeed easy to say, but difficult to accomplish... but i will try my best to be fit and sexy with the tips that i erudite here what could go wrong..


TycoonSam profile image

TycoonSam 4 years ago from Washington, MI

Very good Hub Rebekah! My biggest problem is exercising consistently. I tend to start for a few days, get busy and forget all about it.

Voted up


Easy Exercise profile image

Easy Exercise 2 years ago from United States

rebekahelle,

Motivating hub with all the right information. The neck stretch is fundamental for anyone who has any stress in their life.

Greatly enjoyed your hub! Keep up the great work! Voted up!


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

I used to take an aerobics class. It started at 6 a.m. and I would go to work afterward. I really enjoyed it and stayed mentally focused and happier because of the exercise.

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