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(Photo via chicagoraffaello.com/fitness)

Despite what the pesky salesman at the gym may tell you, going to the gym is not the be-all, end-all of staying in shape. There’s nothing wrong with going to the gym, but even gym rats could mix things up with an outdoor workout every once and a while. Here are some ways to stay healthy while breathing mother nature’s air as opposed to the recycled sweat coming from your gyms air conditioner.

1- Walking

(photo via bsuoutreach.com)
(photo via bsuoutreach.com)

Walking to the store instead of driving is not only good for the environment, it is good for your body as well. Walking there is good, but the walk back with fists full of groceries is great and that’s what will really get you ripped. This is a great way to develop natural chest and arm muscle that gets your body used to carrying around more than just your body weight.

2- General Labor

(photo via mamamickterry.files.wordpress.com)
(photo via mamamickterry.files.wordpress.com)

General labor or volunteer work is a great way to stay active and to get country strong. Chopping wood, painting, digging trenches etc. are all great ways to work out muscles you may not hit at the gym. However,  you must make sure you are in proper shape before you attempt any of those activities, otherwise you will overexert yourself.

3-Jumping Rope

(Photo via ecx.images-amazon.com)
(Photo via ecx.images-amazon.com)

Jumping rope is excellent for strengthening the knees and legs as well as the quads. Jumping rope also encourages great body coordination and excellent conditioning.

4- House Cleaning

(photo via cleaningservicechinohills.com)
(Photo via cleaningservicechinohills.com)

Cleaning the house is a good way to get all your muscles working. As with general labor you are standing, stooping, reaching and using muscles you might not use everyday. While you are reaching to clean all of the nooks and crannies of your room, focus on maintaining good posture to encourage proper body mechanics. Don’t overlook everyday movements that can be used to reinforce good posture habits.

5-Running Your Dogs

(photo via petbucket.com)
(photo via petbucket.com)

Running (not walking) the dog helps get your blood circulating, increases stamina and teaches your muscles to work in unison. Running is a great way to utilize all your muscles and strengthen your back.

6-Taking the Stairs

(Photo via dontchangemuch.ca)
(Photo via dontchangemuch.ca)

Taking the stairs is another fantastic way to build stamina. Taking a walk up several flights of stairs is just one more everyday opportunity that can be taken advantage of to improve your physicality. Taking the stairs will help you start your day with a jolt of exercise that will get your blood flowing for the day.

Keep these alternative in mind when you’re away from the gym and be sure to get 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Remember, people have found ways to stay in shape throughout the course of history before gyms ever took off. Stay active in your daily life with or without the gym.