10 Ways To Get Stronger + Healthier Without A Gym Membership

Gym memberships get wasted more than beet tops. Start getting strong and staying strong with these actually doable ideas, no gym required.

If there ever was a business — well, a business other than insurance — that flourished on the assumption its clients will NOT use their paid services, it’s a bricks-&-mortar gym.

And, by all means, hang onto that membership if it helps you mix up your routine with even the occasional fitness class or lifting session. 🙌

But carrying around a key card does not make you stronger. And we’re guessing motherhood means even fewer chances to get in that 1-2 hour gym visit.

Stop shelling out money to carry around a never-swiped key card. Here are 10 ways to squeeze more exercise into your busy parent life. No gym required.

embrace the 10-minute workout

We’re big on regular, short workouts and our Reset Movement Club Membership is based on a standard workout of just 15 minutes! Why? Because 10-15 minute workouts actually. get. done. Stop looking for the unicorn of motherhood, the “free hour” to do a mega workout. Pull out your calendar and choose a time of day you can regularly commit to just 10-20 minutes of exercise. Before breakfast? After school while the little ones have a snack or play in the backyard?


👉 Hundreds of videos all 5-30 minutes long, done-for-you plans and the body-positive community you need to flourish. Start your 2-week free trial in The Reset Movement Club today!


stand up… but don’t just stand

It can be really easy to sit for hours at your desk, or on your phone/laptop for us self-employed types. 🙋‍♀️ A sit-to-stand desk can help you vary positions, but standing still doesn’t improve health outcomes much more than sitting still. Try MOVING. Set an hourly alarm to stand up & walk around your house, the office or even just to do a quick stretch or simple chore. Throwing in a load of laundry or tidying up the kitchen moves muscles and joints, freshens your mind and helps you cross something off your list.

pressure a friend to join you

Come on! It’s good for them, too! Find a friend & make a weekly date, then hold yourself — and your friend — to the same no-bail rules you would if you had plans to hit a party together or for girls’ night. Someone who lives near you is the best bet, so you can simply meet at a local yoga studio or even right on the street for a walk or jog. Workout partners are a fantastic strategy for early morning and evening workouts, especially in the winter, when the idea of leaving your cozy house can feel like cruel & unusual punishment.

run evening errands

Between late afternoon and lights out, we usually have some flexibility to do what we’d like… but it’s also typically a time we feel less energetic and inspired! After dinner, take a quick walk over to the grocery store to grab a few odds & ends you need, return some library books, walk a piece of mail to the nearest post office box or volunteer for evening dog walking duty. Even if you end up driving to Home Depot to pick up that paint/lightbulb/garden hose you’ve been meaning to get, you’ll do some standing and break up your Netflix time.

clean your own house

Thank goodness for professional house cleaners. No shade here; outsourcing domestic tasks is a modern necessity for many. One of the reasons Grandma didn’t have a workout schedule? She cleaned her own house. She swept, mopped, scrubbed, washed, folded. Add to that list raking leaves, washing cars, and shovelling snow, and you’ve got a built in gym right at home. Try scheduling a chore in times you struggle to get movement, like a midday break if you work from home or evenings before you sink into the sofa.

join a team or club

If you used to play a sport, ask around and see who might already have a team you can join or search for inexpensive local recreational programs. Even if high school sports weren’t your thing, you might fall in love with something like Dodgeball, Tai Chi, or “Inner Tube Water Polo.” 💦 Feeling a little competitive about next week’s meet will also motivate you to squeeze in a practice session, workout or walk. A body in motion tends to stay in motion.

start a family happy (half) hour

We know you want to move more AND role model for your small people. Make exercise a daily part of your family’s routine with a half-hour window in a time you don’t normally have much going on, like before daycare for early risers or pre-dinner when there’s time to kill. You don’t have to get all drill sergeant on everyone. Youtube a yoga video together. Go for a walk or a jog. Or squeeze in 30 minutes at your nearest playground to do some step ups & pushups on the bench, hang from the monkey bars and play some family soccer, and you’ve basically discovered the ultimate fitness hack — a playground IS a gym for all ages. And it’s free!

sign up for an event

Nothing puts a fire under your butt like a deadline. In urban areas, there are near constant opportunities to join a charity walk or run, and online events are available wherever you live, more than ever, post-pandemic! Officially signing up gives you a timeline to plan workouts that actually mean something, because a deadline is attached to them. If you’re afraid you’ll be the only one who can’t run the whole 5K or the only first-timer, know this: the reality of these events is that they’re attended by a HUGE variety of ages, fitness levels & body types.

do some good

The truth about movement is it’s much easier for many of us to increase non-exercise activity than it is to squeeze in a workout every day. That couch is going to call your name in the evening & on weekends, so having appointments and hobbies can help keep you in motion, even if the appointment is more soup kitchen than spin class. Add something active to your schedule by coaching a kids’ sport team, volunteering to walk dogs at a shelter, or helping out at a soup kitchen or hospital. You’ll move your body and do some good, another proven way to improve your mood & longevity.

get down on the floor

The way we think of “movement” can be limiting OR present a plethora of opportunities. (We tend to view it as the latter, around here.) Your muscles and joints need variety more than anything; the primary way we give our bodies variety is by moving them. That doesn’t have to mean vigorous exercise, or even “exercise” at all. Simply taking your board games, Netflix time, or evening scroll to the floor can invite you to change hip positions, try lying on your belly, squeeze in a few stretches or even just do some deep core breathing. This variety of position allows gravity to act on your tissues from different angles and improves mobility with very little effort. Set a reminder in your phone to sit on the floor in the evenings and commit to even 5 minutes of exploring positions before you sink into the couch.


Which one of these 10 suggestions are YOU going to try adding to your mom life? 👇 Share in the comments!


hey, friend

we're Laura + Dara

We're lifelong trainers and mom friends, and we're on a mission to help you hit reset on your relationship with exercise and start LOVING the way it feels to live in YOUR body!

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