If you are looking to stay fit, your first thought might be the same as many: get a gym membership and commit your mornings, nights, or weekends to time on the mat. But, people were getting into shape long before gym memberships–and you don’t necessarily need one to get or stay fit. Whether you don’t feel like commuting to the gym or simply can’t make room in your budget, rest assured that there are many ways to stay fit without the need for a gym membership, or gym equipment, whatsoever. Here’s a look.

Take Up A Hobby:
There’s no reason to spend 30 minutes a day staring at a blank wall as you pound away at the treadmill. You won’t have to jump on a stationary bike, either, or lift a hand weight. If you want to get and stay fit, the real key is changing your lifestyle. In other words, get a hobby that allows you to burn calories and get outside without you ever feeling like you’re doing a workout.

● Hiking is extremely popular, and there are countless free apps that you can download to see trials in your local area. They range from easy, paved walking trails to rigorous mountain hikes. One mile or twenty, you’ll be shedding the pounds in no time while working on your endurance, toning your muscles, and enjoying some great views.
● Charity work can get you up and on your feet in no time while also helping you learn new skills, meet new people, and make a difference in your community. You’ll be so dedicated that you probably won’t notice the calories you’re burning.
● Water sports are another great way to stay fit, and they’re also extremely fun. If you are able to get out on the lake, try taking up skiing, wake surfing, or wake boarding and you may just discover a hidden talent (or a newfound passion). Alternatively, if you’re lucky enough to live near the ocean, skim boarding or surfing are also great workouts disguised as world-class sports.

When all else fails, you can also just be more active on a day-to-day basis by walking or cycling more and taking the stairs.

Eat Right:
Exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle, but if you want to stay fit, you also need to watch what you eat. If you don’t have a good diet, even strenuous exercise isn’t going to help you stay healthy. You might not be overweight, but a bad diet can wreak havoc on your internal systems and even cause premature aging and diseases.

Above all, if you want to stay fit without a gym membership, aim for an all-around better lifestyle that keeps you on your feet more and in the kitchen less as you learn to enjoy all the great activities that often come for free.