my minimalist fitness routine

It’s a myth that we can only have a healthy body or be fit when we have access to a gym or a fitness center. That we need to go through arduous fitness regimes and spend long hours working out to stay in shape. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love gyms and I have been a gym rat for the better part of the past couple of decades. However, due to certain constraints and just out of sheer experimentation, I decided to let go of working out at gyms. I won’t deny that it took a good amount of months to get used to it and to find some rhythm and consistency, but I realized a couple of truths:

  1. I don’t need a gym membership to stay fit.
  2. Even a little exercise, when done consistently, goes a long way. 

Like other areas of my life, I basically took a minimalist approach to my fitness as well. It took me more than a year to finally design a routine that works best for me and that I am able to stick to, and most importantly, the one that I totally enjoy and is a great supporting element to my life. In other words, my current fitness routine is not only minimal but it wonderfully integrates with my life. 

Another important thing that I knew but didn’t pay too much attention to when it came to maintaining fitness is that you have to eat well. If you eat less and in proportion, and eat right, then it makes weight loss and maintaining your overall fitness super easy. Diet is a huge element of staying fit along with exercise — always remember this truth.

So now, let’s dive into my fitness routine. I exercise a couple of times during the day, first thing in the morning and later in the evening after work.

My morning fitness session lasts somewhere around 10-12 minutes, and it comprises of three parts: cardio + workout session wherein I mainly do pushups, squats, sit-ups, plank, jumping jacks and a bit of ‘amateur’ cardio boxing (in the same sequence), yoga asanas (body postures), and pranayama (breathing exercises). Each part takes 3-4 minutes to complete. 

During my evening fitness routine, I alternate between walking (four days a week) and walking plus workout session (three days a week). I make sure that I walk at least a mile every single day (I don’t enjoy running, but I love walking and jog a little once in a while). My evening fitness session has three parts: dance fitness session where I do Zumba/Bollywood dance, cardio + workout session (same as the one in the morning), cardio kickboxing session (I use YouTube videos for this), followed by a cool down and some yoga stretches. Alternatively, instead of a cardio kickboxing session, I sometimes perform a yoga routine mainly from the Yoga with Adriene YouTube channel. Overall, I complete my evening fitness session usually within 20-30 minutes.

So, that’s my minimalist and simple fitness and workout routine for right now. 

Will I add some dumbbells, bar and weights to my routine again? Most certainly. Will I go back to the gym? Yes, for sure, sometime in the future. 

But I have learned a lot from my non-gym pursuits. I have become used to not having a gym membership, and of course, have distanced myself from the myth that I have to have access to a gym in order to stay fit. This phase has definitely contributed to developing my self-reliance and adaptability. 

Plus, I am more willing to do my workout under any circumstances, whether I travel, when my future self does not find a gym, what have you. 

I feel great after completing my morning and evening fitness sessions as I absolutely enjoy all the activities that I do and I experience both exhaustion and exhilaration — the key indicators of an amazing workout.

The best part is that I mix up my routine regularly and the variety keeps exercising fresh and fun. 

Fitness can be fun, free and fulfilling, we just have to figure out how to do it and be open to experimentation.