Fitness in the Middle of Nowhere

The following is a guest post by Erin Haske of HealthFit Coaching. Erin has an awesome site and blog with tons of great information, so please go check her out.

Hello, Nowhere!

I’m so flattered to be invited to spend some time with you all, and while I can’t promise to make you laugh as much as you might normally while you’re here, I can give you some handy tips and pointers on giving your abs (and the rest of your body) a different kind of workout.

In my professional life, I’m an exercise physiologist, which in everyday terms is a cross between a personal trainer and physical therapist (or physiotherapist, depending on where you call home). I spend most of my time designing exercise programs for people who don’t like gyms, don’t have time to go to gyms, or for other reasons would prefer to fit in their workouts around their daily lives. This usually means doing them at home, with minimal or no equipment – in gym terms, in the middle of nowhere.

Get Creative

You might not have gym equipment at home, but you probably have some useful every day items you can use. Fill up milk jugs to make your own weights. Step up on stairs, benches, or cinder blocks. Use a chair or two to do dips. Bungee cords work in lieu of superbands. And of course, there’s your own bodyweight! The key thing for any use of non-gym equipment is safety. If you’re not sure you can control the weight, the movement, or another element of the exercise, skip it or find a safer alternative.

Get On Your Feet

Even with an active job or lifestyle, we all sit too much. The more time you can spend on your feet, the better. This might mean walking, jogging, running, or sprinting. Choose your intensity, or head out for a little of everything, alternating between walking and faster movement. If you have the time and space, hiking is a great alternative. Hiking makes you move really differently than normal walking or running, so you’ll get a greater challenge to balance, joint range of motion and muscle stretching, and body weight strength and control.


Seems counter intuitive, yes? One of the biggest challenges to your health and fitness is the non-stop-ness of life. Your body needs time to recover, and most of us need more sleep than we get on a regular basis. To top it off, being busy and tired can cause constant low-grade physical stress, resulting in higher circulating stress hormones like cortisol. This has a negative impact on your immune system, your ability to lose body fat, your blood pressure, and can be linked to anxiety and depression – among many other things. So get some extra sleep when you can!

Stretch Yourself

In every sense of the word. Your body thrives on variety. Challenge yourself with different types of movement and exercise, as well as different intensities. That might mean doing more strength training if you’re a runner, or adding yoga or tai chi to your workout routine once or twice a week. Or try something totally unusual for you, from horseback riding to swimming to rock climbing to playing on the jungle gym with the kids. Your body loves it all.

For most of us, real life fitness means fitting in movement around the rest of our responsibilities. You’ve just read over some of the key approaches points for doing this well, and I have a lot more where this came from. You can find more detailed posts, ideas, and information over at the HealthFit Coaching blog.

See y’all soon I hope!

About Nowhere Tribune

A husband and daddy, striving to love his neighbors and be kind to his pets. I love good food, good beer, and a few good friends. My other interests are hiking, taking walks, lifting weights, reading books by manly authors like Hemingway and Twain, and splitting fire wood with my bare hands.


19 thoughts on “Fitness in the Middle of Nowhere

  1. I just read that while lying on my bed, recovering from a 30 minute workout here “in the middle of nowhere” at home. I like doing these Leslie Sansone workouts with hand weights, during times of year when weather doesn’t allow me to get outside for a walk/run/hike in the country and wilderness that surrounds me.

    Milk jugs filled with water? Hmm. Interesting. I have been wanting to get some 15-20 lb dumbbells. I wonder if milk jugs would work for that. I might have to go buy some cheap milk and pour it down the drain! 🙂

    Posted by Steeny Lou | April 22, 2019, 7:39 pm
    • Or buy water in gallon jugs and drink it! I also like to fill 5 gallon buckets with sand and use them for farmer’s carries, which is a terrific exercise for all around strength building. Thanks for the comment!

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | April 22, 2019, 7:48 pm
      • Oh, right! I forgot about water in the gallon jugs. I have a reverse osmosis system at home now, so we’ve not had to even think about that size of bottled water in several years. Thanks for that thought!

        Posted by Steeny Lou | April 22, 2019, 7:56 pm
      • Yes! Really, it’s an exercise in creativity – whatever you’ve got on hand that you can make heavy and carry or hold comfortably. And safely, actually, it’s a wonder what some people use as DIY/substitutes. Safety first!

        Posted by Erin Haske | April 27, 2019, 11:29 pm
    • Awesome! Leslie Sansone has great videos! I do them sometimes to switch up my at home workouts when I cannot get outside. The videos are great for all levels of fitness.

      Posted by GoodAttitudeFood Dude | April 22, 2019, 7:50 pm
      • Good to see someone else who appreciates Leslie. I have DVD workouts by various other people, but Leslie’s my favorite. Ever tried Jillian Michaels? I find her attitude to be too unpleasant, but her workouts are okay.

        Posted by Steeny Lou | April 22, 2019, 7:59 pm
      • I have not tried Jillians M’s workouts but she is pretty awesome so I will have try one.

        Posted by GoodAttitudeFood Dude | April 22, 2019, 9:36 pm
      • You might have more success with her than I did. I stuck with her for a 30 day challenge a few years ago, but her attitude made me feel discouraged Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t like the way she barks at people in such a bossy way as part of her talking. I guess once one knows the routine, one could play music to not have to hear her.

        Posted by Steeny Lou | April 22, 2019, 9:41 pm
      • And the lack of an edit button on my comments is disturbing. Ha! Lost some punctuation in my last comment.

        Posted by Steeny Lou | April 22, 2019, 9:42 pm
      • Good tip! Will be mindful of that. I could see that a little out of Jillian. Some people need that push though. I listened to Eric Thomas for years! ET can be intense. I usually watch a routine and play my own tunes so that could be perfect.

        Posted by GoodAttitudeFood Dude | April 22, 2019, 9:47 pm
  2. Great info Erin. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us! Thanks for linking and posting this, Nowhere Tribune!

    Posted by GoodAttitudeFood Dude | April 22, 2019, 7:46 pm
  3. Stopping and sleeping is good exercise, eh? Hmm, I think you’re onto something. I’m gonna give that a try.

    Posted by Tippy Gnu | April 22, 2019, 9:31 pm
  4. This is such a great article packed with small accessible advice! You touch on a lot of the things I also believe in – the importance of stretching (which it seems like everyone loves to ignore) and creating a workable routine. Great stuff!

    Posted by Robert Buchanan | May 20, 2019, 3:52 pm
  5. Love this!!

    Posted by haolmsted | June 7, 2019, 8:27 pm

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