Minimalist Exercise – Walking and Bodyweight Exercises

minimalist exercise

“Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.”

– Thomas Jefferson

If you’re trying to downsize and save money, you might be wondering if you can exercise without your elliptical or gym membership. Luckily, most of us can easily do so with a variety of minimalist exercise options.

At our old house, we couldn’t take walks or ride bikes. Our street’s speed limit was 45, and there were no sidewalks and no shoulder. Maybe if that were all, it wouldn’t be too bad for cycling – but the road is also curvy and hilly, so it’s hard for drivers to see what’s ahead.

“When walking, you see things that you miss in a motor car or on the train. You give your mind space to ponder.”

– Tom Hodgkinson

Our new neighborhood is pedestrian and cyclist friendly, with lots of green spaces, parks and bike lanes. The kind of neighborhood Lewis Mumford and Arthur Morgan might have liked.

We’ve only been here a few days, but we’re already enjoying exploring on foot. Not only is there great people-watching, but there’s a resident flock of Canada Geese at a nearby marshy area.

Minimalist Exercise Suggestions

If you’re like me, taking the dogs for a long walk or cycling to the library is plenty of exercise. I do, however, recognize that some people are looking for more of a workout.

If you think this requires a gym membership, you’re wrong.

Check out these minimalist exercise suggestions from people who aren’t as lazy as I am have created well-rounded exercise plans that require little to no special equipment.

Minimalist Fitness: How to Get In Lean Shape With Little or No Equipment

How to Get a Complete Workout with Nothing But Your Body

The Lifetime Ladder (aka What, Me Exercise?”

18 Minute Minimalist Exercises

100 No-Equipment Workouts

What do you do for exercise? Do you have any suggestions for minimalist exercise you’d like to share?

8 thoughts on “Minimalist Exercise – Walking and Bodyweight Exercises

  1. I’m definitely in the dog-walking brigade! Although with the colder weather, the walks have been shorter–yet I still get out for a brisk walk with the dog four or five times per day and that’s a helluva lot more than I was doing for exercise “pre-dog”! In the nice weather, she gets one-mile or half-mile walks. When I read “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” it renewed my interest in walking–and thinking meditatively while walking.

    • Hi Joy, I’ll have to read that book – just ordered it from my library. Unfortunately our little dogs don’t care that much about walking, so they aren’t any incentive to get out. But we make them go anyway 🙂

  2. Thanks Carol,
    Yes, As a minimalist and someone always working to build a minimalist lifestyle, I find walking to be the one form of exercise I enjoy most. Years ago I was very overweight and I started walking my wife to work. She worked just a ten minute walk away.Then I would walk back home. After a while I didn’t want to head straight home, so I continued walking and exploring my neighborhood and it’s parks. The dog loved it. Eventually I was hiking an 18 klm trail along the west coast where we live. And it wasn’t something I was doing because I had to. I wanted to. I think you’ve inspired a couple of my own blog posts about health and exercise. I’d better get writing! Thanks.

    • Thanks. I enjoy walking the most, too, I think because I’m focusing on something other than exercise. I’m watching the geese argue among each other or checking out plants in the yards I walk past instead of thinking “I’m exercising.”

  3. Hello Christy,

    Excellent post!

    We have a great civic center in our town where I was able to take a few very good and quite inexpensive sessions with a personal trainer. The only equipment I need for the program she gave me is 2 weights. Now I can do the routine at home. I’ve also noticed that YouTube has all sorts of great exercise videos.

    When I was researching my latest post – The Healing Power of Nature – I learned that studies show that outdoor exercise has lots of benefits over indoor exercise – For example, In one study, mental health patients’ self esteem and mood levels improved significantly more if they participated in green exercise than if they simply participated in a social club.

    Enjoy your new home!


    • Thanks, Carol. This is purely anecdotal, of course, but I do feel better walking outside, even in the rain, than inside on a treadmill. Of course there’s that motivation problem to get out in the rain….

I'd love for you to share your ideas and experiences.