One of my favorite alternatives is to head to the mall early in the morning, before all the stores open. I love walking around and around. It's almost like doing speed walking window shopping. Many malls allow walkers in so they can get their exercise before the stores open.
Another possibility is to use the building you work in or your multistory house. Think about walking up and down the stairs several times for a great workout. Research shows that climbing helps strengthen and tone your legs so you become stronger and your legs look better. Although you could do stair lunges, or stair crawls, just walking up and down the stairs is enough to get a good cardio workout.
Get up and walk around the house or building. When I worked in an office in my 20's, I often walked to the bathroom across the building or on another floor so I could get a bit more exercise. At home, I'd take the stairs up to the second floor bathroom if I was downstairs, or go downstairs if I was upstairs. I'd try to find the longest route I could. I was even known for delivering work by taking the longest way around or even do a couple of laps before stopping at the office.
Movement is important. If you don't have time to walk, think about pacing across the room if you are in a conference, rather than sitting through them. When you move around, you are doing so much good for your health and for the health of your brain. Another thing is to look at doing a bit of yoga to help stretch muscles. For instance, circle your head so you are giving your neck a great stretch, or roll your shoulders forward or backwards so the muscles don't cramp. You could also bend to the left with your right hand over your head and then reverse it. When you spend all your time sitting, your muscles can get tired and need stretching.
You might consider getting a membership to a gym that is near work, near your house, or is on the routing home. You also need to make sure the gym offers activities you want, at the level you want. On Monday, I'll do into more details about what to look for in a gym. For me, I have a university that is closer and they do allow towns people to buy memberships so you can pop in and swim or take classes, workout, or use their equipment. There are also park and rec departments that offer so really nice activities for much less than a gym.
If the weather gets too cold, know that there are alternatives available so you don't have to walk out in the super cold air. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great weekend.