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5 Easy steps to getting in decent shape without stepping foot in the gym

Are you finally ready to get into decent shape? Like not totally ripped but at least lose some of that flab and maybe put on a little muscle? Cool, me too. Only thing that was holding me back was the fact that I hate gyms and the people I see in there (no offense), also I had a girlfriend so what was the point of working out? I can’t think of a place on earth I feel more out of place than a public gym. All those confusing machines that I feel like I never use correctly, and those judgmental stares I receive as I try and figure out what the hell I’m doing. So I came up with my own workout plan that doesn’t require going to the gym at all and it has worked out pretty well. By pretty well I mean people have mentioned to me “Hey Hank you’re looking pretty good” which is about all I was shooting for. So if you want people to say that to you as well then follow these steps.

#1 Look at yourself in the mirror, judge yourself
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You’re better than that. That’s what you should be thinking when you see yourself, cause you are. Maybe even find a scale and weigh yourself no matter how depressing it may be. Now you know where you’re at and if you do what I say in the rest of this post than it will only get better from here. The only workout partner this requires is you so will receive no judgements from anyone except yourself. You can even take a picture of how gross you look so you can really monitor your progress, though I don’t do selfies so I wouldn’t say this is required.

#2 Cardio, just do it

It sucks a lot but you gotta do it. Just know that it only gets better the more you do it. Get out there and go for a run or a nice long bike ride. This is the best way to start shedding some pounds and working off that extra winter layer you may have acquired over the past few months. Do what you can at first but make sure you are pushing yourself more and more every week. Once you have been doing this for a few weeks you should be able to bust out 3ish miles 3-4 times a week. Eventually you may even start to enjoy going for a run but no promises.

#3 The basic home workouts

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Push ups, sit ups, planks, and pull ups if you have a bar are all fantastic easy workouts you can do at home to help get tone and build a little muscle. Like I said before this workout plan is not going to turn you into the next Arnold Schwarzenegger but he looks pretty gross anyways. When just starting out see what your max is for each exercise and then try to build on that every week. When you can start busting out four sets of 25 push ups and sit ups then you are making some progress. Try and get the exercises 4-5 times a week to really make them work for you. Summer is a mere few months away so really start cranking on these.

#4 Don’t eat like an idiot
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It really isn’t that hard. Watching what you eat is one of the easiest things you can do, all it takes is a little self-discipline. Seriously, just don’t be an idiot when you do your weekly trip to the grocery store. Make a list of healthy foods and stick to it, lots of fruit and veggies, maybe some chicken and beef to keep the protein up. It’s a lot easier to eat healthy when all you have around the house to eat is healthy food. Carrots and humus are a great snack, bananas and apples with peanut butter is also another delicious option. Now I know I’m guilty of the late night trips to the store to get some Ben and Jerry’s (chocolate chip cookie dough preferably) late night but let’s try and keep those trips to a minimum.

#5 Make sure you actually keep it up

This is the most important of all the steps. Since this isn’t always the most rigorous workout routine it’s very important to not let yourself slip up too much. It’s easy to let a long weekend carry over into a busy week and before you know it you’ve been eating snack food for days on end and haven’t broken a sweat in a week. Don’t let this happen to you, you’re better than that. Now go out there and make yourself better!

Montana’s Top 10 Natural Wonders

Did your favorite Montana natural wonder make the list?

10. Ch-paa-qn Peak west of Missoula, Montana

Ch-paa-qn Peak west of Missoula, Montana
Ch-paa-qn (pronounced “cha-pock-qwin”), is unique in that it is one of very few peaks in the state that possesses at least 4,000 feet of prominence.

9. Gunsight Pass in Glacier National Park

Gunsight Pass in Glacier National Park
The Gunsight Pass Trail is one of the most spectacular hikes in Glacier National Park, the diversity and variety of the landscapes, wildlife and vegetation are unbelievable.

8. Humbug Spires near Butte, Montana

Humbug Spires near Butte, Montana
The Humbug Spires are a grouping of over fifty granite spire formations that sit just a couple miles South and East of the hook in the continental divide, which makes its Westerly shift from the Boulder Mountains to the Anaconda Range just north the little town of Divide.

7. St. Mary Peak in Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains

Saint Mary Peak is one of the most accessible 9,000+ ft peaks in the Bitterroot Mountains and offers spectacular views.
Saint Mary Peak is one of the most accessible 9,000+ ft peaks in the Bitterroot Mountains and offers spectacular views.

6. Belly River Valley along the Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail in Glacier National Park

Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail is a tough trail, but it is worth it. Words cannot express the feeling you get after coming out of tunnel into the Belly River Valley.
Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail is a tough trail, but it is worth it. Words cannot express the feeling you get after coming out of tunnel into the Belly River Valley.

5. Flathead Lake in northwest Montana

Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River in the contiguous United States.
Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River in the contiguous United States.

4. Great Bear Wilderness near Glacier National Park

Great Bear Wilderness near Glacier National Park
The Great Bear Wilderness is on the west side of the Continental Divide, just south of Glacier National Park. In its 286,700 acres, it boasts some wonderful recreational opportunities for all ages.

3. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area in Southeast Montana

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
A landscape of sheer cliffs towering 1,000 feet above a ribbon of blue water. An area sought the world over for magnificent fishing and as a place where wild horses still run free. A landscape overlaid with 10,000 years of human history.

2. Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park

Tripple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park
This spire is the three-faceted jewel in the Crown, dividing Rocky Mountain waters among the Columbia’s plunge to the Pacific Ocean, the Misssouri-Mississippi’s slide to the Gulf of Mexico, and the Saskatchewan River’s amble to the Arctic Ocean.

1. The Chinese Wall in Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness

Bob Marshall Wilderness
With no roads dissecting the area and no motor or mechanical vehicles allowed, the Bob Marshall Wilderness hails as one of the best preserved mountain ecosystems left in the world. This 1 million acre wilderness holds one of the most brilliant natural features of the Rockies- the Chinese Wall, a 1,000 ft deep limestone escarpment that continues on for miles.

Honorable Mention: Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park (Ron Niebrugge)
While not included here because so little of it lies in Montana, Yellowstone National Park is spectacular. It sits on top of a dormant volcano and is home to more geysers and hot springs than any other place on earth. Approximately 50 percent of the world’s hydrothermal features are at Yellowstone National Park.