Beginner's Guide to Exercise: Gym Alternatives

So you want to get fit but anyone you speak to always only mentions how well they’re lifting at gym or how the cardio they get from a spinning class or treadmill was killer. The thing is, the idea of having to go to a gym to reach your fitness potential is not appealing to you at all. The gym isn’t for everyone and although it makes getting into shape easier for a lot of people what you have to realise is that there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to go the gym route. Just like with your diet, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to optimum fitness and health. Now with COVID-19, even less people are unlikely to go the gym route. So even if you used to love the high of going to a gym, but can't anymore, this is for you. 

The gym has a number of pitfalls for a variety of reasons. One may be that you’re really out of shape and are self-conscious about training in front of a majority of super fit people. No matter what everyone says about judgment not being passed at gym doesn’t help to stave off your own internal feelings of embarrassment. Another reason may be because of the fact that other people actually use those machines and sweat all over them before it’s your turn to use it. The fact that there are just people everywhere could also hamper how fast you want to get through your routine and what you want to use. Gyms also carry with them monthly expenses that many of us just can’t afford to part with.  

Whatever your reason may be that shouldn’t demotivate you from reaching your goals because there are so many other options other than the gym, and they’re everywhere. Below you’ll find five alternatives that will keep you fit and healthy that are cost-effective and don’t require you going anywhere near a gym:

1. Road Running

Sure, gyms have treadmills but there is simply nothing like feeling a steady breeze passing through your hair and whirling around your ears while you hear the steady motion of your feet in full flight below. You’ll encounter a more challenging course where the tarred roadway undulates and sometimes forces you through a variety of terrains and your senses will be kept eager as the landscape changes as well. It’s all about movement and, let’s face it, a treadmill doesn’t prepare you properly for a marathon. Running outdoors is what freedom feels like and you’ll feel all the more motivated when you see a fellow runner along the path and they give you an approving wave and nod combo.

 

2. Swimming

We’re not sure what you believe but in the realm of reality we all came from fish. Aquatic lifeforms who evolved into bipedal humans. Return to the water and stay fitter than ever. Have you seen what pro swimmers look like? That’s because swimming trains every part of your body, and then some! It’s also quite a relaxing exercise because you’re in the water and it feels so cathartic to be in a new environment. You don’t have to go to the gym either. Make some likeminded friends at the local public pool or date someone who has their own. Whatever it takes, you’ll see the difference that swimming makes not only physically but emotionally as well. Being in the water seriously makes you happier. We’re all water babies at heart.

3. Bodyweight Training

There’s a little bit of a revolution going on these days when it comes to bodyweight training. It is the concept that there is a whole variety of exercises that can help you build muscle by simply relying on your bodyweight, the secret lies in your ability to gain control over your body. Calisthenics has gained worldwide popularity, and have you seen the people who have mastered it? All they do is exercise a bit at home and they look amazing. Sure, it’ll take some time to master but the issue here isn’t about your dedication. If you really want to reach your goals, then the motivation is already there. Another fun thing about bodyweight training is that there’s always room to up the ante, you can increase the challenge by manipulating your body in different ways.

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4. Get On Your Bike

Remember learning how to ride a bike? What was that exactly for if you aren’t going to ever utilise it as a skill? Even if it isn’t riding to work, you can get into really good shape simply by spending weekend mornings traveling out of the city or taking a daily ride in the evenings. Not only will you be upping your fitness and stamina, but you’ll also be conditioning your body to be more coordinated and aware. You can also make it even more fun by not even focusing on it as something you’re doing to get fit but a means of exploring where you live from a new perspective. Too often we’re shut off from the world, but being on a bike can challenge you to engage with it in ways you couldn't imagine.

5. Take Up A Sport

After completing school many of us find it difficult to be actively involved in sports. Work, family, friends and life, in general, just seem to get in the way and take up a lot of your time. But have you considered how much time you could actually invest in being active through sport if you weren't procrastinating? An amazing way to stay fit is to take up football or cricket or other sport that you excelled in at school through joining a neighbourhood club (and there are plenty). You’ll meet new people and will feel re-invigorated by doing something that you used to love. Sports is a great way to stay fit while continuously challenging yourself on a regular basis. You’ll also find that it’ll boost your confidence, and if you don’t believe us then you must have never experienced the feeling of scoring a goal, taking a wicket or being a part of the winning side. It’ll revolutionise the way you look at sports forever.

In the meantime, you can also add Healthfit to you cart to help you optimise your meal plans and learn about the other ways you train for your genetic makeup. Open up your world and challenge your body to do new things to ensure you live a full healthier, happier and active life. 

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