Any other gym haters out there? Raise your hands with me!
Don’t get me wrong, some people thrive with the comradery that comes with a gym membership, especially if you have a posse that you sign up with from the get go. Accountability, classes, childcare, and a pool are all very real advantages of these memberships, but if you are reading this, you have probably tried the gym and you are with me in the fact that it is not right for you.
Here is why I hate the gym:
- THE COST – I know this is a big one for most people. I’ve tried everything from the $19 a month gyms to the $75 a month gyms and neither seemed worth the money to me. The cheaper gyms are small and crowded and the expensive gyms are overwhelming and I never took advantage of all they had to offer. So NOT worth it (to me).
- EXTRA TIME – It takes some time to pack a gym bag and drive to and from the gym. The closest option to me is 15 minutes away, which isn’t bad, but you take to and from, plus time packing the gym bag and you have at least 45 minutes a day. Do that 3-5 times a week and that’s up to almost FOUR hours a week!
- CHEMICAL CLEANERS – I can understand when you are dealing with groups of sweaty people, keeping the place clean is a must. Any gym I’ve ever been to has spray cleaners to clean the machines before and after you use it. Harsh, toxic cleaners most likely, and the towels always wreak of bleach. I avoid chemicals in my home because I feel they are harmful to our health, so exposing myself in large amounts at the gym doesn’t seem logical. Not to mention the smells give me headaches.
- WASTES ELECTRICITY– I wonder how much electricity an average gym uses. Running all those machines MUST add up to a massive electric bill. If you are environmentally conscious at all this is a no-brainer reason.
So what might be some big benefits and advantages to non-gym fitness? Other than saving you time, money and exposure to toxic chemicals? PLENTY!!
More benefits of non-gym fitness:
- PRIVACY – When you workout in your home or outside, you have the freedom to go into your own little workout world. Never again having to worry about (or be annoyed by) the people on the machines inches away from you.
- CONNECT WITH NATURE – The fresh air, the birds and squirrels (I’ve seen plenty of wild turkeys!), When you workout in nature there is something very calming and grounding that happens. It is something no gym could ever give you.
- VITAMIN D – So many people are vitamin D deficient, especially in the winter months. Get your vitamin D the way nature intended, from the sun!! Get away from the florescent lights and workout outside!
- CAREFREE APPEARANCE – One of my favorite reasons. I love doing yoga in my pajamas in the morning with bedhead and unbrushed teeth. Not that I’d be one to care too much about my appearance in a gym setting, but the energy and effort involved in being “presentable” in a public place are not on my workout to-do list.
So, how do I stay fit and healthy even though I hate the gym? The best way is using a combination of everyday physical activities and planned workouts.
Everyday physical activities are easy peasy. You probably already do these things and don’t even realize how much you are actually moving! The best way to really know is with a fitness tracker. Fitbit is a popular one and is what I use. They range in function and price. It’s so cool to see how many steps, miles, and flights of stairs you’ve gone in one day. It also tracks your sleep plus a ton more!
My Fitbit, Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband (Plum, Large (6.2 – 7.6 in)), also has the heart rate monitor feature which tracks your heart rate during workouts plus it tracks your resting heart rate.
When I first got my Fitbit, I was not super active. My resting heart rate was averaging around an 86, which is pretty high. Fast forward a year later after incorporating more exercise and my average resting heart rate was and still is, 65! My heart is healthier and I can see it! I can also see and review all the stats and results from day one of using my Fitbit right on the Fitbit app on my phone. (I super love my Fitbit, best mother’s day gift EVER!)
Everyday physical activities include:
- Washing/ waxing your car (by hand)
- Mowing the lawn (with a push mower)
- Shoveling snow
- Scrubbing floors
- Painting/Home Repairs
FAMILY ACTIVITIES – (Basically, PLAY with your kids and/or pets!)
- Play at the park
- Leisurely bike rides
- Fly kites
- Snow sledding
- Building a snowman
- Nature hikes/GEO caching
Planned workouts might include:
- Running/ jogging/ hiking/ walking
- Competitive or recreational sports games and practices
- Distance and/or trail biking
- Strength training with weights/kettle bells
- DVD or Streamed workouts
So what is the best method for incorporating everyday activities and planned workouts? BALANCE.
To find your perfect balance – First, assess how much everyday physical activity you currently do. Can you add to it? Or are you happy with where you’re at? Then, decide realistically how many days you can do a planned workout. Make sure it’s an amount you can stick to.
For me, I aim for 2-4 days per week. I personally love to go for runs and do yoga. My husband loves trail riding with his mountain bike plus kettlebell workouts (He has been known to do yoga with me on occasion). It’s good to combine something aerobic with something for strengthening.
Finding your favorite planned workouts might take some experimenting. Pick up some inexpensive workout DVD’s or do a free trial on a workout streaming service. If you have running shoes, try a light jog. Dust off that bike and take it for a spin. Have a sport you used to play and loved? Find a team to join. The possibilities are endless!
Once you find your perfect fit for fitness and balance it with a doable schedule it will just become part of who you are. I have not always been an active healthy person, but now that I am and I know how great it feels to be healthy and fit, I refuse to ever go back! Want to follow me in my workouts? I post them all the time on Instagram so feel free to follow me HERE!
Just say NO to the gym and achieve more than you ever imagined in your health and fitness journey! If you need more help figuring out where to start or have any questions, pop down and leave a comment below. I always reply and I’m here to help!