In theory, people realize that the path to sustained good health typically involves a sensible diet and regular exercise. When it comes to the exercise part since few of us work at jobs that involve vigorous physical activity, the most typical manner in which we endeavour to get some degree of physical exercise is by joining a gym.
Now “joining” and “regularly using” are 2 different things. Of the millions of people with gym memberships, an estimated 2/3 of these do not use them. Even though many people pay for their memberships monthly, their motivation to work out at the gym inevitably dies down. Gyms seem to be the busiest and most crowded in the early months of the year as people try to fulfill new year’s resolutions and work off the after-effects of the holidays, but eventually, their resolve weakens and they start to drift away.
Though the lack of motivation explains a lot, there are other factors to consider as well; you may live in an area that is not well served by exercise facilities, with the nearest one being far away, or very inconvenient to get to if you don’t drive. Or, especially if you haven’t worked out regularly for a long time, or ever, the equipment can seem strange and intimidating. The presence of other people can inhibit shy, reserved types and the loud pounding music that permeates some gyms can be a turn off as well.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a gym rat to get the kind of exercise that will help keep you fit and healthy. There are many of gymless workout options out there. Below are some fun, yet still physically challenging types of workouts that will help keep your fitness levels at an all-time high.
Swimming combines cardio with targeting your core, arms, back, and legs. No fancy equipment or expensive running shoes are required; just a bathing suit and maybe a bathing cap if you want to protect your hair from chlorine. Swimming is also very easy on your joints. If you live in an apartment or condo that has swimming facilities it means that you’re paying for them whether you’re using them or not, so why not give it a shot? Or, find out where your nearest community pool is and inquire about when their free public swim times are.
- Outdoor Running/Biking
Combine your workout with some much welcomed fresh air by going for a run outdoors or jumping on a bike. If you live close to a park with designated biking or running/walking paths, take advantage of the opportunity to reconnect with nature; this will benefit your mind as well as your body.
Yoga is an excellent way to improve your physical strength, increase your flexibility, perfect your posture, strengthen your joints and cartilage and improve your breathing and blood flow (just to name a few of its benefits). While not all yoga is aerobic, if you do it vigorously or take flow or Ashtanga classes, it can boost your heart rate into the aerobic range. But even yoga exercises that don’t get your heart rate up that high can improve cardiovascular conditioning. As with swimming, not much in the way of equipment is needed, just a mat really (you can spring for all kinds of expensive yoga gear at Lululemon if you want, but really a t-shirt and any pair of sweats or gym shorts that you already have will do just fine).
Love to dance? Then you’re in luck, because some types of dancing burn off as many calories as jogging. The best part is, dancing works to strengthen your heart, with less impact on your joints.
If you can’t afford to pay for classes or getting out of the house is a hassle, there are a lot of instructional videos for sale. as well as free online tutorials. You may also want to investigate if it’s worthwhile to set up a dance/exercise group in your condo, apartment or neighbourhood; you can have fun getting together with friends and neighbours while getting fit at the same time.
- Join a sports league
If you have the time and you enjoy team sports, joining an adult sports league can be a fun alternative to working out at the gym. There are men-only, women-only and co-ed sports leagues out there for volleyball, soccer, baseball/softball, basketball and more.
- Workout Videos
If it’s not exercise that you hate but rather the aforementioned loud, busy, pushy, atmosphere that you find at some gyms, think about opting for a workout in your own home. Whether it’s a DVD, a fitness app, or something you found on YouTube, workout videos can be an easy and convenient alternative to the gym.
Many workout videos use body weight to help you break a sweat, so you likely won’t need any additional equipment. Plus, you can customize your workout according to your preferences.
For more information on how you can introduce healthy habits into your life, contact Physiomed today.