It’s not all about the gym. I think often we can get caught up in this idea of exercise requiring a gym. I know certain people who complain about being unhealthy, but never exercise because: ‘gym membership is too expensive’.
What are your reasons?
Unless your training for a specific sport, then in all likelihood your desire to train stems from wanting to:
- improve health
- feel more confident
- look a certain way
Now. With improved health comes improved confidence. These things can take time but can be helped along the way with an active lifestyle and sustainable approach to healthy eating. Neither requires a gym.
Of course if you want to lift weights at the gym as part of your active lifestyle and body goals then go for it. However if your initial goal is about feeling healthier and more confident, don’t wait until you can afford gym membership.
Not all about the gym: get outside!
Believe it or not, a healthy lifestyle is not all about the gym. It is unfortunate in our society that we consider our health something that is afforded. However there are so many options that are free! Try a plyo workout in the park. Cycle to work. Enquire about 5 a side football teams or start one yourself.
If you want to try yoga there is no need to pay a huge amount for classes. A cheap mat from Tescos and YouTube is all you need. Although I do recommend doing a couple of classes with a professional instructor at the beginning just to ensure you are doing the moves safely.
I do not enjoy runnning. I get very overheated, can become bored easily and invariably get some kind of knee injury after only a few weeks of regular sessions. Also, I can’t think of anything worse than the treadmill. However, I love to run in the rain.
It sounds cliche but running in the rain makes me feel so light and free. I also like the idea that I’m doing something most people wouldn’t. Last Tuesday I found myself running alongside the canal in the pouring rain, grinning at passers-by huddled under umbrellas and raincoats.
Find what you enjoy
I’m not against the gym in any way. For sure if you love weights you are going to need access to a well equipped gym. However gym membership and an active healthy lifestyle are not mutually exclusive.
I think this mindset is encouraged by the very divided cardio versus weights debate. So many fitness YouTubers now claim that weights are all you need to achieve the body of your dreams, and we no longer need to ‘waste our time’ with hours of cardio.
Even ignoring all the respiratory health benefits of cardio, if swimming/ running/ cycling/ hiking is what you enjoy, keep going! Don’t feel you have to stop doing the activity you love because some Youtuber with abs tells you that you can’t achieve your dream body that way.
Remember that your health comes first, and body image second. Sustainable fitness is not all about the gym, that’s for sure.
Also, here is a good plyometric style workout to try (disclaimer – I don’t completely agree with her views on diet later in the video, I just like the workout).
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