Whilst most of us are aware of the benefits of staying active and getting a good amount of exercise, there are also some misconceptions amongst people who are starting out on their fitness journey who seem to be under the impression that getting exercise and staying active means hitting the gym four times per week, when really it means no such thing.
There are plenty of people who don’t even like the gym, and whilst there are a lot of people who do love going to the gym to get fit, it’s definitely not a requirement, so in this post we’re going to share with you some of the best alternative ways to stay active when you don’t really like the gym or even if you’re just unable to get to the gym because of your schedule, but you still want to be able to work out and get fit.
For people who don’t like the gym or have the time to go, running is such a great alternative to going to the gym. The great thing about running is that, not only does it help you get fit, but it’s totally free and all you need is some weather-appropriate clothing, some good running shoes and then bring along your music to listen to and just run through the streets or find a park where you can run through. This is something you only need to do for around 20 minutes per day to see the benefits of, and running is great for your mental health, too, so if you’re looking for an alternative to the gym, this is one of the best.
If running isn’t really your thing, then walking is right up, as is hiking. Although walking and hiking are extremely similar, there are a few differences. Walking typically can be done anywhere, but is mainly done on flat ground and can be done at various paces, whereas hiking is something that’s typically done in more remote areas where there’s a lot of nature and is often going to be uphill. Hiking is especially great for a full body workout, and even more so for the lower body like the legs, lower back, and for toning the glutes since it involves ongoing use of these muscles and can sometimes be quite intensive.
For regular walking that you do in a park or near your house, you won’t really need any special equipment, but you should always pay attention the weather, and for hiking, again it depends on the weather and terrain, but usually a good pair of hiking or walking shoes with grips and something to keep you warm and dry is always a good idea.
When hiking – especially if you’re going alone, always make sure you have plenty of water with you, that you bring some high-energy foods and that you let people know where you’re going and when you expect to return, as well as keeping your phone fully charged.
One of the best activities out there for people looking to, not only stay active, but to keep a healthy mind is yoga. Whether it’s yoga for weight loss, yoga for toning your muscles, or simply as a way to relax and become more present, then yoga offers some of the most amazing health benefits to both the body and mind than many other forms of exercise out there. Yoga is often done in a private studio – either at a gym or an independent studio, but over the last few years, things like outdoor yoga and yoga retreats have become increasingly popular. If you simply don’t have the time to attend a yoga class anywhere, then there are many different online videos that you can use to do at home.
Swimming is truly the ideal exercise for anyone who dislikes the gym because it’s completely low impact which means the risk of injury is basically non-existent, you will benefit from a complete body workout and will start to see the results after a very short period of time – even if you’re only swimming for 20 minutes or so per day. The other great benefits of swimming are that you will find your appetite becomes better, you’ll sleep better, and it will give you a great energy boost so you’re going to notice improvements in your mood and overall physical and mental health.
Winter sports, depending on where you live may not be something you can enjoy every day, but even once in a while if you’re able to do things like skiing, snowboarding or cross-country skiing, you’ll see great results since they require so much use of various muscles, and let’s face it, they’re fun as well.
Not only are winter sports great for your physical health, but also your mental health and if you don’t live in a climate that benefits from snowy winter conditions, you can even enjoy the fact that you get to take a few days to stay somewhere like a beautiful mountain lodge to go skiing.
We hope that this post has been useful in showing you that you don’t have to go to the gym everyday in order to enjoy the benefits of a good exercise and fitness regime.
There are plenty of things above to help you get started with this, and the good thing about many of these is that you can do them on your schedule and see great results rather quickly, and also that many of them are free or very low-cost and they’re also a lot of fun.
So, if going to the gym isn’t your thing or you’re not really able to make the time for it, then this post should definitely inspire you with some alternatives that you can get started with right away.
You can even do these with a partne or friend, so if you’re not into doing them alone, then having a running buddy, yoga partner or friend you go hiking with can really make it all the more fun.