Is it really possible to get in the best shape o f your life without hitting the gym 4-5 times a week? It sounds like a big ask doesn’t it? But actually it’s not the gym that helps you get fit or shed these pounds, it’s the effort and commitment that you put into your new regime. Read on to find how you can exercise outside, or in your own home and still be the fittest and most fabulous you’ve ever been.
Many people are pretty skeptical of walking as a form of exercise. It’s just not got the cred that running or weights have. But it can actually be a very effective form of movement. Especially for those of us that are a bit out of shape.
Walking is an excellent way to begin an exercise regime from scratch, you can go at your own pace and slowly build up the length of time that you walk. It also works your legs, where your biggest muscles are located. So it will burn a fair few calories.
It also has the benefit of getting outside the house or office. That means you are exposed to more sunlight which is known to help with mood disorders and is a good source of Vitamin D. Just don’t forget your sunscreen!
Another easy way of working out, without signing up for a gym membership is to follow a designated workout program at home. These usually contain an exercise plan and a nutrition plan, to ensure that you get the best results.
The good ones have videos of the workout routines that you can follow along with at home. The only issue is that there are always so many news ones on the market. Instagram can be flooded with people try to make a quick buck from their workout plans, and they are not always cheap. So it pays to do your research beforehand.
For example Tone It Up, is super popular right now, but not everyone is getting along with their plan. See this Tone It Up review for more info. So, make sure you check it out beforehand to see whether it will fit into yourself style and goals.
Of course, you don’t have to exercise alone to have fun and get fit. It is also possible to join a group or a team, where you get to be in a social situation and exercise at the same time.
Most people think of football and baseball first, but there are all sorts of crazy activities out there for you to try. If you’re a super brave, you could try roller derby or ice hockey? If that’s not your thing, then what about a stroller exercise group for new mom’s wishing to return to their pre-baby level of fitness? There really is something for everyone.
One of the biggest advantages of joining a team, apart from the exercise, is that you get to be a part of something bigger than just you. You get to participate in the team spirit and competition as well as getting fit.
If you love the idea of working out at home but aren’t too keen on all the aerobic options, why not try a more sedate activity like Yoga or Pilates. Be warned, though, in this case, sedate means not moving around at high speed because in no way are these forms an easy ride! A good session of either Yoga or Pilates will work your muscles and test your balance as much as the fastest sports will.
Also these activities, as well as strengthening your muscles, are great as centering exercises. They really help you to get in touch with what it is like to be you, living in your body. Some Yoga sessions even end with a lying down meditation, and yes people do fall asleep quite regularly in these!
Of course, no alternatives to the gym article would be complete without mentioning running. The craze of our generation!
In all seriousness, though running is a fantastic exercise for people wanting to get fit and healthy. You move your legs and arms at the same time which burn lots of calories. It also opens up your lung capacity and generates lots of lovely endorphins to help you feel happy.
A word of warning, though, your mind has just as much to do with your capability to run as your body does. Experienced runners know that their bodies often hit ‘a wall.’ When this happens, it is nothing but their sheer mental will that gets them over the hump and enables them to carry on.
On the other side of the coin, forcing your body to do things that it is clearly not capable of will only end up in injury and pain. That is why it’s important to combine strength of mind, with body awareness and common sense. So you know when to push yourself, and when to ease off. This will enable you to remain injury free, and you will be able to run another day.
Ok, so I know that a lot of these happen at the gym, but they might happen at your local school or community center too. Just because the location is the gym doesn’t mean that they are not doing to be fun!
There are often all sorts of classes you can attend from aerobics to legs, bum and tums and even dance workouts.
Take Zumba as an example. If you are concentrating properly on getting the moves right, you won’t have any time to think about how hard you are working. Seriously classes like Zumba can be the most fun, It as if you are going to a dance party! But they also really ramp up your metabolism.
If you do decide to give it a go as an alternative to the weights and running machines, just make sure you take a big bottle of water and a towel. Yes, you will sweat that much!