There are many of us who cringe at the thought of going to gym and want to know how to get fit without going to the gym. I’m here to tell you it’s possible and a lot more fun!
You could be socially anxious, not like to be around sweaty grunty, pervy guys, want to lose some weight before you step foot in a gym, not have a gym near you, or your nearest gym is way too expensive.
There are a lot of reasons why many of us don’t like the idea of going to the gym to get fit. That’s totally ok. There are plenty of ways to get fit without the gym.
For those of us who don’t like to leave the house too often, or “the outside” is just an uninspiring landscape of concrete pavements and traffic, working out at home is totally possible if you have the internet.
There are literally thousands of fitness videos on Youtube from yoga, to pilates, to dance classes, to HiiT and everything in between. All you need is enough space to move around in.
You can even workout naked if the mood strikes!
Not only is it essential for us to get out and breathe fresh air every day, it’s a great way to have an active meditation. If you live near farm land, look for a nearby footpath. I once found a 5k round trip path through some nearby farmers fields where I previously lived. Being able to be surrounded by nature any day I wanted was so good for my mental health.
If there are kids playgrounds nearby, you could use the climbing frames to do pull ups, push ups, leg ups and even hang upside down to do hanging sit ups!
You could also dust off your bike or buy a new one and explore your neighbourhood. Trust me, riding a bike again will make your thighs burn but it will be so worth it and you’ll get a work out in half the time!
Learn A New Skill
Think about learning to stand up paddleboard if there is a facility near you. You may even consider learning to surf. Both are incredible for toning your entire body.
What about learning to longboard skate? Longboarding is so much fun and is great for the core because you need your balance to stay on the board.
You could also learn circus skills such as aerial hoop or aerial silks.
Pick up a weighted hula hoop and sign up to an online hooping class to tone up your core in a unique and fun way.
Swimming is incredible for lung capacity and a full body work out. Find your nearest swimming pools and sign up as a member or for some of their classes. It’s also low impact so won’t hurt your joints if you have any old injuries that don’t agree with the gym.
Feeling brave? Find out if you have a local wild swimming organisation!
Honestly, going to a dance class is 10x more fun than grunting it out at the gym. Take up salsa, try Zumba, pole dancing, you could even give belly dancing a go – trust me, it is SO much fun!
Don’t worry about having two left feet, everybody does at first but eventually you will get the hang of it and you will look forward to every class. Dancing is good for the soul.
Too shy for a dance class? Have a search on Youtube and you’ll find plenty of dance classes. You could rig up a big mirror next to your TV or computer to see how you’re getting on, or just do whatever feels good.
The most important thing about getting into shape is to look it from a healthy viewpoint. Instead of thinking “I’m fat, I need to lose weight”, consider thinking about it like, “My body loves me enough to keep me alive and move me around and I want to keep it that way so I’m going to find fun ways to move every day”.
The key is to make exercise fun for you, and easy. If it isn’t fun or easy, you will find every excuse under the sun to avoid it.
You will also find excuses not to move your body if you set too high expectations on results. So change your priorities to “lose x amount of baggage” to “have active fun as often as possible”.
Let’s operate from joy instead of judgement. This is something I am learning too. I grew up being criticised and so that became my internal language and I’m now learning to move from “I need to do better and be better”, to, “how can I have fun with this and feel good about it?”. Which feels better?
Let’s be kinder to ourselves and find joy in life instead of obligation.
What are some other suggestions you have for exercising without using the gym?