5 fun ways to get fit without the gym

man running with his dog

When most people think about fitness, the first thing that usually pops in their head is … you guessed it, the gym. Wanna lose weight, lift some weights. Wanna be slim, run like the wind on a treadmill. It’s the conventional way. We’re used to it. But what if it’s not your cup of tea? What if the thought of using those machines in the morning only inspires you to sleep for a couple more minutes. Or even hours. What if the thought of working out immediately scares you back to your comfortable lazy life. Where you decide you’d rather be unhealthy for the rest of your life, than build your dream body at the gym.

Well maybe what you need is a fun alternative.

I don’t think I have ever been to a gym. OK maybe only once or twice, but that’s it. And it’s not because the huge equipment and heavy weights scare the wits out of my (frail) body. You see, it just doesn’t appeal to me. To my mind the gym looks a bit like a human factory. A place where human bodies are sculpted and built with hard work and machines. So I’m always in awe whenever I hear someone say they go there almost every single day. Like seriously, how do you do it?

Luckily for some of us, there are a number of easier bodybuilding workouts outside the gym. Interesting ways to get fit and lose weight sans the expensive equipment. There are all kinds of exercises for all kinds of people. And you can do them anywhere – from the comfort of your own home to out there in the big vast world. There are simply no limits people. No limits at all.

Enough of the teaser. Let’s explore some of them, shall we.

 

Yoga

My number one choice of exercise. (Inhales deeply. Exhales.) The main reason I love yoga is that it not only helps you get flexible, but also feel more relaxed. It is therapy for both the mind and the body. From practising this chill workout regularly you gain balance in your limbs, as well as in life. So if you’re all about slow-paced workouts minus energetic moves, yoga is probably calling out your name. Yes, right there at home. As my favorite instructor says, hop onto your yoga mat (honestly any mat will do) and let’s do some poses. Here’s a cool YouTube channel to help you out.

mannequin in yoga pose
Namaste!

 

Walking/running

If you an outdoor junkie then this might be the exercise for you. Yes, I’m talking to you cardio lovers. Forget the treadmill, there is so much nature and architecture to admire out there as you exercise. And I know you want to feel that cool refreshing breeze gently slapping your shiny face as you perspire. So what’s stopping you? Put on your *insert favorite sports brand* sneakers and get moving.
And oh, extra cool points for wearing earphones.

sneakers and christmas socks
I wonder which brand those are. The socks, I mean. (Photo by RVWithTito.com)

 

Sports

This one was inspired my most recently adopted hobby – playing tennis. Let me tell you one thing, tennis is extremely fun, and exhausting at the same time. That’s what makes it such a great cardio workout. But it’s not just tennis, any active sport works; basketball, badminton, squash, football, kati, rounders… you get the drift.

And you know what the best part is? You can play your favorite sport for hours just because you’re having so much fun. Or because the coach said so. Either way you get to workout for a longer time without noticing all the effort exerted.
Until the next morning, that is.

tennis game
The proper way to play tennis (Photo by Shinya Suzuki)

 

Swimming

Aah, swimming. Cool water, splashing games, breast strokes – basically endless fun. I know some of you will say this is also a sport, but there’s a good reason I separated the two. Except in the case you are aquaphobic, swimming is one of the most refreshing ways to exercise your arms, or your legs…. Wait nope, I’m getting a message from my producers. They say it actually workouts the whole body, including the abs. Builds up muscle too. Now who would have guessed that.

Oh, and with swimming, you can finally say goodbye to those unsightly smelly patches on your clothes. It’s no more sweat. All you do, is get wet.

baby and his mother in a pool
I’m scared mommy! (Photo by spilltojill)

 

Dance

Is something as fun as dancing even viable to be considered as exercise? Well as strange as it sounds, it is. There are all kinds of dance lessons available, from hip hop to dance hall to contemporary to ballroom. I think there might even be one for reggae. So if you love moving your body, all you have to do is identify your favorite dance class. And maybe pick a dance partner, if it’s cha-cha. (So spicy! But if I were you, I’d probably choose contemporary.)

Then there’s something else called zumba. In the simplest terms ever, zumba is an exercise that combines both aerobics and dance. With some great danceable music added on top. So basically, it’s fun aerobics. Now which dance lover would even refuse that.

dancing dog
Let’s dance (Photo by S. Carter)

It’s finally about time to step out of the gym (that you rarely visit) and start having a blast while exercising. All you have to do, is find out which workout works for you.

May the strong fitness gods be with you.

 

 

Cover photo by Astrid Westvang

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