For the past three weeks, I have been in the moving process. During this time I have not been going to the gym for workouts. I have to admit it has been a strange experience, given my consistency with this routine! I am now happy to be scouting for a new gym to join, although this decision has a few factors to consider. This transition has got me thinking about the individuals that may be in the same position.
For those on vacation or who live a lifestyle that requires traveling, finding alternative ways to getting a workout in is key to staying in shape and being healthier. There are so many substitutions if one does not wish to obtain a gym membership.
Reasoning individuals do not go to the gym could include:
- Finances: Obtaining a gym membership does require a financial commitment, whether a small or large monthly expenditure. This definitely depends on the gym and what it offers.
- Convenience/proximity: Depending on where you are located, you could have limited to no access to a gym that would be suitable for your schedule.
- Work: Some individuals work long shifts that do not allow them to set aside the time.
- A general disinterest:Everyone is different and obtains different goals, therefore some individuals do not have an interest in exercising.
If any of these factors sound familiar, perhaps you could get more creative with your options to boost your interest or make time for physical activity.
My methods for the past three weeks:
Main tip: Utilize the outdoors.Whether you have 20 minutes or an hour, the outdoors do not have a closing time.
My personal favorite outdoor workout is a long hike. My feature image is emphasizing the beauty of the outdoors and how a good view and good company could make for the best workout. Hiking gets your heart rate up on steep hills and you get the fresh air, as opposed to doing cardio indoors.
Running and walking are great for cardio. I go on walk/jog stints in intervals to get my heart rate up. I prefer doing interval training rather than just jogging because it brings more of a challenge for your body. Also try to choose a route with some hills as opposed to training solely on flat surfaces. This will work your calves and glutes more going uphill.
HIIT (High intensity interval training)is one of my favorite types of training. If you are not familiar, HIIT is basically shorter periods of more intense exercise with less recovery time. If you are in a crunch for time, this would be a quicker workout on the days where you have a super busy schedule.
BodyFlow is a common gym session offered with gym memberships, however, BodyFlow includes a mixture of Tai Chi, pilates, and yoga, all exercises that can be completed at home with minimal equipment. It would be wise to invest in a yoga mat for the extra cushion and stability with these flexibility exercises, although a softer surface would suffice as well! These are body and mind workouts, and allow you to also relax your mind from outside influences. I would highly recommend incorporating them to improve mental health.
Weight training: In order to work with weights, equipment is required. Buying free weights is a one time purchase and would definitely help succeeding in working out at home. Balance balls, bosu balls, benches, and even small pieces such as strength bands could also be great investments. As opposed to getting these in sport stores, try shopping in the clearance section at stores such as TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. I have saved so much money simply by going to these stores.
I do a mixture of the above workouts when I go through transition periods without gym access. I currently have these pieces of equipment:
- Jump rope (quick cardio and warm-ups)
- Medicine ball (great for HIIT, squats, and lunges)
- Yoga mat
- Ankle weights (for glute exercises)
- Free weights (I personally own 5 and 8 lb weights that are easy to transport)
- Strengthening bands (prevention of injuries)
- A roller (I swear by these! Proper stretching is so important for healthy exercise. I use my roller especially for hamstrings and shins)
Due to the internet offering so many programs, public figures that specialize in weight and fitness training have done workout programs online. Examples of these figures could be Kayla Itsines, Jillian Michaels, and even the P90X series. If you don’t have the time or finances to go to the gym, these programs are also a one time purchase.
Don’t underestimate YouTube. This platform hosts countless fitness videos and routines available at any time. I have on occasion used Cassey Ho’s Pop Pilates free workouts via YouTube during busy times such as finals or while on vacation without gym access.
As far as the factor of disinterest, workout out is much better when you actually enjoy it. I am not a person to recommend going to the gym to spend an hour on the elliptical or getting on the stair stepper with a book. There are a lot of options to choose from, and you may not be experimenting enough to find what you like best and what gets you the best results.
Being a person that is very consistent with working out, I think there is a type of workout everyone would enjoy. My advice is to aim to achieve a balance, and not to get stuck in the same workout routine that you dread finishing.
If you are on vacation: Take a long walk on the beach. I absolutely love doing this because it’s a natural exfoliation for your feet as well as being a killer workout for your calves and muscles to push through the sand. You also have a view!
I hope these tips helped for those debating on how and when to incorporate exercise into their lifestyle. Thanks for reading! xx