If you’re anything like me, you absolutely hate, and I mean despise, having to hit the gym and embarrass myself for a good 45 minutes in front of people who clearly know what they are doing (I do NOT). I have never been a person who can just drop everything and head over to the gym, and actually enjoy working out in a room full of buff fitness gurus. I also have a slight heart condition and can’t work out too hard or I will likely pass out, so I’ve had to find ways to combat my dislike of the gym and discover other methods of working out. Here are 5 of my favourites:
Okay, this is also an acquired taste. Like the gym, you are also in a room full of other people working out and dancing right in front of them, which can definitely be scary. However, the attention is instead focused at the person at the front of the room who is showing you how to workout, but if you’re anything like me (a people observer) then you will also take notice as to how others are working out and doing the moves as well. The benefit of these classes is that they usually run from 30 minutes- an hour (the odd one can be an hour and a half) and there are SO MANY variations and types of classes that you can take. There are also usually beginners classes (for example, beginners Zumba classes) where the pace is slower and you are learning to perfect certain moves before you move onto more difficult moves.
Make small changes to your daily routine
Instead of taking the elevator at work every day, take the stairs. If you live close enough to work where you can walk, take that walk on a sunny day. When you run out of a certain grocery item, walk to the nearest grocery store and pick that item up. Take your dog for more walks, while you’re watching television in the evening, do push-ups or sit-ups between commercials. Sometimes it literally takes the smallest change to notice a difference. I got a job downtown and the parking situation is a little messed up in the downtown area, so I found myself parking a good 10-15 minutes from where I was working. I noticed that by walking a further distance to work everyday was actually doing me a lot of good. I had lost some weight and noticed that my leg muscles were (very slowly) getting stronger.
You’re probably wondering why I didn’t include yoga in the first category of fitness classes, but that’s because I regard yoga as something completely different than breaking a sweat in a room full of strangers. Yoga allows you to reach a calming and meditative state that combines slow movements and a variation of poses. Yoga builds concentration, strength, muscles and can even help to regulate breathing. I took a yoga class called ‘SlowFlo” and it was actually, to my surprise, in a hot yoga environment. I have mild asthma and I was a bit scared that it would affect my breathing but we started out by relaxing on the floor and doing very calming, slow movements. I felt extremely rejuvenated by the end of the class because of all of the sweating I had done. There are classes out there that accommodate people that have health problems and need slower movements, or need a certain target area to be worked out.
Do Physical Activities with Friends
Instead of meeting for a coffee date or meeting at the local bar, go golfing with your friends. Not nice weather outside? Go ice skating, indoor rock climbing, swimming, take a walk, play a sport together, go to the arcade; pretty much do ANY activity that doesn’t involve sitting down for a couple of hours and doing nothing.
This is probably the worst one as I have yet to find a person that actually enjoys cleaning (of course there’s Monica from Friends, but she’s also fictional..). But since cleaning is a mandatory chore that everyone must partake in if you own some sort of dwelling, why not make cleaning fun? Put on music, make a list of chores you have to do, and dance around while cleaning. If you think that’s lame or you live with people who NEVER leave the house, then just put a couple of hours aside for cleaning everything and there’s your workout right there. Vacuuming the house, scrubbing the floors and kitchen sink and dusting the furniture certainly involves movement, and you are working muscles that you probably aren’t used to working on a daily basis.
There are tonnnnsss of other ways that you can workout without actually thinking about working out and once you enjoy doing a certain activity, stick to it and that can become your workout routine. If you like it, it won’t even feel like you’re working out!