Get fit without the gym!

Stephanie Hazelwood explores some alternative ways to keep fit without the need for a gym membership

Maybe the gym just isn’t for you. Yes, you read right. Now, I’m not saying that you need to stop exercising entirely – that’s not the case at all. We all know that exercise is a crucial part of keeping our bodies healthy and our wellness intact. But what I am saying is that this popular haven and hub of fitness could be preventing you from achieving your fitness goals.

For some, and this could be you, gyms can seem too expensive, boring or intimidating and therefore out of the picture and restricting you from getting fit. Yet, fear not, there are lots of alternative ways to improve your health that are arguably cheaper, more fun and physically rewarding!

Walk, hike and grab a coffee

Walking is one of the most overlooked forms of exercise. A brisk walk can help burn calories, improve definition and build stamina. This free, simple and effective way of getting fit could be implemented into your daily routine from the moment you wake up. Whether you’re walking for hours or simply nipping to the shops, this brisk movement counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. If you think that walking could be for you, consider joining a walking group. Organisations such as The Ramblers (www.ramblers.org.uk) organise walks for all ages and levels of fitness, meaning you can improve not only your fitness but your friends’ and family’s too.

Join a team

Do you have childhood recollections of netball tournaments and football matches? Why not embrace those memories and join a sports team? Although it may seem intimidating initially, if you can push through and pluck up the courage, this is a great way of getting fit as well as making friends. Whether you’re looking to pick up an old familiar sport, such as netball or hockey, or you’re tempted to adopt a new activity such as water polo or ultimate frisbee, either way, you’ll be one step closer to obtaining your health goals.

Embrace technology – and get downloading

When it comes to getting fit, technology is your friend. In today’s world, the developments of health devices and fitness apps are making health and wellbeing accessible to all. So, if you’re looking for guidance, advice or just a whole load of motivation, there will inevitably be an app or gadget perfect for you. If you’re unsure where to look, the internet is a great place to start. Given the increasing fusion of technology and fitness, the internet is now exploding with tips, advice and ‘download me now’ buttons. Top tip: try not to get fixated on one app but embrace a few, focusing on not just your fitness but your mental wellbeing too. There are now many mental wellbeing apps that are great for supporting you to achieve your goals.

Climb every mountain

Climbing is a great way to improve your core muscle strength, increase bone density and improve suppleness. Whether you’re climbing upstairs, heading to a climbing wall or taking a trip to a peak, all take you one step closer to obtaining your dream legs. Climbing stairs is a great sculpting exercise, engaging every muscle in your lower body. If you do this for 20 minutes you are bound to feel a bit achy the next day. Climbing walls are a great place to visit if you’re looking for a complete body workout. When bouldering, you engage not just your legs, but your core and shoulders too. Climbing a peak is a great challenge to get you fit and out in nature. The UK has an extensive number of peaks for you to explore, from the more well-known such as Ben Nevis to the lesser known in regions as the Lake District.

Cash in on sales

One of the biggest drawbacks of gyms can be their price tag. With some memberships now costing around £60 per month, the motivation to get fit can be dampened. But don’t lose your enthusiasm just yet! Stay alert and make the most of sales and discounts that are now unlimited and at your disposal. This is your opportunity to try something new, adventurous or usually a lot more expensive. From salsa dancing to hot yoga, the list of activities is endless. Explore the internet for discount sites and one-off sales.

With all these alternatives, you simply have no excuse. All you need is a good pair of trainers and you’re ready!

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