There are many reasons that people hate going to the gym. You may find running on a treadmill really boring or the wall of mirrors opposite you off-putting. You might be self-conscious and dread making a fool out of yourself when you’re using the equipment. You might just hate the thought of getting all hot and sweaty when you’re not even doing something you enjoy. Whatever the reason, if you’re struggling to motivate yourself and want an alternative to your usual routine, here are 8 fun ways to keep fit if you hate the gym.
Hiking is a powerful cardio workout which is good for both your body and mind. It helps to lower blood pressure, strengthen your leg muscles and an intensive hike can burn up to 500 calories per hour! Hiking gives you the chance to get out in nature, breathe in some fresh air and enjoy the views. This will help you to forget you’re even exercising and relieve any stress and anxiety you have. Although fun to do with others, going hiking alone can be a great opportunity to escape hectic city life and take some time for yourself. It also offers a great sense of achievement if you cover a long distance, conquer a steep incline or manage to reach the summit of a mountain. Don’t forget to take your camera!
If you struggle to motivate yourself and are looking for a fun way to lose weight, a fitness class could be a good option for you. Promising similar results to the gym, fitness classes offer different routines to music and an instructor to guide and encourage you along the way. With a variety of classes available in gyms across the country, there is something for everyone. There are traditional classes like aerobics, step or boxercise, or you could try a more adventurous class like Clubbercise, with its disco lights, glow sticks and club anthems. You can now even take classes to banish your bingo wings and relieve stress by drumming along to rock music! Take a friend for a laugh or if you’re feeling brave, why not go it alone and take the opportunity to meet new people?
3.Go for a bike ride
Cycling is a great aerobic and cardiovascular activity which builds muscle and can help you burn between 400-1000 calories per hour! As a non-weight bearing, low impact exercise, cycling improves joint mobility and has a lower risk of injury than running. You can ride your bike to work to keep fit without having to go to the gym, while saving money and reducing emissions. Or you can take the opportunity to get out of the gym, into the outdoors and enjoy the scenery. There are many cycle routes across the UK through stunning forests and parks, which you can find on websites such as Let’s Ride – simply type in your location to find a route that suits you!
4.Take up a sport
If you hate the gym, but enjoy sports, why not play football for your local team on weekends or challenge a friend to a game of squash? If you’re a thrill-seeker, depending on where you live, you could even take up an extreme sport such as white water rafting or snowboarding! Sports a good way to control your weight and improve your stamina and co-ordination. They also give you a challenge to get your teeth into and their social aspect gives you the chance to have fun while keeping fit with like-minded people – making you more likely to stick at it! This is one of the fun ways to keep fit!
Dancing has got to be one of the most enjoyable ways to get moving. Whether you go out to the club to dance with your friends into the early hours or take a dance class to learn salsa, tap, ballroom or even belly dancing, this type of exercise will help you burn calories while having tonnes of fun! If you love your music and aren’t afraid to sweat off the pounds, dancing could be your answer to escaping the boredom of the gym. It helps to keep your brain active, improve your balance and posture and build muscle strength and confidence, in a relaxed environment where you can let your hair down and forget your inhibitions! This is one of the fun ways to keep fit!
This exhilarating way to exercise was very popular in the late 1990’s and continues to be so around the world today. Roller-blading involves using many muscles in an ongoing, rhythmic movement and as such is great for toning the lower body and building core strength. It can even help you burn as many calories as running! Not only is it a good way to stay active, but roller-blading also lifts your mood as the wind rushes through your hair and you speed along the pavement. Spring-summer is the best time to try it out and anyone can give it a go if you think your balance is up to it. Just be sure to wear protective gear to avoid injuries if you fall! This is one of the fun ways to keep fit!
Swimming is a great all-round exercise suitable for all ages and abilities. Regular swimming will help keep you fit by working many different muscle groups in the body and also reduces the risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. It is a particularly beneficial way to stay active if you have joint problems, are overweight, elderly or even pregnant as the water offers great support. Swimming is also not as grueling as sweating it out in a gym and you can do it either indoors or outdoors depending on the weather where you live. Leisure centres usually offer sessions for parents and toddlers and women only, as well as a range of swimming lessons, so there will be something for everyone. It is never too late to learn! This is one of the fun ways to keep fit!
While kids regularly enjoy bouncing on trampolines, this is a relatively new and exciting way for adults to keep fit and lose weight. Trampolining can be done by almost anyone, even if you are usually sedentary and it can take up to 80% of the stress off weight-bearing joints. This form of cardio will increase your energy levels and metabolism, firm and tone your muscles and help to improve your balance. Not only that, but it can significantly improve your mood and mental well being as well as your fitness levels. There are a number of trampoline parks around the UK offering fitness classes and adult-only sessions, or you could take your younger relatives for a fun and active day out. This is one of the fun ways to keep fit!
These are just some of the ways you can keep fit if, like me, you hate going to the gym. Why not try them out yourself? Let us know which one you are going to try in the comments.
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An English graduate from Yorkshire, currently living in Teesside. A lover of TV & film, music, tattoos and travelling!