11th August 2016 | Blog
5 Ways to Keep Fit Without Joining the Gym
Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a lovely summer so far. I always try to get outdoors as much as possible in summer, and although living in the UK means that our summers can be a little unpredictable, on the whole it’s warmer, less wet and a lot lighter than it is in the winter. When it’s a beautiful day outside, nobody wants to be cooped up inside a hot and stuffy gym, so this month I wanted to write about ways you can keep fit without having to step foot inside a gym, and that make the most of the (slightly) better weather.
The things in this post are also great ways of keeping fit without having to spend lots of money on an expensive gym membership, especially if you’re not sure you will stick to the gym. I really believe that exercising should be something we enjoy and actually look forward to. There really is something for everyone, so please don’t spend hours in the gym if you hate every minute of it. Try something new, get outside and find the workout you love.
- Go for a walk
It may sound too easy but going for a walk is a great way to get your body moving. Going for a 30 minute brisk walk is so good for you, or if you want to take it up a level then a powerwalk is brilliant too. It can feel a little strange walking without actually going anywhere but it feels wonderful and definitely gives you a little energy boost. This is a great one for fitting into your working day too - if it’s a nice day, I always try to get out of the office for a lunchtime walk and it makes such a difference. It gives you the chance to clear your head, get some fresh air and come back ready to face the afternoon. Going for a walk with a friend is also great because it makes the time go so quickly as you can chat away while walking.
- Take up running
I took up running last year and absolutely love it now. It can be a little intimidating going out running; I was terrified that everyone was looking at me and judging me because I couldn’t go for more than a minute without stopping, but I got over that quickly enough and just focused on myself and what I was doing. I started off by using the NHS Couch to 5k app and it worked wonders for me so I would definitely recommend that if you want to take up running. It’s a nine week programme which gradually builds you up from running for bursts of just 60 seconds in week one to having you running a full 5k without stopping by week nine. In the beginning I found 60 seconds of running so hard and honestly thought I would never be able to run further than that, but I kept going and kept pushing myself (but only moving onto the next week when I felt ready, even if it meant I did the same week three times over) and now I can run for 5k without stopping no problem at all. In fact, once you reach that 5k goal it becomes so much easier to just keep running and I can go for much further distances now and love it. I always go in the morning too because it just feels so incredible sitting down at my desk at 9am knowing that I’ve already done my workout for the day. Don’t be scared of running, embrace the challenge and you’ll be a natural in no time.
- Try cycling
This one is ideal if you already have a long forgotten about bike locked up in your shed or garage that is looking a little sad and dusty. I’ve had a bike for years, one my parents bought me when I was a teenager but I hadn’t been out on it for a long, long time when I decided a few months ago to rescue it from the garage. Cycling is a great way to workout while also getting lots of fresh air and seeing new places. I’m one of those people who is far too scared to cycle on the road so I just look up cycle paths nearby, pop my bike in the car and drive to them. It’s much more fun than going on the bike in the gym and provided you already have a bike it doesn’t cost you anything. Make sure you get some padded shorts if you’re planning some long cycles though – your bum will thank you, trust me!
- Go for a hike
I love going on hikes in the summer! I’m so lucky to live in a country where there are countless hills on my doorstep. Hiking is wonderful because not only is it a good workout but the reward when you reach the top of a hill is more often than not completely breath-taking and absolutely worth every step. There is nothing like seeing the world from up above where everything looks so small and you really get a feel for just how beautiful and incredible the planet is. Going for a hike is definitely one of my favourite ways to spend a day off work during the summer.
- Do some YouTube workouts
YouTube is a wonderful place if you don’t want to pay for a gym membership because there are thousands of workout videos you can access for free. There really is something to suit everyone – cardio workouts, yoga, pilates, abs, fat burning and full body workouts. YouTube is also great for when you only have a certain amount of time to spare but want to fit in a quick workout because you can just search for workouts lasting for as long as you have. There are so many to choose from and you don’t even need to leave the house. Some good ones to look up and get your started are Fitness Blender, POPSUGAR Fitness and Yoga with Adriene.
What are your favourite ways to stay fit outside the gym?