You heard it here first, WORKING OUT SHOULDN’T BE YOUR WHOLE LIFE. Whew, glad the cat is out of the bag. I understand not everyone loves working out or going to the gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be active. In fact, there are a lot of ways to get exercise without actually “working out”. Not to mention all the benefits to it as well. You know, fresh air, happiness, endorphins, well-being…
I always want to remind you that healthy and fitness comes full circuit back to making you feel good about yourself. I get that a lot of people out there want to lose weight, and absolutely despise working out. But you have to remember that making yourself do hard this is sometimes exactly what you need to get yourself where you want to go. Goals are meant to challenge us, change us, and push us. And the entire journey isn’t going to be sunshine and rainbows. But part of it can be. I am a firm believer in the fact that the more you do something, the more you start to enjoy it. Especially when it comes to exercise, because it is literally changing your life. But if you hate running, you don’t actually have to run. And if you hate swimming, you don’t have to swim. Everyone has a type of movement they enjoy (and if you don’t, keep searching). Find that activity that you really like doing, that doesn’t feel like exercising. Because those are the things that are really important. Those are the things we are going to be able to do day after day without ever feeling like we have to. So let’s cover a few ideas of ways to stay active outside the gym!
Ways to Stay Active
I danced for 15 years so I might be a little biased on this one, but what a great way to move your body in a fun and freeing way. Someone please tell me the last time you had a horrible time dancing…I’ll wait…NEVER! Dancing is great because there are no rules and no guidelines. It’s just moving your body to the beat of music in a way you want to. It can look like ballet, hip hop, tap, booty shaking…whatever you thing is, do it! Burn calories while having fun with friends, or alone? Sure, count me in!
Anything outside has more benefits than just exercise. Let’s first start out with…the average American spends 93% of their life indoors. That means 7% is spent outdoors. That is just not acceptable. Nature is what shaped us into who we are as human beings! We need to get back to that. Being outside brings a sense of peace, contentment and joy. Not to mention the impact fresh air and vegetation has on our overall health, especially our mental health. Anything you can do outside is like a double whammy! Things like hiking, skiing, kayaking, swimming, running/walking, biking. The list goes on! Whenever you can, take it outside. Because the benefits and the emotions you will feel is like nothing else.
If you grew up playing sports it’s probably a no brainer how much fun it can be! Your mind always goes straight to the game/strategy and away from the fact that you are actually exercising. But as we get older, we tend to move away from sports. It seems like a chore to find a league to play in, or to get your friends together for a pick up game..but I encourage you to! Because among other things, having an activity YOU do outside of your day to day life is important. We all need hobbies. And it doesn’t even have to be something you played in the past, pick up something new! I have recently started playing tennis and pickle ball (never played either in my life before this year) and it is so much fun! 1-2 nights a week we grab out stuff and head to the court and just play. Other sports can be basketball, softball, golfing, football, soccer, volleyball, batting cages, driving range. Anything that has some rules and strategy to focus on will usually take your mind off the idea of exercise.
Nothing shouts motivation like a friendly competition! If you find that you are bored in the gym or with out current training routine in general, sign up for a race! I did a few mud races (ones with obstacles) and they were a blast! Not only was race day fun because you never thing about the race but just think about completing the obstacles, but leading up to it was also fun! It made us spend some extra time outside running to prepare. But then we also would work on some explosive movements and agility for the obstacles. I know a lot of people find that signing up for a 5k, or 10k also motivates them to start doing something new thy have never done. Great option for changing things up and having specific timeline to work on!
This one isn’t going to keep you out of the gym, but it might change up your routine enough and give you a new hobby! There are always new workouts being created and new gyms opening up. And most places will offer some sort of promotion when you are a new member. So take advantage! Try new classes and new types of workouts to see if there is something fun you are truly missing in your routine! I have tried everything from boxing, cycling, yoga, Crossfit and everything in-between. Each of them were fun in their own way, and it was a great way for me to change my routine. So even if you are looking to get out of the gym and find an extra curricular that is less fitness focus, look into a class. Grab a friend even and it makes for a fun morning, and a good excuse to get brunch after (:
Like I said, I am a huge advocate of just moving. Moving our bodies in whatever way you enjoy. Some people hate running, and some love it. Some people are afraid of heights while others want to climb the tallest mountain (where do I sign up?). Everyone is going to be different and there is not mold we have to fit. Fitness fits YOUR lifestyle. Your world shouldn’t revolve around working out and exercising. It should just fit into your routine because you enjoy it and it makes you feel good! So do me, and yourself, a favor and try something new! Get out of your cookie cutter routine and divert. You never know, you might just find the missing puzzle piece you have been looking for all this time!