It may not be January yet, and you may be surrounded by people eating, drinking and being very merry – but investing in your health at this time of the year is something you’ll never regret. So when Lauren Welch approached me asking if she could write a post for my Blog about keeping fit without being a gym member, I couldn’t refuse! As well as working at a digital marketing agency, Lauren is a self-confessed foodie and a big fan of my healthy recipes – she says her favourite is my Superfood Chocolate Cups – great taste Lauren! Without further ado, over to my Guest Blogger…
There is no denying that staying fit for 365 days per year is a huge challenge, particularly in those winter months when the idea of packing away your workout gear and hibernating seems incredibly tempting. With colder temperatures and darker evenings, it can feel increasingly difficult to find the motivation to get to the gym, and for many people the idea that you cannot get fit without a gym membership is one of the main obstacles preventing them from beginning their fitness journey.
But there are many ways to get physically active that don’t involve a gym pass, and it is important to find the right one to suit you. Not only will this change the way you think about exercise, but as your enjoyment levels start to increase, you are much less likely to find excuses not to get active.
So if you’re not a gym bunny, how can you keep fit this winter?
Join a Team
For many, the worst part about going to the gym is the solitude. You might be in a room full of people, but when they are all focused on their own workout regimes, it is easy to get a little bit bored. Joining a local team is a great way to combat this, as you can combine socialising with keeping fit. Not only is this a great way to burn calories, but it can be particularly satisfying for those with a competitive streak. You could even end up making some new friends, and what’s not to love about that?
Practice Yoga at Home
If you suffer from injuries and aren’t able to take part in high intensity workouts, then you might find yoga and pilates are more suitable for you. But whilst you might not mind being in a busy gym studio for your aerobics class, the idea of squeezing your yoga mat uncomfortably close to strangers does not have the same appeal. Thankfully there are now some fantastic yoga video resources online, so you can practice in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a mat, some comfortable yoga wear and enough space to practice your sun salutations, and you’re good to go.
Discover a New Active Hobby
Just because the idea of treadmills and weights fills you with dread, that doesn’t mean you will feel the same about all types of exercise. In fact, there are a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities that you can explore to get your pulse racing. From bouldering, kayaking to kickboxing, if you’re keen to try out a lot of different activities, then you’re certain to find one that you love. With so much to choose from, make sure you do your research to find out what’s on offer in your local area, and make a shortlist of activities that appeal to you.
Sign Up to a Run
If you’re goal orientated and need more than the monthly cost of a gym membership to inspire you, then signing up for a run can be a great inspiration to get moving. You can track your fitness with apps like Map My Run, and monitor your progress for extra motivation.
Photo by Tom Miles (@photosmudger).
The important thing to remember is that the gym is not for everybody, and making the effort to find an activity you love will have a positive effect on your lifestyle. You’ll find that keeping fit doesn’t have to be a punishing activity, but can even lead to the discovery of new hobbies and friendships.
Obviously, this isn’t a gym replacement, but it’s no use spending hours every week trying to keep fit whilst eating badly. And if you’re trying to achieve a gym-honed body without the gym then your diet should play an even bigger role in your fitness regime. With so much information out there, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the dos and don’ts, which is why many nutritionists offer online nutritional coaching. It can also be easy to fall into the trap of eating the same things and getting bored, which is why I love the Wildcat Fitness recipes – healthy choices that are easy to make which help me add variety to my meals. A balanced diet is key to achieving a sustainable fitness plan, so make sure you find a solution that works for you.
Here’s to a happier, healthier 2017 for us all!