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30 Sep 2015

Alternatives to the Gym


A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to start and end at the gym

It’s common knowledge these days that regular exercise is an important part of a fit and healthy lifestyle.  However, not knowing where to start and finding enjoyable exercise options are common obstacles preventing us from including exercise in our daily routines.  Joining the gym might be the obvious choice, but if you are not a “gym bunny” the heavy equipment, mirrors and buffed bodies can be off-putting. If you fear that you will be judged on your appearance and ability, you are not alone.. The good news is that there are lots of alternatives to the gym for working up a sweat.

Couch to 5K

If you are new to exercise or haven’t exercised in a while, the Couch to 5K program might be right for you. The Couch to 5K is as easy as it sounds. It provides a complete beginner’s guide to running and has been successful in encouraging people of many different ages and fitness levels to become active.

One of the reasons for its success is that it provides realistic, achievable workouts for novices, starting with just 20-30 minutes of walking and building up to include intervals of jogging. In fact, there is very little running to be found in this guide. The schedule is designed to allow you to go at your own pace and recommends repeating weeks if needed. At the end of the training program you will be able to complete 5kms or 30 minutes at your own pace, without stopping.

Group Training Sessions

Struggling to find motivation or bored by your existing workout routine? Then consider signing up for Group Training Sessions. Group Training Sessions are traditionally held outside and consist of intense bursts of cardio and weight training using kettle bells and your own bodyweight – expect a lot of push ups, sit ups and burpees. Whilst we’d like to think the multitude of benefits from regular exercise are enough motivation to stay fit, we know these probably aren’t top of mind when you’re struggling to get out of bed to workout in the morning. Group Training Sessions on the other hand have team orientated workouts to keep you motivated and tend to push you to train harder with your fellow group members.

Group Training Sessions are designed to give you maximum results in a short period of time. If you have previously struggled to see results and have lost motivation, then boot camp might be right for you.

Team sports

Do you have a competitive streak?  Then you should think about joining a team sport to burn calories. Team camaraderie will provide motivation to turn up, even when you really don’t want to.  So what’s the best team sport to try? Anything that will get your body moving! Try basketball or netball which combines cardio, agility and muscular strength. Or try volleyball which has a mix or cardio, arm and leg movement. Jumps while spiking balls over the net are a great alternative to squats and jump tucks!

No matter what fitness activity you try, the most important thing is to find activities you enjoy that will help you stay motivated and dedicated to improving your overall fitness. Remember, the gym will always be waiting if you ever choose to return.