Written by Jack Boardman
Exercise Without a Gym Membership
If you’re looking to get fit and healthy but the motivation to exercise is working against you, finding the means to pay for a gym membership may not exactly hurry you along.
Perhaps there’s another reason why a gym membership is an issue – your nearest gym is a long trek away from where you work and live and the journey is off-putting. Or maybe you prefer to do your own thing and for you, exercise is a solitary affair. With the full-time hardcore gym fanatics about the average gym, it can be a deterrent when your confidence isn’t all that it could be or you find yourself comparing and coming up short.
Fundamentally, the gym can most definitely serve its purpose, in terms of motivation and structure, classes, personal trainers and the familiar setting in which to gain your fitness gains. Secondly, the available equipment can provide you with everything you need to achieve any fitness goal – depending on the size and quality of your gym of course.
So perhaps you’re in a position where you’re building up to the gym. If your confidence is a little low, or you are reluctant to sign up for a membership before you know you are going to commit, beginning your fitness training from home or outside is a good place to start – especially if you would prefer to hit the ground running at your new gym. This is important to take into account as momentum is key. Health goals are achieved by finding a plan that works and sticking to it; working out for a week and quitting won’t get you anywhere.
The trouble is, when committing to the idea of exercising at home, motivation may be an issue. At first, having your gym equipment in the next room may be idyllic, or having a park around the corner may seem better than going all the way to get your cardio in at the gym, but if you’re having a lazy day or have been through the mill at work, when you get home putting your feet up may very well be more appealing than any fitness apparatus in the next room.
Our first piece of advice is to keep diversity in mind. Mix things up a bit. An advantage of not being in the gym is the freedom and fresh air. To avoid the monotony of repetition, first of all, look at ways in which you can work the muscles or get the cardio you’re after and make the most of any local routes you might run or cycle.
When it comes to the lack of equipment that you would otherwise get at the gym, a few key pieces of kit that don’t take up too much room but have a great effect is a good place to start. Consider the following:
An ab roller can be used anywhere for strengthening your core and limbering up. A yoga ball can be used for sit-ups, planking or yoga, this is a handy bit of equipment for developing overall strength and muscular endurance. Push up equipment to work a multitude of muscles and get the practice in for barbells and gym benches. For aerobic exercise without leaving the house, with enough space a skipping rope could be used to simulate high-intensity interval training while keeping you light on your feet.