Some folks love the gym. Maybe it’s the fancy equipment, the camaraderie, the freshly laundered towels or the motivation that comes from not wanting to be the only one who can’t keep up with the octogenarian in Zumba class.
If you hate the gym, though, you’re not alone.
Unless you really, really enjoy working out to begin with, or are addicted to the Stairmaster or other equipment that you can’t just go out and buy on a whim, you probably don’t enjoy spending time trying to get fit in the presence of a bunch of other sweaty, grunting fitness freaks.
In that case, here are some alternatives to getting fit that don’t involve membership fees, perky instructors and other people’s sweat on the abs machine.
A quick note: the calories burned during these activities are based on a 35-year old female who weighs 150 pounds. You may burn more or less, depending on your gender, weight and age.
1. Go For a Swim
If you don’t like the gym due to your distaste for humanity, you may not like swimming in a public pool much, either.
But if you don’t have access to a private pool and don’t mind the prospect of getting elbowed by teens doing water tricks, going for a half-hour swim a few days a week will burn 207 calories a pop, as well as tone and strengthen your muscles and give you the opportunity to work on your golden tan.
The risk of injury during swimming is extremely low, making it ideal for those prone to injury.
If you don’t know how to swim, no problem. If you can stay afloat while propelling yourself through water with your arms and legs, that’s good enough to get all the benefits of working out in the water.
Water is twelve times denser than air, which means that propelling yourself through it provides consistent resistance, safely working your muscles to strengthen and tone them. Swimming has also been shown to increase bone strength in post-menopausal women, making this workout great for helping to prevent osteoporosis.
After your swim, do some yoga positions while you’re still in the pool. The water helps support your weight as you master positions that require good balance, such as Eagle, Tree, King Dancer and Warrior III poses.