Guest Post: Luke Douglas, Ripped.me
Let’s face it, the gym is not the be-all-end-all of fitness, nor is it a safe haven or the perfect place to work out for everyone. In fact, plenty of people fear the gym, dislike it, and downright hate it for numerous reasons.
It can be the fact that it’s always crowded and smelly, it can be that it’s dirty and loud, or it can be the fact that you always feel like you and the things you hate about yourself are constantly in the spotlight. Whatever your reason for skipping the gym might be, you should know that there are plenty of alternatives that can bring you the same results, minus the frustration and the insecurities.
Here are the top five alternative ways you can get in shape if you have the gym.
Lace up your running shoes
This one is a tried and tested friend of millions of fit people around the world – running truly is one of the best and most addictive sports you can try. The great thing about running is that it’s healthy, fun, and you can do it almost anywhere.
What’s more, you absolutely don’t need the gym to turn a running session into a vigorous workout, in fact, by taking on the uneven terrain of the urban jungle or the great outdoors, you can easily increase the intensity of your workout, thus effectively shedding fat and toning out your muscles.
Learn how to climb mountains
The urban jungle is not the only place you can work out effectively, Mother Nature has everything you need! If you are in for a bit of adrenaline, you can even take up mountain climbing with one of numerous mountain climbing associations, or if you are pressed for time, you can even climb model mountains in the city.
Whichever option you pick, you will have no problem developing total-body strength and coordination, as climbing a mountain will require you to use your entire musculature to reach those nooks and crevices, and eventually get to the top.
Ride around town
The time has come to embrace your inner child and let its voice be heard by taking up a fun sport. There is nothing quite as fun and rewarding as riding around town with friends, or riding to work on a bicycle or an awesome skateboard that will make the kids on the block jealous – your colleagues too.
Cycling is a great workout, but skateboarding is not only more challenging and fun, but it engages all of the muscles in your body and it improves your total-body coordination, balance, motor patterns and it forces you to use extra energy, thus burning those excess fat stores.
Exercise in your backyard
If you are pressed for time, or if you like working out but simply can’t stand the sight of a gym, then you can take your workouts to the comfort of your own backyard. The possibilities for an at-home workout are endless, and you can even invest in some free weights to get the same benefits as if you were training at a gym.
Be sure to get a good bodyweight program coupled with some resistance exercises, devote ten to fifteen minutes to pre and post-workout mobility and stretching, and you will have no problem getting a killer workout in, right in your own backyard.
Go hiking in the great outdoors
Finally, you don’t have to climb mountains to enjoy a good training session in the great outdoors, there are plenty of low-impact, high-reward activities you can try – and one of them is hiking. Now, hiking can be a low-impact sport, but it can also be a rigorous workout, it all depends on the trail you take on and the distance you intend to conquer.
By hiking at a moderate pace over uneven terrains, you will not only slowly burn fat and tone out your muscles, but you will also get the chance to enjoy the magnificent natural sceneries in all their glory.
The gym is not the only place you can get in shape and transform your physique. In fact, if you can’t stand the look (and smell) of a commercial gym, be sure to take up one or two of these amazing alternatives that will get you in shape in no time.