Yes that’s right, I hate the gym. I’ve nearly been pulled in by good deals and free classes but I know that as soon as I sign up I’ll never go and I’ll be bullied by the membership team when I try to cancel and it’ll cost me a year’s rent to get out of it.
But actually, it’s not just the cost of the gym that I hate. I just don’t like doing exercise when I’m too aware that I’m doing exercise. I don’t really want to do exercise because it’s exercise. I want to do exercise because it’s fun.
Treadmills aren’t fun. Rowing machines aren’t fun. Exercise bikes aren’t fun (ok maybe they’re a little fun). But I’m clock-watching and I’m buff-sweaty-people-watching and wondering why a) I don’t look like them and b) why they look like they’re having so much fun. Maybe it’s because they love the gym?
Apparently a recent survey has shown that one of the first things people give up when faced with financial difficulties is their gym membership (well, at least they try to give it up).
So I find other ways of doing exercise that I think are more fun – and cheaper – than the gym. Here are some ideas about what you could do too.
I’ve actually written about this before. Recently I went for a picnic on the beach with a few friends (all healthy, delicious foods too!) and afterwards we decided to play a game of double Frisbee on Hove Lawns. It was so much fun! There were four of us and two Frisbees so no-one was ever left out. And although I think it’s fair to say we were all pretty rubbish and both throwing and catching – after every though we each profusely apologised – and spent a lot of time running after the Frisbees, it was such a good laugh. It’s the best of both worlds and exactly what I was discussing earlier – exercise and fun. It is possible.
Ride a bicycle
On the same night, following, Frisbee, I had a quick ride on my friend’s bike. I haven’t ridden a bike for about seven years, and even then it was when I hired a bike for a single day – and before that I hadn’t been on a bike since I was a child. So experienced I am not.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never be someone that cycles on the roads, especially in Brighton, as I’d find it way too scary but it’s inspired me to hire a bike one day and go for a long ride along the seafront. It’s quite hard work on the legs but fun, with fresh air and gorgeous views. You get a sense of freedom that you don’t get with much else.
Go for a run
This is something that I’d like to say I do regularly – but actually I’ve been a bit lazy recently and haven’t run in a while. It’s great to do early in the morning though (I run round my local park) when there aren’t many other people around and I listen to music. Essentially, I see it as an opportunity to sing along in my head to music while getting some exercise and some fresh air.
Do an exercise DVD
More likely, this is what I end up doing. I have an old Davina McCall DVD and swap between this and a Wii Fitness game in my front room. I can do it for as long or as little time as I like and fit it around work easily – I’m more likely to do this in the afternoon when I get home from work and before my boyfriend gets back.
The great thing about getting a DVD though is that it costs somewhere between £10-20 and you’ve got it for life. It may get a bit testing once you know the routine and the music but it’s bloody cheap!
Walk a dog
Not exactly strenuous exercise but gets you up and about. I’ve noticed that since I changed jobs a few months ago, I’m not as active. I used to walk about three miles (with hills involved!) each day before I add any ‘exercise’ on top. Now, I drive to work so sit on my bum all day. So walking is welcomed, and a dog is perfect company.
If like me, you don’t have a dog, you could consider borrowing one! I recently joined Borrow My Doggy and I’m beyond excited about an upcoming doggy date I have. More details on that in another post…
This is an entry for an L&G competition.