Love the whole idea of being fit an toned but the thought of stepping in a gym makes you want to dry heave? Okay, that’s maybe a little dramatic, but you don’t have to be a gym junkie in order to stay healthy. In fact, these alternatives to working out will have you enjoying yourself so much that you will forget you’re even exercising.
Remember, we’re supposed to be getting our butts moving for 30 minutes a day, so pick a few of these each week, take your favourites and do them daily if you want, and enjoy getting yourself moving.
1 – Hiking
Ever been told to ‘take a hike’? Perhaps you should take the advice! Hiking is a fantastic cardio workout that gets you outdoors and exploring nature. There are some incredible hiking tracks around the world and some of them are a little hidden, you never know what’s in your own backyard.
Hiking also means that you’re getting a good dose of fresh air, something that can be easily overlooked when working indoors all day. Pack a lunch, take some friends and make a day of it.
2 – Yoga
Get your zen on and find yourself a yoga class nearby. There are so many different kinds to choose from including suspended yoga and ‘hot’ yoga, you’re bound to find something you love. If you can’t find any classes near you, there’s always the option of taking classes online.
Don’t think yoga is a simple little stretch class though, it can be some seriously hard work. But I promise you’ll feel amazing afterwards.
One of the major benefits of yoga is that it is low/no impact, which means your risk for injury is significantly less. And while you won’t be doing headstands and inversions straight away, consistent yoga will help you increase your strength, some say it’s even better than a weights session at the gym.
3 – Pool Party
Have you ever been to a pool party and realised the next day that every muscle in your body aches, even ones you didn’t even know you had? Jumping around in the water, swimming, and keeping yourself afloat all work muscles in different ways than your normal gym workout would work.
What better excuse to have a party than one that is a sneaky workout! Invite some friends over, play some games and eat some delicious (healthy) food. So much fun.
A pool session is also a great way to recover from muscle aches and pains too. The water helps reduce the stress on your body and can have a great therepeutic effect.
4 – Dance Your Booty Off
There’s a reason why they run dance classes at the gym now. It’s because they are a stellar workout and you don’t even realise you’re burning calories.
Grab some friends and head out dancing for the night, take a salsa class or simply pop on your favourite Spotify stream and get dancing all over your house. You can even find some great YouTube dance/workout videos for inspiration too!
5 – Gardening
Before you totally dismiss this one, think about it. All that getting up and down, digging, and lifting is like doing a truckload of squats and weights all in one go. And you’re going to feel it in your legs the next day, I promise.
Use it as an excuse to create for yourself a tasty herb and veggie garden that grows your favourite herbs and veggies. Things like rosemary, chillis, spinach and kale are all super easy to grow and are tasty too!
Plus there’s something about getting in the dirt that just makes you feel good.
6 – Team Sports
Are you more of a socialite? Prefer to be around others rather than be on your own? That’s okay! Find a team sport that you love and you’ll be able to play while getting a kick but work out in too. There are some great local groups that run sports events throughout the week and on weekends or you could even use the opportunity to learn a new sport and skill (like boxing or Taekwondo).
Grab some friends together and form your own team. If you can’t find anything that takes your fancy, head to the local park and play a friendly game of football or soccer there (the friends you choose to take will determine how ‘friendly’ this will be…). And remember, a little competition is healthy…
7 – Beach Walks
If you’re lucky enough to live close to a beach then seize the opportunity before you and dig those toes into the sand. Walking along the beach is not only fantastic exercise, but it’s also amazing to have the fresh air in your lungs and enjoy nature.
Walking along the sand is a different workout to walking along the pavement, the movement of the sand beneath your feet gives you an additional kick to your workout.