5 Reasons To Ditch The Gym

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The New Year has begun in earnest and with it comes the inevitable resolutions. Some want to give up smoking, others to learn a new skill but for most, nearing the top of the list will undoubtedly be shedding that extra padding acquired during the festive season. Unfortunately, this resolution is hard to keep especially if, like me, the prospect of joining the gym lacks appeal. I can think of many reasons to ditch the gym; high membership fees that never feel like value for money even if you had the time to go four times a week, having to use sweaty machines while bad pop music pumps from a million speakers including those in the bathroom and the crushing pressure followed by the devastating realisation that no matter how many crunches you do you will never actually look like the spray-tanned leotard clad blonde in the poster with legs from here to next Tuesday. In light of this, I propose that while the gym may fall short in inspiring us to fulfil our pledges we can indeed have our resolutions and stick to them too. Furthermore I propose a new approach; 5 free ways to make that resolution achievable in the real world. And you never know, you may even have a little fun.

1. Take a walk…

Now, taking up running is an excellent plan but to be honest I find it much too trying and you know what they say, you should walk before you run.

I suggest opting for a stroll instead of taking the bus, getting your no- fat no- foam latte to go and doing a lap around the park or even tagging along with a friend when they take their troublesome pooches out for a walk a couple of times a week.

2. I’m in the mood for…

Dancing. I’m not suggesting you pay for complicated tap lessons or anything but swinging those hips is an excellent not to mention enjoyable way to raise that heartbeat. So take every opportunity to shake that booty, drag your friends out on the dance floor and when that guilty pleasure comes on the radio, turn it up and go nuts.

3. Get your game on…

Remember when you used to play games? Well, it’s time to get old school. Rally some friends together, head out to a park or even to the comfort of your own back garden and start playing. Whether it’s football, badminton or even just a game of Catch will burn fat and I promise, it won’t feel like it did in P.E, it will feel a lot like fun.

4. D.I.Y…

Exercise videos are in theory a great way to lose weight at home but please do not torture yourself by spending hard earned money on something that will be played once and then left to gather dust because the instructors are too perky and the routines much too hard. Instead, have a look on the web where there are hundreds of free instruction videos made by normal people for normal people. Pick one that goes at your pace and build from it. For your own peace of mind, stay away from any video where the instructor looks like they are made from plastic.

5. Leave ‘em laughing…

Technically this isn’t exercise but laughing is a proven way to use up those pesky calories. So, go to comedy nights, invite your funniest friends over twice a week for dinner and turn that frown upside down- it’s time to bust a gut and laugh. You may even find you enjoy it. So ditch the gym and start living and let me be the first to wish you, not a happy new year but, a very happy new you. Do you have any tips to share on how to get fit and happy away from the gym?

Hannah is a graduate of creative writing and journalism who specialises in short story writing. She loves literature, music reviews and creative blogs. She is interested in healthy eating and writes for Futureshape.

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