5 Great Alternatives to Hitting the Gym

There’s a good reason so many of us just can’t muster up the sticking power to make committing to the burden of a gym membership worth our time and money, and isn’t that we’re scared of exercise

It’s more that, to a lot of people, the atmosphere of a gym simply isn’t conducive to enjoyment. It can be intimidating, or simply unpleasant depending on where you go, with mirrored walls and a crowded mass of lycra clad limbs lending the setting a nightmarish air.

Whilst exercise is important for our health, that doesn’t mean it should be joyless. If anything the very opposite is true. So, here’s a round up of some top alternatives for those of us who’d rather be anywhere than the gym, even when we’re exercising;

Going For a Run or Hike

This might sound obvious, but the fact of the matter is that a high number of new gym members head straight towards (and stick to) the treadmills.

One of the chief enemies of exercise, especially cardio vascular activities, is boredom. Surely, the risk of boredom is higher on a treadmill, rooted to the spot with no scenery to distract you or prompt your mind to wonder onto subjects other than the ache slowly taking hold of your muscles…

Join a Sports Team

Many people find the gym experience hard to enjoy due to the fact it can be very solitary. Indeed, manufacturers of entertainment devices such as MP3 players have developed special models for use at the gym, to help members zone out and ignore the space around them.

This is probably the factor the drives so many people to hire a personal trainer, not so much for the advice and motivation or the dressings down, more for the company. With this in mind, even if you aren’t much of a sports fan, if you’ve suddenly decided to get fit, consider joining up to a sports team rather than joining a gym.


Alternatively, you might be perfectly happy exercising on your own. Perhaps for you lack of companionship isn’t a problem, but rather, you’d actually prefer more privacy. In that case what better setting for your work out than the seclusion provided by your own front room. Exercising along to a DVD can be an excellent, cost effective way to add structure to your regimen.

Invest In Your Own Equipment

When you think about it, gym membership often amounts to little more than paying over the odds to rent exercise equipment, much of which you could very easily buy yourself at a fraction of the cost of even a months membership, let alone a 12 month contract.

Even if you do love the gym environment, if you are turning up just to utilise dumbbells, resistance bands and an exercise ball, you’re going to be able to buy those items and have them for your own private use whenever you want, at a cheaper price than you pay for the privilege of effectively renting them out for an hour or two a week.

Jane Newman writes on a range of topics pertaining to health and fitness, from easy workouts to choosing health insurance quotes.

Build Muscle Mass Faster With Home Weight Lifting Equipment

It has long been known that weight lifting is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to build muscle mass.  However, it requires a significant time commitment as you need to dedicate at least three days a week to a fitness routine that incorporates several different lifting techniques.  For many, this time commitment is just not possible and as a result we give up on staying in shape.

If this sounds like you, then you may want to consider the possibility of  adding select weight lifting equipment to your home or office.  This can be a great way to build muscle mass and maintain physical fitness as time allows.  No longer will you waste valuable time driving to and from the gym only to find out the equipment you wish to use is already in use.  With the right weight machines you can effectively build muscle you’ve always wanted from the comfort of your own home.  However, there are a few basic steps you must take before searching for any weight machines for sale.

In order to save money and reach your fitness goals in the most efficient way possible, you need to be sure you buy the right equipment.  In order to do this, you should consider creating a list of your fitness goals.  This list should include both short and long term plans as well as a time line for accomplishments.  This list will help you better understand which equipment is right for you as well as provide you with a great tracking tool for your progress.

Now that you know what your goals are, you can begin looking at the various weight lifting equipment options on today’s market.  You will quickly find that, although similar in many ways, each piece of equipment is different, offering different features and benefits.  These features and benefits should be compared to your personal fitness goals and the machines that match the best should be the ones you consider purchasing.

Why You Need to Include Strength Training into Your Exercise Routine

Strength training.

Image via Wikipedia

Do you run for miles on the treadmill every day? Do you suffer through those cardio classes at your gym? Are you seeing the results that you are looking for? If not, it may be because you aren’t including strength training into your exercise routine. Many people, especially women, don’t pick up those weights because they are afraid they’re going to end up looking like a body builder. Well, put away those fears, because that isn’t about to happen.  However, strength training can give you the tone and definition you are looking for. It can make you look fantastic in your favourite bikini, skinny jeans or little black dress.

Cardio alone will help you lose fat, yes; but it will not shape and redefine your body. Only strength training can do that. You will also increase your metabolism – Your BMR (basal metabolic rate) increases, meaning that your body can burn fat much more efficiently. Your core will become stronger and you’ll have improved posture, greater strength and your bones will have an increased density.

So, do you need to give up your cardio routine altogether? No, absolutely not! You just need to add strength training to the workout you’re already doing. This doesn’t mean you have to spend another hour in the gym. A good strength training program can take as little as 15-20 minutes. Kettlebell workouts are becoming quite popular, because they incorporate both strength training and cardio at the same time. There are several DVD’s on the market that are quite effective.

If you’re just starting out, it’s important to use lighter weights, no more than 5 pounds. If you prefer, you can use the machines at your local gym. The machines are great for reducing the risk of injury and they will give you a good idea on proper form and posture while you’re performing the exercises.

When you are designing a routine, make sure you work opposing muscle groups; don’t just do your biceps, do you triceps as well. Work your lower body along with your upper body. This will give you a balanced physique.

Reassess your workout every four weeks; chances are you’ll need to increase your weights a bit. It’s also important to change up your routine; your body is so efficient that it gets used to the exercises, and that’s one of the reasons you hit a plateau. Change your program so that your body is always challenged.

While it’s ok to do cardio every day, it’s best to limit your strength training sessions to every other day. This gives your muscles a chance to recover in between sessions.

Eating protein with every meal will help in your strength training efforts as well. Your muscles need protein in order to develop and stay healthy. Have some almonds, organic peanut butter or other protein source with each meal. Protein shakes also make good meal replacements or mid-afternoon snacks.

When you add strength training to your overall exercise routine, you will notice a big difference in how your body looks and feels. You’ll finally have the tone and definition you’ve been looking for.

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Leasing Vs. Buying Gym Equipment

If you’re thinking about getting back into shape, you’ve made the one of the best decisions you can ever make for your health and lifestyle.  One of the biggest reasons; however, that people don’t want to get back into shape is because of their finances.  Some people don’t have the money to build their own gym in the comforts of their own house, so many of them join a gym and pay the monthly membership fee.  Some people feel discouraged going to the gym and seeing all the fit people working out and would rather work out in the comforts of their own home.

Building your own home gym doesn’t have to be expensive at all. There are many different alternatives that would help minimize your cost.  One thing you can do is trying leasing gym equipment for your home.  Leasing fitness equipment is like renting to own; you pay a small fee each month until your contract is up.  Most leasing firms will allow you to buy out the fitness equipment after your leasing contract is up.  Do your research as see which leasing company will give you the lowest interest rate.

Another way to buy weight lifting equipment and aerobics machines is to buy second hand gym equipment online.  You can find many online auctions and classified ads that offers second hand gym equipment by private sellers and companies.  There are also retail stores that specializes in selling only refurbished and reconditioned fitness equipment and machines to the public.  The best tip I can give you is to ask as many questions as you can so that you’ll feel more comfortable when buying.  Some of the most common questions is to ask if the machines needs any repair, missing parts, warranty available, etc.  One of the greatest benefits of leasing gym equipment is that you don’t have to pay a large sum of money upfront.

Get Your Daily Dose of Exercise

Everyone wants to lose weight and get fit these days. There are a lot of ways where you can exercise and have fun while doing it. A lot of people like to set-up their own gyms at home. They usually buy gym machines and equip their homes with various gym equipments. Home fitness is a must these days and fitness should start in the comforts of your own home.

Home fitness is very important because everyone should be fit and healthy. A lot of people don’t really believe that they should always be conscious of the health choices they make. Actually, you should always be aware of the food choices you make. You don’t need to go vegetarian and only eat vegetables to be healthy. Home fitness means getting regular exercise while making the write nutritional choices. What you eat is a great part in your fitness regimen.

You can see a lot of people wearing a weight vest when they jog or run around parks and neighborhoods. These are probably professional athletes who want to increase their running speed. The added weight can help you become faster when you run. If you’re thinking of buying a weight vest to lose more weight then you might want to think again. The added weight won’t really help you much in losing weight. You can lose more pounds by increasing your exercise time. You need to at least have a 30-minute workout. You can gradually increase it to one hour.

Exercise should be part of your daily life. In recent times, there are a lot of people who have become overweight or obese. The alarming rise of people who are overweight is really alarming. People should become more aware of the importance of good health and regular exercise. Try to include exercise in your daily habit. There are a lot of benefits that you can get from exercising. you can lose extra pounds and be fit and healthy.

The 4 Hour Body: Make Believe or Make it Happen?

If the idea of obliterating body fat with just four hours in the gym sounds too good to be true then the latest adventures of Timothy Ferriss, author of the 4-Hour Body, might be worth investigation.

Ferriss claims he lost significant amounts of body fat and gained almost 35lb of muscle in just four weeks and with a mere four trips to the gym. This dramatic transformation involved eating four small meals every day focusing on a high protein, low carb combination.

Legal supplements were also used, from creatine to insulin stimulators, and Ferriss spent a paltry four hours in the gym where he focused on practicing a handful of weightlifting exercises which were carried out very slowly until the point of exhaustion.

It sounds like a dream but can work in reality for the vast majority of beach body seekers A recent article featured in British newspaper ‘The Telegraph’ deduces this approach may not work for everyone, with celebrity trainer Simon Waterson quoted as saying such a feat would be “virtually’ impossible” for 99% of the population.

If you are determined to achieve the perfect beach body, there are plenty of diets and regimes to try but you may often find that the basic principles are the same: increase exercise and decrease calorie consumption.

Exercising more is a sure-fire way of coming one step closer to the body you desire. The principle behind the four hour body does not promote regular exercise but truth be told, everyone knows that regular exercise equates to a healthy body so it’s best to try and integrate some form of exercise into your life, at least a few times every week.

Regular exercise doesn’t mean you have to spend hours slogging it out down the gym; short ‘mini’ workouts are just as effective at shedding fat and toning up and make it easier to inject a daily dose of fitness into your schedule.

A time friendly 10 to 15 minutes of moderate to high-intensity cardiovascular or aerobic exercise will increase your blood flow, thus improving circulation, will help to burn extra calories and will also raise your metabolic rate which is especially handy if you want to keep the weight off.

The best thing about ‘mini’ workouts is convenience; you don’t have to join a gym or even go outside if you don’t want to! A quick power walk can be slotted in during lunch break and simply running up and down some any staircases you may have at work, or at home,  will raise your heart rate and give you a kick-start. Your work colleagues might think you’re crazy but your metabolism will thank you for it.

As well as incorporating some exercise into your daily diary, making small adjustments to your diet can work wonders when it comes to getting that beach body, regardless of whether you will be donning Speedos or bikinis.

First and foremost, water is your best friend so make sure you stay hydrated. Not only will you feel better but you’re giving your body a helping hand as over 70% of bodily processes take place in water.   Your organs can’t function properly if your body is dehydrated and even fat metabolism is affected by how well hydrated your body is, so get drinking! Aim for 1.5 litres per day and you should feel the difference quickly.

When it comes to eating, you could take a tip from one of the principles behind the four hour body by eating little and often. Eating at frequent intervals keeps your metabolism ticking over and is believed to make your body less likely to store fat reserves.

Whether or not you want to follow the dietary advice of the four hour body author, it makes sense to cut down on saturated fat. Healthy fats, such as those found in olive oil, avocado and oily fish, should make up about one-third of your diet but ‘bad’ fats’, found in cakes and confectionary, should be avoided.

Carbohydrates don’t have to be avoided and can account for up to 33% of your diet. The same percentage applies to fruit and vegetables. It is traditionally believed that protein and dairy products should account for around 12% of your dietary intake.

Whatever tactic you follow in order to achieve a beach body to die for, striking a healthy balance is often the best method to follow so find out what works best for you and stick to it.


Jennifer is a part of the digital blogging team at alwritenow.com who work with brands like Debenhams. For more information about me, or to keep up to date with the latest in lifestyle news, check out my posts at alwritenow.com or visit my Twitter account, @awnow