Getting in Shape Without Hitting the Gym

By no means am I suggesting that you shouldn’t go to the gym at all anymore and that going to the gym is not an effective way of getting into shape, but it has become somewhat of a cliché, has it not? We go through the same cycle each year — make a New Year’s resolution to get into shape, sign up to some special gym membership offer we later go on to find out isn’t quite what it was made out to be and then a couple of months down the line we’re no closer to achieving the health and fitness goals we set out in the beginning of the year.

What’s more is generally something which is so easily available to the masses is normally not as effective as it’s made out to be and I think you’ll agree that a gym membership is rather easily made available to the masses. They can send you all manner of what appears to be personalised messages and the like, but really you’re just another paying member whom they’re trying to retain and any form of assistance they extend to you usually comes in the form of some or other up-sell.

The supplements on display would come at a cost — a cost that’s quite a bit higher than say going to a specialised supplements store or even buying those supplements online. The dedicated personal trainer they want to allocate you will add a few pounds to your monthly gym membership fee and things can all get a little fuzzy, having you losing the end-goal in the process, which is simply to get into shape and perhaps enjoy the benefits of a healthier body and mind.

So again, I’m not suggesting you stay away from the gym altogether, but you can have a lot more fun and perhaps even see much better results if you choose to look beyond the gym for your exercise fix and to get into shape.

The approach is rather simple. If you look at the equipment you’ll find inside a gym and all the exercises which go on, what you’ll notice is that in some or other way they simulate a real outdoor activity such as cycling (the static bikes), running (treadmill), doing some household or outdoor lifting work (resistance training equipment), etc. So what this then means is that you should go for the real thing, hit the outdoors and exercise in that way.

It’s that much more fun working your leg muscles on an actual mountain bike outside and by all means, incorporate supplements such as your protein powders and the likes into the programme, because the intended effects are what’s important.

Kayaking is great to work your entire upper body, specifically targeting your neck, shoulder, chest and arm muscles and well running makes for some great cardio work. If anything, hitting the great outdoors will have you looking forward to each training session, unlike the rather dreaded environment that is sometimes the gym, with people more concerned about how they look while exercising than what they want to achieve.