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Tuesday 21 May 2013

Skip The Gym

By Bronwyn Ward

The weather is finally warming up and along with the joy of showing some skin can come the dread of showing some wobbly bits. This is due to the extended cold weather and subsequent biscuit eating season. It’s the time when your long forgotten New Year’s resolution to join the gym rears its ugly head again as well as the associated guilt. The answer is simple … skip going to the gym, don’t do it to yourself.

There are some people in this world who genuinely enjoy going to the gym, the fluorescent lighting, the blasting awful music, the testosterone mingled with sweat in the air. I say go for it if it’s your thing, but I also believe there are many out there like me who would rather not. If you hate the gym, don’t go.

There are so many other ways (a lot of them free) to get the exercise you need to lose weight / tone up / be healthy. What is going to work for you is what you enjoy doing. If you don’t like exercise, find something that distracts you from the fact that you’re exercising. Here are a few ideas:

Get Arty
Walking with a camera for an hour to take photos gets your creative juices flowing and you’ll soon be forgetting that you’re actually doing yourself some good. Especially as often the best pictures are to be found at the top of hills/stairs/monuments etc.

Yoga can be as much about relaxation and meditation as it is about physical exercise. Finding a good teacher is key though, shop around and try a few different styles until you find one that suits you. Yoga builds muscle tone and core strength as well as improving posture and lowering stress levels.

Go to the pub
Going for a pub lunch on Sunday? Why not take a long walk there and earn that pint. You’ll feel great and enjoy your lunch so much more for doing it.

Challenge a mate
Studies have shown that you are more likely to lose weight with a friend than on your own. If you have a friend who’s also looking to get more active, that could be a big help. Why not try a couples sport like badminton or tennis you can both play together (and be rubbish at together) and have a laugh as well as learning a new skill. Who knows, you may even get serious about it.

Do something for charity
If your own guilt about exercise is insufficient to get you off the couch, sign up for a charity walk or run. With a potential cure for cancer and a large wad of of money from all your friends and family hanging over your head, you’ll simply have to get to it!