So I have done a lot of back and forth between being a gym goer, and not.
Most of the time, I quit the gym because it costs a lot of money. If you can’t find the time (and motivation) to go at least four times a week, then you probably aren’t getting as much value from all that money you’ve invested as you should be. Don’t get me wrong, the gym can be great. The gym that I was a member of had great, new equipment, a large variety of classes and a pool; so really, value for money was there to be had, if only one had the time and motivation to take it. I also liked going with my friends, but of course, it was hard to find the time, the classes are great, but when you work retail hours, late nights and weekends, it’s hard to find time to fit in a scheduled class, or to drag oneself out of bed to be at class for a 6am start. But the main reason I find the gym somewhat offensive, is that it is demotivating. I find myself constantly comparing myself; comparing my lack of effort, body image, even the way I use the equipment compared to someone who is obviously super fit. This is toxic – we should NOT be comparing ourselves, or making ourselves feel worse. We need to LOVE our body, because if we don’t, we won’t get anywhere. So for me, this time – this is why I quit the gym. To stop the comparisons.
We all have busy schedules, we all manage to find excuses, but we all know (however deep down it may be), that we really should be active in some way or another. Personally, I find it easier, and less stressful to work out on my own, or with a friend, at home or at my local park, or even just around my local streets. I have only just recently decided to once again quit the gym, and go back to working out at home, mainly because I have stopped making progress and lost my motivation, I need to start working for myself again, and not for other people, and not in comparison. So I went out to my local rebel sport store and picked myself up some more gear to get myself motivated and FIT. I picked up a 5kg medicine ball, and a 6kg kettle bell. This adds to a skipping rope (jump-rope), yoga mat, 2 x 2kg dumbbells and 2 x 4kg dumbbells. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s enough to keep myself active, and help build up strength and get fitter.
There are so many ways you can work out, at home, without paying crap loads of money. the great thing about buying your own fitness equipment, is that even though it costs a bit upfront, these purchases will pay themselves back quite quickly provided they get used. There are quite a few home workouts, fitness and health tips, recipes and more on my pinterest fitness board. In fact, they are all over the internet, you can find them everywhere. This thing I love the most about doing it yourself is that there is no schedule; you can workout whenever it suits you, and do whatever workout you feel like, the key is just making sure you do something as often as you can.
I tend to workout six times a week, for half an hour or more, and have one rest day. Of course there are always times that I don’t get as many workouts in as I want, when I’m not well, or I’m having a bad week. Of course, I will still, every now and again, make excuses, want to stay in bed, or just not feel like working out. I think on these days, it is most important to try and make yourself workout, it feels so much more rewarding. However, it shouldn’t feel like a chore, if you’re not enjoying your workouts, then it will be harder and harder to lose weight or get fit.
Picking activities that you enjoy is an absolute must. In my humble opinion, yoga is a must in any workout regime, not only is it really great for strength and flexibility, it is also brilliant for mindfulness. Yoga is also great for relaxation and getting on top of anxiety, which you can read more about here. Tara Stiles has some amazing videos and tips for Strala yoga, of which she is the founder. She has a website and youtube channel and her videos are not only very easy to follow, but they also encourage you to work at your own pace, which is why I think a lot of people tend to shy away from yoga.
I also really enjoy walking (with the occasional jog thrown in), it’s great cardio and just super easy. Get up, get dressed, grab some awesome tunes and just go. I usually walk around my local streets, and am done within an hour. It saves me time and I genuinely enjoy it. My other major activity is interval training, I use my equipment that I mentioned earlier, and I set myself a timer, 40 second intervals with 10 second recovery. I choose four to five exercises and do around three to four rounds. This is a really good way to fit a workout into a busy day. But the best part is being able to do this all in my own time, my own space and I can push myself as hard, or not, as I want. And there is absolutely ZERO judgement. Over the past couple of years, my weight has gone up and down, continually, and I usually find the best results happen when I am working at my own pace. Motivation, self belief and enjoyment are the way forward when it comes to fitness.
And that is why I keep quitting the gym. Now to work on my eating habits…