I don’t know about you guys, but when I hear the word “gym” I think B-O-O-ORING! and can’t help but fall back on the couch and keep eating cake.
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), life isn’t all about lying on the couch eating cake, and somewhere in between you’ve got to fit some physical exercise regardless of how much you want to or don’t want to. As some of you may know, I grew up building a sort-of career in the world of DanceSport (competitive ballroom dancing), and was lucky enough to stay fit while avoiding the gym. Once that “career path” was no more, and my dance partner moved on with a new partner, I had no one to practice with leisurely just to stay in shape.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who despises walking into an air-conditioned room full of scary looking machines, which is why I’ve made an attempt at compiling a small handful of ways you can stay in shape without dropping $50+/month on a gym membership.
Running – Outdoors: Last October, I discovered that Adidas was organizing a 1:00am race on Halloween night in Toronto, and on a whim decided to sign up. It was a full-on 10k run, and I knew I couldn’t go without practicing. Though I didn’t practice as much as I’d have liked to, it did get me outside in my running shoes a few times. And there you have it, building stamina, leg strength, and not a single penny spent!
Hot Yoga: If you’re not about the heavy-breathing type of exercise, but still looking to break a sweat, this may be the place for you. What could be better than stretching and lightly strengthening your body, while sweating as if you just ran a marathon?
Cycling (Indoor/Outdoor): Much like running, if you have your own bike then you can exercise free of charge. If you don’t, there’s plenty of cycling “studios” around the city, where a membership is a fraction of the price of a gym membership.
In-Home Workout Station: This is a lot easier than what it sounds like. All you literally need is a yoga mat and a variety of weights – both the wearable type and the bigger ones to hold. At that point, the world is your oyster as you can pretty much do anything. YouTube is a great place to get some inspiration for your workouts! Eventually I want to do this at home as well, especially by September, when the new school year rolls around.
Kickboxing: My favourite! This is my current sweat-inducer of choice, and I have no regrets of signing up. I’m currently attending ilovekickboxing.com up in Vaughan, Ontario, and love the set up of classes as well as payment options. With both the option of a monthly unlimited membership, or monthly payments for a package of 35+ classes, there’s options for any kind of lifestyle. Since I know I might have to miss a few weeks at a time, it’s great that I can pay for a set amount of classes that will never expire. Most importantly, you get a great workout punching a bag for an hour. Now imagine someone’s face on that bag. Enough said.
Whether you like a group environment or sweating on your own, something routine or something that always changes, there’s tons of alternatives to hitting the gym. If you have other non-gym workout ideas, let me know in the comments below!
If you live in the northern suburbs of Toronto and want to sign up at the kickboxing place I go, give me a shout