The Benefits of NOT going to the Gym
If you hate going to the gym, here’s a solution for you: don’t go to the gym ever again. You don’t need to in order to get into shape.
For some people, the gym makes them feel anxious, stressed, bored, even resentful. My best advice as a health coach is that if the gym isn’t for you, simply don’t go.
In order for physical activity to be effective on your body, you have to feel good doing it. If how you work out evokes negative emotions, then it won’t have the desired effects on your body and fitness.
What your body really needs is movement. Movement gets your blood pumping, which then gets oxygen to your brain so you feel energized. And getting your heart rate going releases endorphins that fight stress and improve your mood. To start, any form of movement will do.
The bonus to movement, especially if you’re moving in a way that you actually enjoy, is it allows your body to strengthen its muscles. Your muscles burn at 70 times the rate of fat cells to keep your metabolism running efficiently.
So the benefit of NOT going to the gym, and opting instead for a type of physical activity you actually enjoy, is that your body will see the results you want.
It really doesn’t matter what you do for movement, just the fact that you make time to move a couple times a week will make a noticeable difference on your health.
For example, lets say you love going on walks but you dread going to the gym. Then start from there. Start by going on walks once a week, then twice a week, then increasing the amount of time spent walking every time you go. Gradually adapt your habit of going on walks so that it becomes a regular part of your scheduled weekly physical activity.
If you’re more into team sports like soccer or basketball, there are ways for you to pick it up again as part of your regular physical activity. Meetup.com is a great example of one way you can find people local to you with the same interest.
As a health coach, I recommend that you discover the type of movement you enjoy enough to not feel like exercise. For example, a couple years ago I discovered boxing. I gave it a try and noticed how much quicker an hour of boxing passes compared to an hour of hitting the gym. So, I started boxing instead of going to the gym. And I got way better results than I ever did at the gym. The point here is that you need to figure out what works for you and it has to be grounded in what you enjoy in order for you to maintain it sustainably.
This week, see if you can rethink the ways you move. Start trying out the forms of activity you could reasonably fit into your life at least twice a week. If you love to dance, then sign up for a dance class. If you enjoy playing basketball, see if you can join a drop-in. If you enjoy walking, then walk to work. Once you’ve figured what your movement of choice is, work it into a regular schedule and make sure you get in some form of physical activity at least twice a week.