Ten Ways to Avoid the Gym

So, let’s say your idea of fun is not going to the gym and working out but you know you need to get some exercise to stay healthy. How do you avoid gym? Whether it’s because you don’t have a gym nearby, you don’t want to spend the money on gym membership, or you just don’t like gyms, you still need to get some exercise, right? We all know that fitness depends on moving our bodies. What should you do? I have some ideas to share.

  1. Get a Fitbit and count your steps. We all hear this, get 10,000 steps a day. Well, get a Fitbit or some other step counter (pedometer, Apple Watch, Garmin watch) and see how many steps you get in a day. I was shocked when I first started to track my steps. Working in an office was not conducive to walking. If you’re only walking 2,000 to 3,000 steps a day, you probably shouldn’t make your first goal 10,000 steps. Instead, add 1,000 steps to what you walk normally and see if you can get that. Continue to bump up your goal until you get to the level you want and can meet it frequently.I adjust my goal for steps depending on what’s going on in my life. These days, I try not to lower my goal below 10,000 steps but if I’m in a period where I can walk a lot, I’ll bump my goal up. Then, if I know that I’m entering a period where just getting the 10,000 steps is a challenge, I’ll reset my goal.
    The important thing to remember is that you get to control those goals.

    Dog on hiking trail. Avoid gym
    Nunu on a hike.
  2. Continuing with the walking theme, join a hiking club and get in some lengthy walks and enjoy nature. This can be an excellent way to meet people and to enjoy some exercise without having to really think about it being exercise. If you have a dog who likes to walk, take him along with you. Dogs make great hiking companions.
  3. There are other kinds of clubs you can join. There are biking clubs and skiing clubs. All of these are a great way to combine social activities with fitness. Ride your bike, go skiing, do whatever appeals to you and that you can find a club. I just recently learned of a mountain climbing club near me. I’m in Ohio and there’s not a lot of mountain climbing here but it turns out, this group meets at a local wilderness supply store and uses their climbing wall.
  4. Think about the things that you enjoyed as a kid or teenager. If you loved playing sports, look for some adult leagues for baseball or softball, basketball, soccer, or touch football. Many recreation departments in different towns offer sport activities for adults. If you think you want to do this, check out the team and make sure that they play at the level you’re looking for. Don’t forget bowling. The last time I went bowling, I was shocked at how much I had to use my arms. That’s a serious arm workout.
  5. Maybe you loved dance as a kid. If so, many dance studios and rec departments offer dance classes for adults. You can find all types of dance available to you. Whether it’s ballet, tap, or ballroom dancing, put on your dancing shoes and enjoy!

    Three women dancing
  6. Don’t forget sports such as golf and tennis. These can be great ways to get fit. Look for local leagues to join.
  7. Check out yoga studios or yoga classes offered through rec departments or churches. You’ll often find places that offer yoga classes that are reasonably priced and set up for those of us who are as flexible as we once were. A lot of barre places have opened. These are a combination of ballet, yoga, and Pilates and uses a ballet barre for balance. This might be a good option for you.
  8. In the same vein, Jazzercise classes or similar types of classes are offered in a variety of locations. This might be a good solution to doing something without having to join a gym. I just recently saw a place that is offering a class called Blessercise. It’s a religious based fitness class and was housed in a small retail area. You just pay by the class or pay for a monthly membership.
  9. Let’s not forget the favorites of running and bicycling. Neither require a membership to anything and you can do both without a lot of preparation. A good pair of running shoes is the minimum requirement for running and a bike and helmet works for bicycling.

    Chris Running
    Chris Running
  10. If you really want to just do a workout in the comfort of your home, check out what’s available online for help. Many women enjoy Leslie Sansone. You can buy a DVD or borrow one from your local library or check her out on YouTube. You can get some exercise equipment to use at home. Many people enjoy rebounders at home. Rebounders are like mini-trampolines. Others like to have some dumb bells at home for workouts. Don’t forget simple things like jump ropes. You can invest more money and get a treadmill or elliptical or even a Pilates Reformer machine. If you don’t want to invest in any equipment, do body weight exercises like pushups, lunges, and squats.

    Jump rope to avoid gym
    Jump rope


I’m sure there are lots of ways that I’ve not thought of to get exercise without joining a gym. Feel free to share what you do. We all need help on our way to becoming like Elli.

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