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Exercise Alternatives To The Gym

By: Mike Kiely BA (hons) - Updated: 2 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
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The gym industry has not only opened up a wide range of ways for people to get fitter and healthier. There is the social aspect that not only can provide a new source of friends but also exercise companions who can offer moral support when motivation suffers something of a blip.However the gym environment is not for everyone. There is the cost, for a start. Sometimes as much as £100 per month, and there may be a commitment required over six- or 12 months that could impact heavily on your finances should earnings suffer a sudden or temporary drop, or unexpected additions like a mortgage rate rise occur. Then there is the problem of visibility, which means the more self-conscious will find this environment rather intimidating.

There are alternatives to these fitness palaces, though. For example, you can turn your living space into a gym by utilising features such as the staircase and the furniture to give yourself a workout. This is covered in more detail in the section on exercising at home.

Exercising Safely And Efficiently

Then there is the option of taking home exercise a step further by investing in a machine such as a bike, cross-trainer, or treadmill. The problem here is that not only do the bigger, more robust models require enough space, but they cost a fair amount of money as well. And they require regular servicing in order to ensure they are working safely and efficiently.The relatively modest investment in a pair of running shoes will mean you have a cardiovascular workout and the opportunity for lower-body toning on your door-step via a route running around the local streets or park. Running is a very flexible form of exercise because it requires little in the way of preparation, and even less in terms of facilities. If you are very lucky, there may be a fitness trail incorporated into your local park, featuring workout zones at regular intervals that include a set of parallel bars, an ab-crunch or body curl frame as well as a leg-raise post. This means that upper body toning can be built into your regular run.

An Alternative Form of Commuting

Another type of exercise that can be made to work for individuals who are poor on time is cycling because it can be used as an alternative form of commuting. Not only will cycling get you fitter, but the cost of the bike will be more than off-set by the savings made in petrol, or bus or train fares. Remember, though, that if you are venturing out cycling, road awareness is vital because city traffic can be very unforgiving and dangerous when negotiated by inexperienced cycle riders.

Check out your local swimming pool, too. This will be a lot cheaper than the gym and a session in the water can support your body while providing the resistance than will aid cardiovascular development and muscle tone. The method may be in the form of lane swimming for a range of abilities, or an aqua aerobics session conducted in a roped-off area.

Just because the gym is not for you, for whatever reason, don’t give up on your fitness ambitions. As long as you have the motivation and the dedication, then you are 75 percent of the way towards enjoying the benefits of exercise.

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