Although gym memberships have seen enormous increases in recent years, with more and more people signing up to monthly memberships and different classes, for many people, the gym simply isn’t a comfortable place to be. It might be that it doesn’t fit in easily with your lifestyle, that the gyms nearby aren’t up to your standards, or that you just prefer to exercise on your own – or any number of other reasons. However, there are plenty of other exercises which you can do to get a good workout without going to the gym.

If you want an exercise that will tone many different muscles in your body, you could consider visiting your local pool. This doesn’t fit with exercising in solitude, but it offers a different atmosphere to that which you’ll find at the gym, and can make for a very relaxing, fat burning workout which includes many different muscle groups. Swimming is a very flexible workout, letting you push yourself as hard as you feel comfortable with, and safely warm up and cool down in the water. It’s also great if you’re recovering from injuries, as the water resistance provides gentle pressure and exercise without straining muscles.

Alternatively, you could think about taking up cycling. This might be more appealing if you live in the countryside, but even if you live in a city, you can cycle in the local parks, or benefit from turning your work commute into an exercise regime. Cycling is gentle on your joints, avoiding the high impact damage often associated with running, and is one of the easiest exercises to cram into a busy routine, because it doubles up as a way of getting from A to B.


Another exercise which you can try which needs minimal equipment and space is anything involving a balance board. Balancing is a great way to improve your core strength and build up your stomach muscles, and you can vary the difficulty to suit your skill level. If you enjoy it, you could consider investing in a slack-line or tightrope, although these obviously need more space and are more of a financial commitment.

If you have a nearby climbing wall, you could consider dropping in here to train. Climbing uses a lot of different muscles, particularly in your arms, but also in your legs, and it can be a great way of varying your exercise routine and getting into something a bit different. It tends to be relatively inexpensive, even if you’re hiring shoes, so it’s definitely worth trying out at least once. You might be surprised by how many different muscles you engage between the floor and the top of the wall, and there’s a definite sense of achievement when you reach the difficult holds.

There are so many ways to exercise outside of the gym, whether you don’t want a gym membership, or you just want to change your normal routine to keep yourself motivated and work on different muscles. Trying out different activities might inspire a love of a new sport, and might help you reduce the problems associated with overworking any particular part of your body.

Image: / xxolgaxx, MabelAmber

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