5 Reasons To Skip the Gym
And What To Do Instead
If the term “workout” causes your stomach to turn you’re not alone. The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, states that less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Like a double-dutch champion eyeing a jump rope, a workout is the one thing most can’t wait to skip.
Below are five reasons to consider using the gym more effectively or skipping it entirely.
1. You Won’t Use It
Nearly 80% of members use the gym less than 2.5 times per week. And when they do use it, most end up on the treadmill paying the gym to walk in place. That’s just as bad as paying for bottled tap water. There are a variety of exercises that could make the gym really worthwhile and a lot more fun.
Instead: Seek free advice from trainers online or in the gym. There is a lot you don’t know, and a lot that has changed.
2. You Sit Too Much and You Never Stand Up (shout out to Run-DMC)
Sedentary jobs and sitting in front of the television are behaviors that increase metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and other risk factors that are killing us. Even if you over achieve and use the gym 3x/week, will three hours of working-out ever offset the forty hours a week you do sitting?
Instead: Smaller fitness habits during daily activities are equally important. Walk during lunch, stand during meetings, and deliberately park further away.
3. You Can Save Money
Gyms function via a subscription model that is expensive for your time and your wallet. But unlike a video subscription, it requires a great deal of effort on your part. Gyms only provide you the opportunity for a workout. This opportunity costs $58/month on average. And while a savvy sales counselor might persuade you with the its-only-$2-per-day ploy, years of inconsistent use makes each workout a lot more expensive than it should be.
Instead: Use a free week pass to test if you will actually carve out time in your schedule.
4. You’re Better Off Going Local and Outside
The gym requires a change of clothes, a change of location, and often a change in culture. The stress and pressure to “look right” can be so great as to intimidate some new members from coming back. Furthermore, if we relegate fitness to single remote locations (i.e., fitness happens over there) the unintended consequence may be missing the opportunities to get fit closer to home. Besides, waiting to work-out only when you go to the gym is like brushing your teeth only on the weekends.
Instead: Explore the outdoors with opportunities to swim, walk or run. Play with the kids or the dogs outside. It doesn’t have to be a workout, per se. Besides being outside is totally in.
5. Your Definition of a Work-Out Isn’t Working
Fitness must be more than a lifestyle option; it has to be redefined as hygiene. If it takes less than 3 minutes to floss or brush your teeth, a workout can be the same way. Even a routine of consistent little sessions, over time, can have drastic health benefits. For sustainable change in our communities, health and fitness professionals alike need to promote habitual exercise in ways that are both practical and affordable with or without access to a gym.