Mind & Body
No Excuses! Exercise Alternatives for People Who Dislike the Gym
7/1/2019 1:00:00 PM
No Excuses!

For some people, a trip to the gym for a workout is an enjoyable part of their daily routine and even a venue for social interaction. For others, going to the gym is torture for reasons that range from fear of body shaming to a fear of having a heart attack on the treadmill and dying of embarrassment. Or maybe dying of boredom on the treadmill? For those of you who have gym-phobia, there is good news and great news: The good news is that you can stay fit through exercise and the great news is that you don’t have to set foot in the gym to do it!

There is no disputing the benefits of regular exercise. Exercise has proven benefits for cardiovascular health, weight control, improved cognitive function, stress reduction, better sleep, and chronic disease prevention. However, just knowing the benefits often isn’t enough to motivate most people. The mere mention of the word exercise brings visions of sweat, sore muscles, and the taunts of middle school gym class. But what if you don’t think of exercise as exercise?


There are many activities that provide both aerobic activity and strength training that are just plain fun and not traditional exercise at all. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) updated exercise guidelines last year with new activity goals that are much easier to meet without ever setting food in a gym! 


To begin, the new guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity and muscle strengthening activity twice each week for adults. The HHS defines moderate intensity aerobic activity as any activity that gets your heart beating faster. They suggest using the "talk test” to determine if an activity is moderate or vigorous activity. When you’re being active, just try talking: If you’re breathing hard but can still have a conversation easily, it’s moderate intensity activity. If you can only say a few words before you have to take a breath, it’s vigorous intensity activity. The best news is that any amount of time five minutes or longer spent performing any activity counts! So, get moving!


Need some fun ways to be active without feeling like it is exercise? Try these ideas:

Dancing

Walking

Hula Hooping

Deep cleaning the house

Swimming

Playing chase with the kids

Interactive role-playing video games

Jumping rope


There you have it! No gym, no excuses. Just get up and move!

Posted by: John O'Donnell | Submit comment | Tell a friend

Categories: Health

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