10 Reasons Why I Ditched My Gym Membership

Written by Joanna Brown

Many people enjoy exercising in a gym. It can be motivating, and paying for a membership can be a good incentive to exercise. However, this blog post is an example of how you can be healthy and fit without weight machines, treadmills and cross trainers. Find what works for you and your body and move daily.

1. The great outdoors is my gym.

You don’t need a treadmill to get your heart rate up. Just walking or jogging in a park, beach or around the block will do.

2. I move daily.

Whether it's walking, running or cleaning the house, you just have to move.

3. I wake up with the sunrise, then move.

Our muscles are at their strongest between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., so doing a light jog for 20 minutes in the morning has a greater impact on my fitness than doing it at 6 p.m.

4. I eat well.

Weight gain has less to do with how much you exercise than with how you eat. Refined carbs, junk food, sugars and alcohol all contribute to weight gain. All of which I either totally avoid or restrict. Also, ensuring I have plenty of fresh vegetables in my diet provides my body with the vitamins and minerals I need to increase energy and boost my metabolism.

5. I don’t snack.

Three sufficient meals a day is all I need, as snacking compromises my body's ability to burn fat effectively.

6. I do 15-20 minutes of yoga daily.

Just a short sequence first thing in the morning to stretch, relax and increase my flexibility.

7. I do 1-2 yoga classes a week.

A 90-minute class encourages me to challenge myself and learn new poses. Walking 20 minutes to the studio is an added bit of exercise, too.

8. I use my body weight for strength.

Not only does yoga improve your flexibility and mind-body connection, but holding your body weight in poses for several minutes is enough to build your strength (and fairly quickly, if done on a regular basis). Back when I was pushing 10kg barbells in a gym, my muscles were always straining.

9. I meditate daily.

Stress is a huge factor in the development of belly fat. Cortisol (the stress hormone) accumulates as fat around our waists if it isn't burned off effectively. Therefore, reducing stress in my life has contributed to reducing the little belly bulge I had before.

10. I’d rather spend $100 a month on something I enjoy.

If you enjoy something, you’re more likely to keep doing it. When I was a gym member, I dreaded my weekly workouts, often skipped sessions and felt guilty frequently. Not anymore. I move daily on my own terms, and I love it.

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