“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” -John Bingham
Embarking on an exercise program is a scary prospect. I remember when I first started, I was terrified that I was going to quit or not have time or simply hate it. Once you make the decision to start exercising, the next question is: “What type of exercise do I do?”. When discussing changing to a healthy lifestyle, I often hear people say, “I cannot afford a gym” or “I don’t have time to join a gym.” I am here to tell you that you do not need a gym membership to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle.
In the last 5 years that I have consciously chosen to live healthy, I have only had a gym membership for 3-4 months. This was a few years ago when I injured my ilio-tibial band, so I could not run for a while. I joined a gym very close to my house to be able to use the pool so I could swim in lieu of running. I hated it.
I was so used to just putting on a pair of shoes, walking out the door, and running. Even when I would drive to the Leon Creek Trail in San Antonio for my long runs, it was still a matter of simply getting out of the car and then start running. I felt the whole gym thing was a lot more complicated. I hated having to adjust my swim schedule to the gym’s hours. I hated having to share the pool and waiting for a lane to open. I also hated the whole process of having to go into the locker room, changing, and then having to change back. It took me 15 minutes just to pack to make sure I had everything like deodorant and a brush and the right clothes.
I sometimes have to use hotel gyms when I am traveling. I do not stop exercising when I travel, except when I am with the kids. I feel it’s the same issues: I hate waiting for a treadmill to open up or having to cut my work-out short because some lady is giving me the evil eye to get off the treadmill.
Personally, I do not think you need a gym membership to lose weight. There are so many forms of exercise that don’t require a gym, such as walking, running, bicycling, and dancing. The point is, that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to embark on an exercise program. You just need to pick something that you love and will actually look forward to. Try walking around the block initially. Hop on that rusty old bike and give it a whirl. If you love dancing, try Zumba at a studio or Shaun T’s Hip Hop Abs at home. Just do something. Get moving.
“The sooner you want it to be over with, the longer it will take.”–Eric Orton @BornToRunCoach
- No Gym Membership? 5 Exercise Alternatives (healthylivingonline.co)