How To Avoid The Gym

I don't go to the gym.  That's right.  I said it.

It's cold.  And dark.  And snowing.  Why would anyone want to trek to the gym?  Besides, gym memberships add up fast.  Personally, I would rather spend my $50 (or $60... or more...) on projects for the apartment, or a nice dinner out.

I have developed a stash of exercise ideas to keep up my fitness without having to rely on the gym.  Some of these workouts have made a huge impact on my motivation to stay fit during the winter.  I have to say, my strength and flexibility are improving every day! Here are some ways to work out without going to the gym.

1. Run or Walk
I know, it's freezing out, and daylight is minimal.  I avoid going out on the coldest of days, but when it is manageable, I like to bundle up and hit the road for some fresh air and a few miles.  If I can't handle the thought of running in the cold, I put on some extra layers, grab my iPod, and walk around my neighborhood to get some exercise while taking care of my errands.
2. Nike Training Club iPhone App
I can't say enough about this app! My best friend introduced me to it, and I can't thank her enough.  You can choose your type of workout (strength, cardio, core, flexibility), your fitness level, and a workout that fits your time availability.  The app guides you through the workout, complete with motivational phrases occasionally.  I love it! I do at least 3-4 of these workouts each week.  Did I mention it's FREE!? Seriously.  Get this now.

3. Yoga Podcasts
Did you know you can download free yoga podcasts from iTunes? Once they are downloaded, simply play the podcast from your computer, iPod, or phone and follow along on your yoga mat.  My favorite are Dave Farmar's podcasts.  I subscribe so that I automatically get any new episodes.  The podcasts are entertaining and fun, and definitely give you the yoga workout you have been craving.

4. New Student/Member Perks
If you do want to quit being a hermit and venture out into public, most health clubs have new member perks or trial periods.  This goes for yoga and pilates studios too! Plus, you get the chance to try several new studios or health clubs and "shop around" in case you do want to invest in a membership.

5. Lululemon Classes
Did you know most Lululemon stores offer free yoga classes and health groups? My neighborhood store offers 1-2 classes each week, and hosts a running club.  It's a great way to enjoy your community without any cost, and can turn into a great social opportunity too.  Give them a try!

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