ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Free and Effective Alternatives to Going to the Gym

Updated on April 25, 2019
Ardot profile image

Ardot lives and breaths on this planet. He shares what he likes and finds useful. He enjoys abstract art and ideas.

New Years Resolutions.....

As I blasted by the gym on my road bike, I glanced in the window and wondered why in the hell anyone would want to be couped up in a smelly, sweaty gym on such a beautiful summer day. That bike ride marked almost three months of not stepping foot in the gym.

I started off with my fitness and weight loss goals the previous summer, and the workouts I did in that gym did a wonderful job of getting my body accustomed to physical activity in a safe controlled environment. I kept at it right through the holidays, Thanksgiving week I was there, pounding away at the treadmill. Christmas? Yup, still swinging those kettlebells..... Hmm, gym was nice and empty..... New years, let me try a spinning class, fun! Then BAM! Everyone and their sister must have made the same new year's resolution to get in shape for the summer and hit the gym. It was totally gross! I felt like a sardine in a briny broth. My once fluid workouts were being compromised by, gasp! waiting in line to use a machine?..... What? there are no treadmills available? Oh, well, guess I'll have to use the elliptical.... Grrrr, I was gonna use the assisted dip machine, suddenly someone appears out of nowhere..... more waiting!

This nonsense did not let up for the entire winter. It was awful. I started to wonder if I really needed the gym to get a workout. One of my first workouts sans gym was when I decided to go for a run.


A revelation: Outdoor workouts

It was March. Winter still hadn't fully released it's cold death-grip from the great outdoors. I really was not in the mood to workout steeped in the smell of ass at the gym. I dug out my long-johns, found a cool looking skull cap, and simply went for a run.

It was hell! I must have done 3 km at most.... It was freezing and it felt so weird being out all alone in a winter wasteland.... I was hooked!

I spent the next couple of months slowly building up my run distanced to 5 km.

After each run, i would experiment with different types of exercises. I would run home, stretch out my legs and do some Tai-Chi (thanks, You-Tube!)

I started experimenting with different combinations of activities. Running and Tai-chi, Pilates and Kettle-Bell, Walking and Body-Weight Exercises, Biking and Yoga.....

As winter gave way to spring, I would visit the gym less and less. More and more of my workouts were out in the fresh air of the beautiful outdoors. I would get home and continue to do the rest of my workout in the privacy of my own home.


The importance of injury avoidance

Nothing will hinder your progress like a nagging knee or Achilles injury. There are many new views as to how we currently run, and how we are supposed to be running. They mainly focus around how the foot falls on the ground after each step. Traditional cushioned running shoes encourage us to land on the heels of our feet. This is proving to be the wrong way to run as it it very hard on our bodies. The shock of running is supposed to be absorbed and dissipated by the spring that is our feet.

All this and more including foot strengthening exercises are included in the book "The Running Revolution: How to Run Faster, Farther, and Injury-Free--for Life"

This book has helped me immensely in maintaining my running regime. I find myself watching other runners and notice how many people are just destroying their feet, knees, hips, and spine by running with horrible form.

Read this book, it will help you with your running technique.

Nature runs are awesome

One of my usual biking routes was past the gym, just as a reminder of where my fitness journey began. I look forward to my workouts so much more now, I long to be outdoors, basking in the beauty that is nature. I find myself pushing myself to go farther, faster, harder.... Occasionally I'll get a treat from nature in the form of a chance encounter with a fox, or witness a family of geese out for a stroll, or a close call with a skunk....(less majestic). All of these moments experienced in nature remind me of that the earth is meant for all living creatures. I have developed a new understanding of the world around me and clearer view of the lay of the land. I learn to respect that goose protecting his nest and steer clear of that skunk with his tail up. All the while my body reaps the rewards of regular physical activity. My mind also gets a meditative, spiritual awakening in a world that can be chaotic.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2017 Ardot

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • pattyfloren profile image

      Patty Florence 

      2 years ago from Illinois

      I'm glad running worked out for you!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)