I wanted to write a post on why I quit the gym, so if you are curious about why I did so please keep on reading.
I have recently lost a bit over 18kg to date over a period of 14 months and I am working towards losing more weight at the moment. I cancelled my gym membership in November 2016 and I am still having a lot of success in working towards my major weight loss goal. The following are a few reasons why I quit the gym and reasons I think you should consider for yourself if you currently have a gym membership (especially if you are rarely attending).
Firstly, I stopped finding it enjoyable. You might be thinking ‘Mikki, exercise isn’t supposed to be all about fun and games, it is supposed to be hard work blah blah blah’ – ssshhh my friend. Yes, I shooshed you for thoughts you might not even be having (sorry!). I found it really hard to get back into the routine of going back to the gym or even to drag myself there in the first place because it had become boring. I was a gym goer for many years, some parts I found to be enjoyable but mostly I found it monotonous, I don’t like working out with other people generally and it stopped being fun in any shape or form! In my own journey to fitness and weight loss, I have found myself much more likely to commit to a workout when I actually enjoy the activity and I even looked forward to the activity! Exercise doesn’t have to be hellish torture that you dread (I am not saying that you shouldn’t challenge yourself either). There are so many different types of exercise out there to try, I encourage you to search for one you enjoy if you haven’t found one already. You will really notice a difference when you actually enjoy the exercise you do.
Secondly, gym memberships can be costly (especially when you attend a boutique women’s only gym, as I did) and when you don’t even utilise your membership this is a massive waste of money. There are many free alternatives to the gym and I feel a bit silly for wasting so much time and money on something so costly that I didn’t enjoy for the most part. I am working towards becoming a more minimalistic person – I want to own less and have less things in my life that drain my resources, so to me getting rid of this membership felt like a natural step on this journey.
Here are a few free alternatives I recommend
Create your own routine
Put together a routine that doesn’t require a gym – a quick google search of ‘workout routine no equipment’ should get you started with some ideas. One of my favourite walking tracks has an area with equipment and instructions that can be used for resistance training so I can do my cardio followed by some resistance training.
Get outdoors and let the world be your gym:
Whether you walk the dog more often, go for a walk on your lunch break at work or go for a walk around the block – it all adds up in terms of burning calories. I encourage you to do some research on the benefits of walking especially if you are considering going gym-less because it is incredibly underrated, in my opinion. Don’t underestimate the power of incidental exercise and changes walking alone can do for your body.
Go for hikes
Find a walking trail in your area. You can start off small- maybe doing a small part of it or one lap (depending on how big the trail is) and build it up to doing more of the trail or multiple laps. Hiking is currently my favourite form of exercise because I really enjoy getting out in nature and the unexpected challenges it provides.
A benefit of hiking is that unlike when I am attending the gym, I can’t just walk out when I feel like it and drive home when I can’t be bothered anymore. You either have to turn back and still walk a decent amount or finish it off- and when faced with those two options you will probably choose to finish it off- persevere!!! It is such a good feeling when you get to the end of a hike or to the lookout you’ve just hiked to, to realise how far you’ve come. There are also a lot of natural wonders in the world that cannot be accessed with a car – you need to go on foot and when you do you can bear witness to private slices of paradise which are rarely seen by other people which to me is quite special.
Get fit from home:
Blogilates (and other free workout videos on YouTube)
YouTube is an excellent resource for those looking for a free guided workout of any kind. My favourite channel for guided workouts is called ‘Blogilates’ and I am endlessly recommending it to friends who mention that they want to lose weight/tone up/get fit. Cassey Ho is a Pilates instructor who has created a massive library of free workout videos on YouTube and she has free recipes and workout calendars available on her website. She also has two beginners calendars for people who are just starting out which I recommend doing. All you need is a yoga mat and you are good to go! Her videos can be quite challenging- so if she recommends 4 workouts in a day I might do 2 or 3 of them if I am finding them too difficult. And if I am struggling while doing one of her videos I just take a break and continue when I am ready. My favourite thing about working out with Cassey is how quickly I see the results especially if I am eating healthily consistently. I find it a lot easier to do a guided video from my home rather than drive somewhere else especially when it is winter or if the weather is crappy.
I encourage you to assess whether the gym is really an essential part of your life because you can get back to basics and still see results just like I have. You can also save a lot of money and put it towards other more worthy things.
Think about it!
DISCLAIMER: Information regarding training and exercise on this site is of a general nature. You should always consult your physician or other healthcare provider before changing your diet or starting an exercise program. Please consult your physician before undertaking any exercise, and or training plans.