Intimidated by the gym? Let’s address some other options out there that will still provide you the same benefits from the gym, without the membership. According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week and muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week. Don’t worry; you can achieve all this with or without a gym membership!
If the gym intimidates you because you’re not sure what to do while you’re there or how to structure a week of workouts, there are plenty of workout programs out there to help you do just that! Programs like Boomer Fitness, Go4Life Fitness Campaign, and Kayla Itsines have created exercise programs that can be done at the gym or at home, simply by using body weight, smaller weights, and creative use of chairs and yoga mats.
Personally, I’ve done Kayla Itsines 12 week program and loved how I felt at the end. What I loved most about it was that the workouts only took about 30 minutes and I could do them
all at home with a few 5lb weights and two table chairs. Some of the workouts I could even do outside in the park! Programs like this made it easy to fit in workouts in my own home without worrying about what I looked like at the gym. The program also gave me an outline for how I should balance out arms, abs, and leg exercises with cardio and rest days.
A home gym can be as simple as a few 5lb weights, a yoga mat, and a creative mind. Personally, I use 5lb weights, a yoga matt, and use chairs from my kitchen table to mix things up! To further challenge myself, I’ve acquired resistance bands and kettle balls over time. Many exercises can be done solely using your body weight, but as you progress, it’s good to challenge your body to keep your muscles guessing.
DIY Online videos
If you’re not interested in a program and just need some inspiration or instruction on how to use equipment at the gym, there are plenty of online websites that have videos of how to use equipment and what muscles each machine works. Websites have videos of both men and women doing exercises to help you get the right form, like shape.com and bodybuilders.com (try to ignore the huge in-your-face muscles…there are over 300 free videos of different stretches, exercises and programs available that are actually quite helpful if you can navigate through the protein power and testosterone).
There are also Instagram accounts (all the girls mentioned above have one) that have free videos you can use, which I use all the time. There are accounts like thehomeworkouts and home.exercises that provide videos on home circuits you can do with or without weights…Carrie Underwood has even posted home workouts on her Instagram accounts!
Stress-free Gym Options
If you do want to use a gym, there are plenty of less-intimidating options like Planet Fitness, the home of the Judgment Free Zone, or the YMCA, a family friendly organization that are geared towards people of all ages and physical levels. To find out what works for you, get a feel of the environment of a gym before committing to a long membership and hopefully that will increase your comfort level while at the gym!
Whether you want to overcome your fear and become a confident member of a gym, follow a program, or set up your own home gym, there are plenty of ways to get active within your comfort zone. Get excited to get moving!