By: Corbin Williams, NPTI-CPT
Personal Trainer/Nutrition Coach
Forget going to the gym!! “WHAT??” You wonder to yourself. “I thought this guy was trying to get me to the gym.” Ok, so why do I say forget the gym then? I want to give you ideas on how to get your workout in without going to the gym. Now, I am not saying that you should forget the gym forever, but if it is nice out and you are having that thought “ I just don’t want to be in the gym, but outside doing something” Then you bet you better be outside doing something. I also find it funny and ironic that people go to the gym to only walk on the treadmill. HUH?? WHAT?? So they pay $30-$90 a month to go for a walk?? It’s like someone who orders the Exercise Step. When the delivery person rings the door bell, they run down the steps to get it. SO The following are some good ways of getting your exercise in without having to enter the gym.
1. Go for a hike: First of all the best thing about hiking is that it’s FREE!!! With our many national, state, and local park systems throughout Bucks County and surrounding areas, there are hundreds of places to go for a great hike for an afternoon. Ralph Stover State park comes to mind. Here is a place where you have hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing. (Of course at your own risk) But the ability to get an excellent workout in the outdoors is there. Also if you really want to hike, there are nearby trail systems that will take you for miles. Such as the Appalachian Trail, Horse Shoe Trail, Delaware canal trail.
Other places more local would be Lenape Park in Sellersville or Peace Valley Park in Chalfont or Nockamixon State park in Quakertown. But the key is you just have to search them out and get out there to enjoy the air. But don’t make it easy for yourself. Push yourself in your hike. Pick trails with a lot of elevation change. If it’s a short trail then hike it 2 or 3 times, maybe even jogging it.
2. Get out the old Bike: As with hiking, a bike ride can be just as rewarding for a workout. Here is an activity that you can do with low cost. You don’t have to be a pro biker to own a nice bike that will get you an excellent workout on the road. Take my bike for instance; it is an ok bike, 15 speed Trek. Ok, not a great one, but it only cost me $35 dollars at a yard sale years ago. That bike and I have been hundreds of miles over the years. A great trail ride other than mountain biking at Ralph Stover state park is the Perkiomen Trail (20 mi) and connects to the Schuylkill River Trail (18 mi and expanding) which runs all the way into Philadelphia. Here is what I’m saying, get your old bike out and get it going again. Who said you have to go fast.
3. PLAY!!! If you have kids then the best kind of exercise is getting out and playing with them. Sometimes we wonder where they get their energy from and how to keep up with them all the time. Kids have a lot of energy because they are actively growing and tend to eat a lot more per pound of body weight than an adult. Therefore, if kids don’t get out and play and just sit around all the time playing games on the computer or gaming consol, they will become over weight. When you play with them outside it encourages good healthy activity. So how does this play help you? Just try keeping up and you will see.
4. Grab a rake or shovel: Yard work is hard work. What better idea to sub for a workout. Some excellent “workouts” would include raking the yard either after you mow or cleaning up the spring leaves left over from winter. Maybe you had some limbs fall this winter. Well, get that saw out and cut them up. Then if they are big enough, grab an axe and start splitting. It’s never too early to start collecting wood for a bon fire in the evening. Another idea for yard work would be start a garden. This not only helps you build strength but also gives you good healthy food to use throughout the summer. Just remember don’t look at this yard work as a chore but as an opportunity to get more activity into your life.
So as you can see there are many ways to get a workout in if you use your imagination. I am encouraging you to get up and get off the couch, to make a change in your habits. Find ways everyday to become more active. Don’t be that person in the gym who is only there to walk on the treadmill and watch your morning or evening TV show. You will never obtain your goals that way. To work hard is to train hard. And to train hard is to get results. If you are wondering, WHY?, when you have gone to the gym everyday for the last 5 years, yet haven’t reached your goal. It is TIME for you to make a change!! Forget the gym!!
Corbin Williams, NPTI-CPT
Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach
Certified Nutrition Coach
Graduated from the National Personal Training Institute
Owner of GetReal Training, LLC