As I mentioned, I’m anything but a gym bunny – but on my quest for a healthier lifestyle, I’ve discovered the joy of moving more. We weren’t meant to sit on our bums all day (even though I truly would love to! Lazy lazy!!)
So if you are like me, and a gym is the last place you’d like to be seen then listen up.. (I have nothing against gyms necessarily.. It’s just such a no-go area for me. I can’t get over the exorbitant joining fees, the smell that all gyms carry, the lack of personal and private space in the gym change rooms AND the overall vibe – besides of course, my absolute social anxiety)
I’ve found a few ways to get moving that are way cheaper (some even are free), slightly fun (lol who knew..) and a great way to start out
Get a good workout with a Youtube video
I had some days that I wanted to do more than just walking – but being adverse to joining a gym or group workout class, I wanted to find another way to see what interested me or what I could do (I am somewhat uncoordinated, so aerobics is also not for me!). Introducing youtube videos – there are some really great content creators out there who have shared some amazing workouts that you can move along to – as well as to learn correct technique. The Journey Junkie is fab if you are looking at Yoga, while Jessica Smith is a fitness trainer who has created a series that is great as a beginner wanting more fitness.
Sometimes a good walk is all you need to feel better – some fresh air, sun and a good walking buddy can really turn around a week. Parkruns are a great and safe way to get more active. They are run weekly by volunteers, and are free – all you need to do is register with your local/closest route and print out your barcode. Then join in! The route is a 5km route and you can take as long as you need – so walking is welcomed! Also, no one is there to judge, the community is super open and welcoming. These events also offer some safety in numbers and have volunteers along the route, so if anything goes wrong – there are people who have your back!
My husband and I recently started joining these local trail runs through Trail Adventures. These are runs/walks set in local trails – out in nature! The routes are generally off road, through forests or over grassy expanses. The trails are not overly tricky (walking) but offer a chance to get out doors – again, you are welcome to walk the routes and every one organising these events is super friendly and welcoming. These are paid for events (generally around R75 pre registration and R100 on the day). The routes vary but range between 5km to 21km. These events also offer some safety in numbers and have volunteers along the route, so if anything goes wrong – there are people who have your back!
I’ve recently signed up for Adventure bootcamp because a friend recommended that I check the morning camp out. 4:30 am wake ups! Bootcamp is an hour class where your trainer takes you through a pre-set out session targeting either full body, arms and core or cardio and legs. They are also there to make sure you are doing exercises safely and with correct form – and to top it off, you generally have a good laugh with all the other ladies who are there. One thing that I was nervous about was being the unfittest in the class – however, all the ladies there are all there for the same reason and no matter your fitness level, you will fit in. All the camps are for women only and are placed in safe and secure venues – meaning that if you are attending alone, you have a piece of mind! The trainers are also there to assist you in your form and technique as well as have first aid on hand just in case!
Other things you could do is find magazines for inspiration or take a walk around your neighbourhood (but take a buddy – its not always safe enough to do this alone!). There are also some great parks, nature reserves and botanical gardens to venture around – and we live in such a beautiful country!
Just remember to stay safe and enjoy any exercise you do! Its supposed to be fun – if it isnt fun (like me in a gym…) then why bother!