Do You Lack Gym Motivation?
Last week I started a series of posts about getting motivated in the gym. If you missed my theory on bagpipes and my awesome music selections click here.
Four out of Five Gym Memberships Go Unused!
We all go to the gym (or want to go) for different reasons – some for health, some for aesthetics, and some for social. For many, getting to the gym is tough and once you are there you are surrounded by people who grunt, check out their stomachs in the mirror, and slam loud noisy things on the ground… stop and look at what “norms” people get away with in a gym.
Is it any wonder why 4 of 5 gym memberships go unused?
What can we do?
Suck it up? Find an alternative fitness program ? Just give up and join the 36% of Americans who are obese?
That number is growing so fast, soon it may be more “acceptable” to be fat than to be fit. Just the other day I heard a woman say, we don’t use the word fat in our house. Yes, she is fat.
Don’t Hide From It
Most of us here at Strong Figure have struggled with weight issues; we aren’t genetic freaks that roll out of bed with six pack abs. I have said this before: when it comes to health and nutrition, the Stephs of the world, are far better experts than the Zuzanas of the world (Zuzana pretty much looked like this before the world of fitness). The genetically blessed do not know what works for us regular people, because everything works for them. Whereas, most of us fight genetics every step of the way, we use the word fat, and we want to take that tough road to avoid obesity — but we need motivation.
If you are reading this then you are likely choosing this road too. And maybe you also hate the gym. Here is this week’s motivation strategy and an alternative to your sucky gym.
Motivation Strategy Two: The Great Outdoors.
This morning I woke up to take my dogs out and it was one of those perfect mornings: sun shining with a cool breeze – I wanted to go for a run. If you know me you just laughed because I hate running. But it was such an inspiring morning.
This captures my morning (bonus points if you know where this is from):
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
Now I want to sprint some hills!
Nature is awesome and it truly can be a great motivator–so much so that a lot people do the majority of their training outside. After all, gyms suck right? Well nature doesn’t suck. If that is what it takes to get fit, then get outside and do some work.
I once knew a couple who did a different outdoor adventure each month and they spent the entire month training for that specific adventure – climbing a mountain, 50 mile canoe float, rock climbing… They were both extremely fit and neither of them had a gym membership.
Here are 5 Fun Ideas for Getting Fit in Nature:
1. Make your own obstacle course race. Playgrounds make for great obstacles. Map out a course of public playgrounds and schools and tackle the obstacles they offer. If choosing schools, just wait until the weekend and start it really early so no one hassles you. Our area has a high school, elementary school, and middle school all in close proximity: the high school has a few good hills, a track, and bleachers; run over to the middle school where they have an actual fitness trail; and the elementary school has two separate playgrounds — the perfect weekend course.
2. Yoga in the park. This is such a fast growing trend and most major cities have a yoga in the park type program. Google your area and find an outdoor yoga experience, or next time you are in a Lululemon store (buy something and send it to Steph) ask them if they sponsor an outdoor yoga program or know of one — it seems to be one of their things. If any of our locals think Harrisonburg needs Yoga in the Park, let me know in the comments section. I have some connections.
3. Hiking. One time I went hiking for 5 hours in the mountains on an empty stomach – the next morning my abs were popping (even the lower ones). Hiking is a great calorie burner and it is awesome when you live near amazing nature!
4. Make your own triathlon. Have you ever wanted to compete in a triathlon but it just seems too intimidating? Well here is a fun idea, gather a group of similarly minded friends and make your own race. Here are some tips for creating your own race:
- When designing the course, invite everyone to participate.
- Figure out how far you want to make the swim, the run, and the bike.
- When planning the course, start with the swim and then figure your logistics of where you will need to lock up the bikes etc…
- Make your course a loop so that you finish where you start.
- Make sure everyone has clear and EASY directions on exactly what the course is.
- On race day, head out early so you can set up (lock up your bikes etc…),
- And here is an interesting twist, celebrate at a predetermined hangout spot; winner buys the first round and loser buys the last.
5. Tree Climbing. I saved my favorite for last. Assess your tree climbing abilities and find a place with a lot of trees at your level (ten trees is a good number.) Then rate them from easiest to hardest. Start a timer, climb the easiest tree and sprint to the second easiest tree, then continue this progression until you have climbed all ten trees . Do this in a public park and you will make new friends or give people something to talk about.
Get out there, take your dog for a walk, and get in touch with nature:
So stay active, get outdoors, and have FUN with your fitness — look how much fun Laila and I are having! (well, Laila anyway)
Do you have any outdoor fitness ideas? Do you want Harrisonburg to do a Yoga in the Park?
Featured image by Echo Valley Ranch (www.evranch.com)