I hate the gym. Which is weird because I’ve spent a lot of time in them. I was captain of my basketball team, won awards as three-point shooter of the year, was one of two freshman on the varsity track team – basically mama was a beast back in the day. But as Ahmad says in that famed song, “…I was young and I’m not a kid anymore.” The days where I spent hours conditioning to keep my body in tip top shape to run full speed down a court are behind me. Now, if I work up to a jog during my morning walks I’m ready to high-five my damn self. But I also have two kids, work a lot, and never want to not be able to run if a zombie apocalypse occurs. So I’ve figured out a way to stay in shape and not belong to a gym. Want some tips? Dive in!
I’ve been a member of several big box gyms from LA Fitness to Planet Fitness, I’ve had three personal trainers, and done a few bootcamps. After each of those experiences I always end up feeling bored and in the same place I was when I began. With the exception of one phenomenal trainer, I’ve yet to find something or someone who makes me feel better than getting outside and moving. For a while I figured the only way I could maintain my health and desired body was to hit the gym and make my way around that box of barbie body dreams by doing 20 reps per machine. Needless to say – that plan foiled, Johnny. After my last attempt at a big gym I finally decided to forgo that notion and figure out a fitness regimen that was actually going to work.
Dress For The Occasion –
I did what any self-respecting blogger would do – I went and bought cute things to wear. Obviously you don’t want to do anything if you don’t feel good. Get yourself some snazzy threads to sweat in, you’ll be hot and musty in the pits but at least your sports bra will be fly. I usually hit up Target for my wares because they’ve got a great selection and it’s affordable. I don’t like working out that much so there’s no need to donate millions to this cause. Also, I try and go with black items because they conceal and draw heat from the sun which makes me sweat thus melting off the flub. Biggest draw though? They make me look skinny! Here’s some of my picks below:
Make It Easy –
At least four times a week I try and take walk brisk walk around my neighborhood park. It’s probably a five minute drive from my house if the lights aren’t green. It’s large enough that even if I go everyday I’m not tired of the scenery and I get time to listen to one of my favorite podcasts as I stroll. I think the hardest part about starting to workout is just getting there. Once I’m out of the car and I’ve taken those first few steps I instantly feel better than I would have just staying at home. There’s no pressure on me to try to understand machinery or not to feel inadequate amongst the fitness gurus. It’s just me, the resident elders, and a few ducks enjoying the morning.
Be Intentional About Your Food –
You already know this but it’s so important it bears repeating. You can workout until your arms and legs feel like jelly, but if you go home, eat through a bag of Doritos and gorge on snack packs of donuts – you’re going to fail. I’m not one for overhyped diets like Whole 30, juice cleanses, or anything extreme because I know that making good food choices is a lifestyle. I decided about a decade ago to stop eating fast food. Mainly because I knew a meal from Wendy’s was a bag of empty calories. Not to mention I couldn’t stomach handing over $10 to Jack In The Box only to be hungry again 30 minutes later. I don’t drink soda and I rarely indulge in juice. I save my calories for good food and wine. Now obviously I have a television show all about eating so y’all know I do it. And I do it often. But I’m also a firm believer in moderation. Eat what you want, just don’t eat all of it at once. This habit makes it easier to lead a healthy life and keep your workout regimen simple.
Hopefully with these steps you can learn how to incorporate a healthy plan into your life that keeps you moving even if you don’t have a gym membership. Remember the best thing to do is just get outside and MOVE! Shop those threads above, hit your neighborhood park, and choose wheat bread instead of white for that sandwich. You’ll be happier for it!
Here’s to staying healthy – in your own way!