Over the last 2 years, there’s been so much nonsensical banter online and in the real world about not being able to work out as the gyms were closed.
Alright, so Corona closed down a bunch of businesses, gyms being one of them. Cinemas, barbershops, cafes, restaurants, and bars were all hit with these shut-down orders.
Whether that was an effective method to contain the virus or not is still a big question.
But gyms? Think about gyms for a moment. I read an article by Tim Denning on Medium today, where he makes these statements:
“95% of people don’t wipe down the equipment. They train in each other’s sweat as if there isn’t an invisible illness lurking around.”
“I’ve never noticed before but my gym stinks of sweat. The smell reminds me of dog urine left on the carpet for two days to marinate.”
“It’s musky and horrid. The smell is as bad when I walk into the gym as when I exit. I don’t get used to it.”
Now unless you’re talking about a 5-star luxury hotel gym, most gyms you’ll find are like that.
The majority of folks working out there don’t care about hygiene, the mess, or the noise they’re making while they’re at it.
Gyms simply aren’t a pleasant place to hang out in. They are smelly, unhygienic, loud and at times can be cringeworthy and embarrassing.
Just think about the lovely locker and shower room scenes; you’re forced to see everyone’s privates, sharing showers, and mistakenly touching each other’s sweaty skin when walking past one another.
Then, you’ve got your show-offs, who are hell-bent on bulking up, and love to make animal-like grunting noises while lifting, followed by muscle-flexing mirror poses and selfies.
Let’s be honest here, gyms can be horror and freak shows. They are intimidating to most and do not provide a pleasant and motivating framework to get fit.
Gyms have become more like a psychological “must” for people thinking it’s the only way to get healthy, to the point where it becomes an unhealthy addiction.
That’s a misconception thanks to the Fitness Industry and its marketing machine.
This generated endless complaints that the gyms were closed.
“I have to go back to the gym to get fit, how can I otherwise?”
Back to Tim. Despite his accurate description of gyms, the smells, and lack of hygiene, he goes on to say that going to a gym is essential and pretty much the only way to get fit and motivated to even try.
Being the bearer of good news, I’m happy to say all this gym, health, and fitness talk is a myth and wrong.
You do not need to go to a gym, pay a monthly subscription, and deal with all the unpleasantries that come with it.
There are far more healthy, efficient, pleasant, effective, and motivational ways to work out — in nature, at home, or anywhere else for that matter.
All you need is some space, and 30 to 60 minutes of time.
What you don’t need is all the hassle of driving to the gym, changing, working out, showering, changing back, and driving home again.
Why make it so complicated and time-consuming when it can be easy and time-efficient?
Using Your Body as Your Gym.
I started my new life and re-invention in 2016. That was when I changed from being 210 lbs. to 155 lbs. in 3 months and completely reversed my unhealthy lifestyle, body, and mind.
During that time, I was still hanging out in the gym, enduring the sweaty, smelly workouts, which I managed by looking forward to the sauna at the end.
I didn’t ever enjoy gym time, no matter what age or where I was in the world. Despite feeling that way, I still became a professional athlete in my teens— I pushed through the barriers and did what I had to do to get there.
But I definitely didn’t enjoy the process.
2017 rolled around and off I went on a content creation trip to Bali for a couple of months.
Well, the 2 months turned into 4 years, and that was the best thing I ever did.
Bali allowed me to discover nature again, and I’d do all I could to spend as much time in it as possible.
That’s how I developed my unique bodyweight workout program.
I’ve created more than 40 routines using “your body as your gym,” and about 30 exercise variations.
It’s fascinating what you can do with your body, and how tough and effective these simple exercises are.
Discovering the power of your body.
Was it luck, fate or did I look for it? I think all the above happened.
In any case, once I discovered the amazing array of exercises I could create using my body weight, I was amazed and delighted.
You know the push-up, right? Well, you can do around 15 variations of the push-up, if you know how to. Most people don’t and, of course, don’t ever try.
But if you do, you’ll soon be hooked on this method.
The best part? There are several.
Creative bodyweight workouts are fun, can be completed within 10 to 30 minutes, you can do them anywhere, and you’ll elevate your fitness to new levels each time.
You can knock out a full 2 to 4 set session, completed in less than 30 minutes, or you can break the workout down into micro-workouts utilizing 3 exercises, completed in 5 to 10 minutes.
In other words, you become flexible and can choose to do what you feel like when you feel like it.
And no, you do not need to be pumping iron in a gym for 45 to 60 minutes daily to build muscle, lose weight or be healthy. That’s all made-up marketing gibberish!
Finding new ways during the pandemic.
The pandemic certainly inspired me to find alternative, healthier training methods, rather than senselessly longing for the gyms to re-open.
I focused on tons of daily walking, with 2 long walks a day, and walking to and from as many places as I could.
Walking is probably the best and healthiest cardio workout, as you’re building a strong cardiovascular system while keeping your heart in the aerobic fat-burning zone. You can talk, read emails, or simply enjoy the scenery and practice mindfulness walking.
Walking builds stronger bones, joints, and muscles, as well as a calmer more relaxed, and positive mindset.
I like to call walking the best, and most underrated cardio workout we can do for free.
And you can tank up on the Negative Ions surrounding you in nature:
Negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy. www.webmd.com
Along the way, you can add bodyweight workout sessions, by stopping every 10 minutes to run through a routine and move on. This breaks up the workout into 2 to 4 parts, again, making it feel easier to complete.
If you can’t go outside, you can walk on a treadmill or up and down a staircase in your apartment building or office. Stairs are the best — learn to love them!
Another great, refreshing, and relaxing cardio workout is swimming. Slow-paced breaststroke swims for 20 to 30 minutes work wonders on all muscle groups and your mind.
Swimming incorporates “water therapy” which soothes and relaxes your mind.
You don’t need a gym to lose weight, get fit, and be healthy. That’s a myth.
If you love and think you “need” your gym time, that’s fine too. If it makes you happy, there’s no reason not to go to the gym.
However, I prefer to explore nature, walk, and work out with my bodyweight moves, 3 to 4 times a week. For me, that’s simply a super liberating feeling and a lot more enjoyable.
Save time, save money, get creative and use your body as your gym as much as you can in daily life.
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