So, you hate working out. Well, you’re not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that only 20% of US adults meet the federal government’s recommendation for physical activity. Despite the many, widely-known benefits of working out, there’s plenty of excuses to save the sweat and avoid the gym. Well, today, we’re going to debunk your excuses, one at a time.
…Because you get bored
Rock climbing is one of the easiest ways to get an entire body workout without feeling like you’re working out. Earth Treks Climbing Center is a local climbing gym with multiple locations across Maryland in Timonium, Rockville, and Columbia, along with a new gym in Crystal City. Earth Treks is renowned for its stellar walls and dedicated staff, along with making climbing accessible to the public via rentable gear and inexpensive lessons. In addition to being an entire body workout, it’s also incredibly fun.
…Because you hate working out in front of others
Hate working out in front of others? Don’t have a gym membership? Blogilates is a YouTube channel that is focused on accessible at-home workouts. Each week, fitness instructor Cassy Ho hosts 5-10 minute pilates videos, requiring only a pair of sneakers and a yoga mat (if that!) Since you’re working out to a video, you’re encouraged to move at your own pace and listen to your body, making your workout as easy or difficult as you want. Her website also provides monthly calendars that guide more intensive training
…Because you don’t feel motivated alone
Whether you want to shed a few extra pounds or impress some hotties at the club, dancing is an excellent form of cardio that is also a great social activity. Most gyms offer some sort of dance class, from Zumba to hip hop or even swing. There’s also tutorials online, though obviously those aren’t social. If you think you hate dancing, it’s probably because you haven’t found the right style yet!
…Because you don’t have time
It’s true- when you’re balancing a full-time job, a social life, a semi-bearable sleep cycle, and a strict Netflix schedule, it’s hard to find time to work out. In these cases, you’ve got to find ways to integrate physical activity into your daily life. An easy(and relatively cheap) way to do this is through biking. Try biking your way to work, or to the supermarket, or to Chipotle- wherever you’d usually drive. You’ll save on gas while burning calories and adding only a few extra minutes to your commute. Baltimore also has an active and friendly community of bikers that host events throughout the year, such as the Baltimore Bike Party. Let’s be real- even if you’re the busiest person in the world, there’s always time for taking care of yourself.
… Because you don’t have a gym membership
Living in a major metropolitan area, it’s easy to forget the many nature reserves that scatter Maryland and Virginia- even the ones practically on our doorstep. Patapsco Valley State Park and Ilchester are easy 20-minute drives from the city, and a perfect spot for some weekend hiking. Not only is hiking a great workout (especially if you add a heavy backpack!) but it also gives you the opportunity to enjoy the warm weather as it lasts. Other great places to hike are Harper’s Ferry and Great Falls. They’re a little farther, but promise more difficult terrain for those adventure-seekers out there.
…Because you don’t have the energy
“Tired” has become the new default emotion, and with today’s chronically-moving society, it’s no surprise. If you find it hard to motivate yourself to get moving, walking might actually be the exercise that picks you up. Before you knock it, know that Harvard Medical School has found that adding just a few hours of walking into a week can lower rates of coronary artery disease, heart attacks, strokes, and premature deaths. It’s the easiest way to work out, and it’s definitely better than nothing!
…Because you don’t feel challenged
Okay, this might be a long shot, but if you feel bored and unchallenged by all these aforementioned workouts, you might be interested in competing in an obstacle course. Far from the inflatable courses that riddle family-friendly festivals, Savage Race and Spartan Race are two courses meant to push you to your limit, American Ninja Warrior-style. Crawl through mud, swim through icy water, and pull your way to victory (and a healthy lifestyle!) all while having tons of fun with friends.