Get Fit In Time For Summer (Without The Gym)

[getty src=”453477609?et=H0XOujyULUC1YDBVXRnTLw&sig=5pXhDKSlLHI5jEWkfZINV1jKFT3GkrE_EZ24zwD9Wb8=” width=”584″ height=”716″]

I haven’t been to the gym in over four years, and I’ve never been fitter.

I’m not one of those energetic people on constant fast-forward mode who surely must eat 10 WeetBix for breakfast. You know, those annoying people who think that cycling up a mountain is a fun and rewarding weekend activity. Eww. I’ll definitely pass on that one, thanks.

Don’t even try to get me to enter a fun run. I’ll start my spiel on how humans aren’t naturally designed to run long distances and how it will damage my joints and give me saggy boobs. But mostly it’s waaay too hard and extremely unpleasant. Yes, I was that kid in P.E. class.

[getty src=”171577491?et=D8XalgbKgkmsohXvkm15RA&sig=VQg3sDqz8DGsVG_sJzgZciUr6o5GX73AoZviiIWP77Q=” width=”584″ height=”469″]

I can, however manage to find the time to maintain a healthy body around working full time, over an hour round trip daily commute and other bland life responsibilities.

I believe that the excuse of not having the time to workout is absolute bull (unless, of course, you have mini-me’s, the sick or elderly to take care of). It’s all about how you prioritise your time.

Hmm, should I log on to Facebook and read a news-feed full of whinging, bragging or lame food-porn pics? Should I watch another unfulfilling episode of The Big Bang Theory? Leaving me cold and empty inside (but not as much as Everybody Loves Raymond). That show is the worst.

Pass. I’ll dedicate that time to improving my body and mind and feel a million times better for doing it.

Nothing pisses me off more when I hear fellow females complain about how big their thighs are, how they hate their jelly-belly, or whine about their tuck-shop lady arms. Stop complaining and do something about it if it really bothers you that much!

Mean Girls
Mean Girls

There’s no big secret to achieving and maintaining a healthy level of fitness, its just called discipline. You don’t need an expensive gym membership or a ridiculous piece of exercise equipment to achieve your goals either. If you’re unable to snap yourself into gear and have the discipline to exercise regularly, I think that getting in contact with a mental health professional for some guidance is a great idea. It is a mind game after all.

The other essential element in maintaining a regular workout routine, I believe, is keeping it fun and varied. Going for a run a few times a week may work for some people, but the majority of us would rather stick pins in our eyes. Or, if we’re being a little less dramatic, clean the bathroom or wash the car and such.

Me? I love an early morning yoga sesh at home via DVD in my jammy-jamms to keep me fit, healthy, flexible and levelheaded. Yoga also keeps my crazy bitch side on a down low and keeps my stress levels in check.

[getty src=”143176908?et=rgrCs0xxFUCsf-5rJEuRHA&sig=e29vZeS4v1CG-ab6kl0B9n5cFbX6P4aDU-v2YolRPbM=” width=”584″ height=”681″]

My all-time favorite is MTV’s Power Yoga. It’s probably as fun as a workout can be, breaks a sweat, is challenging and after a few weeks of perseverance, actually starts to feel good. Plus it’s not as daggy as some of the other workout DVD’s out there with terrible fashion sense and lame music.

[getty src=”168281241?et=fK6qbP7deEixFx-sQN4PBg&sig=-VmL6BTIw7XKQhZ1rUMvRHMjmm9SxOw2DBhpg1bkEf0=” width=”584″ height=”498″]

You also save time in travel to and from the gym and having to dress socially acceptably. Wear an old flannie-shirt and sparkly undies for my workout? Don’t mind if I do. I like to couple this with one or two days of aerobic activity to keep me interested and work a range of muscle groups. I also love the Ministry of Sound dance workout DVD’s to get in some cardio and have fun at the same time. I’m concentrating so hard on remembering the dance routines and not being an unco mess that it’s easy to forget that I’m working out.

If I’m ever feeling a little overwhelmed with life, I like to have what I call a ‘Stomp Sesh’. I go to the beach and walk (stomp) around with my IPod blasting until I get the endorphins going and can think rationally again.

It’s impossible to stay in a bad mood when you’re surrounded by nature, animals and annoyingly friendly people who feel the need to smile and say ‘hello’. Damn you all, you awesome people, you!

I like to chuck in something different like bouldering (yes, that’s a thing) or the odd class – I’ve been really getting into pole dancing lately, an awesome, interesting and painful experience.

Me, bouldering
Me, bouldering

Consistency, discipline and variety are key. If you’re dreading your next workout, maybe it’s time to think about trying something else? Think about, it’s unlikely that you’ll stick with it long-term if you hate it.

You’re never too old to try something new. Just keep trying different things until you find something that makes you feel good and actually want to exercise – yes, it is possible! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Pointing out the fundamental flaws in our world so that we may laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

Keep up with Alexandra on

More From Thought Catalog