Summer is quickly coming around the corner like a fast galloping horse, and the beaming sun is chasing away the cold specter of winter. With new light streaming in through the windows each morning, we’ve managed to catch glimpses of ourselves in the mirror, and to our shock and horror, we’ve realized that once again, we have put on weight over the winter.
With just a few short months to go before bathing suit season, a panic sets in, and determined, we promise ourselves to eat better and get more exercise. But week after week, promises fall flat and are forgotten, but that reflection in the mirror remains, reminding us that there is still work to be done.
Perhaps it’s the idea of the gym itself that keeps us from going. After all, who really wants to spend a portion of their day sweating and grunting with weights or aerobics without anything to show for it in the short run. We are a society that wants immediate results and instant gratification. We want something for our money, and paying to join a gym which you lack the motivation to go to in the first place is akin to throwing money away if you aren’t sincerely dedicated to going at least twice a week.
But there are other options that may be just as effective and perhaps less costly. But most importantly, they serve an additional and welcome purpose. They will either a) enable you to complete a satisfactory workout either in your own home or about the neighborhood, or b) provide you with additional self-improvement and a sense of accomplishment.
This first option will likely appeal more to women. There are many places, some of them probably right within your own town, where you can combine a decent workout with dance instruction. Get the exercise you need and learn something useful if you like to dance or always wanted to learn how. Various classes may be available, from jazz to swing to even hip-hop. Usually reasonably priced, this option serves a dual purpose of providing you with both exercise and dance floor skills.
A second option is martial arts training. There are many advantages to this type of training aside from a satisfactory workout session. You must do your research at the various academies about town that teach martial arts, but you will find that many forms and styles not only provide you with self-defense skills, but help to ease stress and achieve a calm balance, a major benefit serving to advance the weight loss process. Once you learn a few simple techniques, you can practice at home on your own time for extra workout sessions.
Another option is to purchase a treadmill and/or weight training set, such as the Bowflex or Crossbow, if you have the financial means. But you must also possess the motivation to use it. No sense in purchasing such equipment if you are simply going to use it to hang your clothes on. Having your own equipment enables you to workout at your convenience and entertain yourself at the same time with either music or television. The equipment usually comes with a guidebook suggesting certain exercises and routines.
If you cannot afford your own equipment, then if the weather is nice, simply take a walk in the neighborhood. If you are not usually active, keep it simple at first, but try to walk for at least half an hour, as it usually takes twenty minutes of continuous activity before you start to burn calories. Try to walk at least three times a week, and you will soon be able to walk farther and for longer distances, and then you may want to begin jogging. The idea may seem boring, but you’d be surprised how pleasant your neighborhood seems in the summer when taking a casual stroll in the sun rather than driving by quickly.
Yet another option is ice skating. Many towns have an ice skating rink open all year-round, providing lessons as well if needed. You’ll find ice skating is great exercise as well as exuberant fun, and certainly an enjoyable alternative to normal exercise routines.
Of course, along with all these options, some form of diet will only help facilitate losing weight. No matter whether you choose a gym or other option, try to plan a weekly regimen of diet and exercise and stick to it, and you’ll soon find yourself admiring that reflection again.