How to exercise when you hate the gym

Ever since I first came to college, one of the things I’ve had the toughest time with is getting myself to exercise. I set some form of an “exercise more” goal every time I do some goal setting, but it’s often the goal I falter on the most. A lot of my friends will go for runs outside or trek to our campus rec center for a cardio and weightlifting session. I’m always amazed by people who have the motivation to make it there because, truth be told, I hate working out at the gym. I don’t like running, I don’t like weightlifting, I don’t like playing ball sports. Despite my constant struggles, I think I’ve cracked the code this semester on how to motivate myself enough to actually exercise more. I’m not sure if there’s anyone else that hates the gym like I do, but if you also hate working out in the traditional sense, you’re in luck. In this week’s post, I’ve got my best tips for motivating yourself to exercise when you hate the gym.

It can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise when you don't like going to the gym. Here are my tips on creative ways to get around your gym aversion! | HOW TO EXERCISE WHEN YOU HATE THE GYM | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

{These are four ideas for some unconventional ways to get your body moving! Leave me a comment below telling me which tip is your favorite. If you have another suggestion, leave it in the comments too! I’d love to hear from you.}

1. Just walk!

One of my favorite ways to exercise is to just go for a walk. Whether it’s around campus, in Colonial Williamsburg (which is right next to my school and is awesome!), or in the woods around campus, walking is a super underrated form of exercise. Walking is a form of exercise that’s great for all ages and can help keep you fit without trying too hard.

I walk everywhere on my campus because it’s fairly small and I don’t have a car and all that walking has definitely kept me more in shape than I would be otherwise. If your campus isn’t super walkable (or if you’re just looking for a change), try finding a nearby hiking trail and take a friend exploring. You could even walk laps of your local mall! Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise to do when you hate going to the gym because all you need is a comfy pair of shoes and an adventurous spirit.

It can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise when you don't like going to the gym. Here are my tips on creative ways to get around your gym aversion! | HOW TO EXERCISE WHEN YOU HATE THE GYM | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

 

2. Exercise somewhere that makes you feel comfortable

Maybe you don’t dislike the gym because you dislike traditional forms of working out. Maybe you dislike going because you just don’t feel comfortable in that environment. It can be hard to be in a place full of other people working out, especially when you’re just getting started. Some people find that atmosphere motivating, but I think it can definitely also be intimidating.

If that’s the case for you, I think moving your exercise to a location that makes you feel comfortable is your best bet. That might mean doing sit ups, push ups, planks, and stretches in your dorm room. It might mean doing yoga on a lonely dock by the lake. It might mean bringing some handheld weights to a little clearing you found on your walk in the woods. It might even mean doing stair work in your favorite lecture hall after classes are done for the night.

Whatever it means for you, instead of adjusting your workout to being in a public place like the gym, try taking your workout to a place you already love.

It can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise when you don't like going to the gym. Here are my tips on creative ways to get around your gym aversion! | HOW TO EXERCISE WHEN YOU HATE THE GYM | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

 

3. Take a class or join a club

This tip is what really did it for me this semester. I grew up both dancing at a studio and doing color guard all year round. My predominant form of exercise for most of my life has been attending some sort of dance class. I realized that what I was really missing in my college workouts was the element of instruction I was accustomed to receiving.  I find it a lot easier to motivate myself to work out when I don’t just have to rely on myself — there’s somebody else there to help me be my healthiest self.

For some people, that might lead them to hiring a personal trainer, but I don’t have the money or like weightlifting enough for that. For me, this revelation meant signing up for Modern Dance when I was scheduling classes. I know a graded dance class isn’t necessarily for everyone, but I realized that this was going to be the best way to motivate myself to exercise. I’d be doing something I loved and there would be consequences if I didn’t show up for class.

If you don’t want to (or can’t) take an actual class, your school’s rec center or your local gym might actually offer some fitness classes. I’d recommend checking those out. These days, gyms are offering classes in everything from Zumba to Barre to Cardio Dance. Having an instructor and classmates can be a really motivating force for those of us who are accustomed to getting our exercise through a class format.

If that still isn’t for you, try checking out the clubs and organizations at your school. My school has multiple dance clubs including ones for salsa, swing, ballroom, modern, a wide variety of traditional dances from different cultures, and more. There’s also a yoga club, a running club, and a huge variety of club sports. Maybe inserting yourself into a team type atmosphere is just the motivation you need to start working out!

It can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise when you don't like going to the gym. Here are my tips on creative ways to get around your gym aversion! | HOW TO EXERCISE WHEN YOU HATE THE GYM | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

 

4. Get creative.

If none of the above tips appeal to you, get creative! Make use of your surroundings and adapt your exercise routine to them. Maybe there’s a crazy staircase on your campus that you can do some cardio on. Maybe your dorm’s study lounge is always empty in the mornings and the chairs are the perfect height to be a makeshift barre. Maybe your apartment has a balcony that’s the perfect size for you to do yoga on. Sometimes just getting your creative juices flowing can be a motivating force in and of itself. Think of an exercise you like to do, think of a cool way you can adapt it to the places you have available to you, and go out and do it!

It can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise when you don't like going to the gym. Here are my tips on creative ways to get around your gym aversion! | HOW TO EXERCISE WHEN YOU HATE THE GYM | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

 

{What’s your favorite way to exercise? Tell me in a comment down below!}