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5 Fun Ways to Transform Your Body And Health When You Don’t Feel Like Going to the Gym

5 Fun Ways to Transform Your Body And Health When You Don’t Feel Like Going to the Gym

Some days (or weeks), you just don’t want any part of the gym. You are either too tired, stressed, busy, or lazy—all of which happen to the best of us. But, just because you don’t want to go to the gym doesn’t mean your health will have to take a sabbatical. You still have a body to maintain, keep strong, and improve over time.

When it comes to transforming your body, you may only think of the gym as the place that can make this goal happen. But, transforming your body isn’t just a physical thing. Optimal health includes 4 pillars of fitness—mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical.

With these in mind, here are 5 ways to transform your body and health when you don’t feel like going to the gym.

1. Swimming

Every four years, the Olympics rolls around and during that time the increase in interest for swimming seems to double if not triple. Yes, it’s a physically impressive feat to swim that fast, but a lot of times, many people are enamored with the lean and toned shape of the swimmers.

Swimming (not leisurely doggy-paddling) can burn up to 750 calories per hour. Calories are important, but to transform your body and health entails more than just burning those calories.Swimming has been linked to increasing longevity.[1] For those with injury issues, swimming provides an activity where you can push yourself without the added risk of further injuring yourself.

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Swimming improves your lung function and thus provides tremendous benefits to your respiratory system.[2]

2. Dancing

The majority of people may think of dancing as a weekend-only activity (often accompanied by loud music and a few drinks). But, dancing is an activity that provides many benefits to your health.

From pole dancing to salsa dancing, this form of physical activity helps transform your body by helping you take control of your internal world, and perhaps most importantly, can help you improve your confidence.

Dancing can increase our level of happiness[3] as it aids in the fight against mental illnesses.[4] Another benefit of dancing is its ability to help keep your brain sharp and prevent dementia.[5]

3. Walking

It can be boring and often times overlooked as a way to improve your health, but walking is a powerful tool to use in your exercise regimen. In fact, a daily walk of up to 25 minutes can add up to seven extra years to your life.[6]

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For those heavily involved with weight lifting, walking provides a great supplementary activity because it is not taxing exercise and thus you’re allowing your body to relax and repair. And for those who have trouble sitting and meditating, walking can be used as a form of meditation especially if you’re doing this activity while out in nature.

Walking has been shown to help those with Alzheimer’s[7] and many other diseases.[8]

If you require a sharp brain for your career, walking also helps with mild cognitive impairments and improves your thinking.[9]

4. Sex

What better way to transform your body and have some fun in the process than to have sex (safety first though)?

Individuals who engage in sexual activities a couple times a week have higher levels of immunoglobulin A in their saliva.[10] This is an antibody designed to help us fight infections and the nagging common cold that gets many people.

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Often times we resort to chocolate or other foods that could hamper our fitness goals when we’re stressed. But did you know that sex (specifically semen)[11] can act as an antidepressant for women? And with men, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), those who have more intercourse have better control over their blood pressure compared to men who have less intercourse.[12]

Engaging in frequent sex also helps you maintain the fountain of youth (i.e. maintaining great skin).[13]

Sex is so powerful that getting busy in the morning can lead to you having a glow to yourself all day long.[14]

5. Yoga

If you scoff at yoga and the benefits that it is supposed to provide, think again. Yoga deserves a seat at everyone’s table when it comes to transforming your health and body.

Yoga has been suggested as benefiting those who suffer from depression, schizophrenia, and other mental conditions as well as sleep problems.[15]

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Those who suffer from frequent migraines can also benefit from adopting a yoga practice.[16]

To reiterate point number four about more sex helping with your health, yoga will help with a myriad of your sexual functions and this applies to both men[17] and women.[18]

Yoga also helps those with insomnia.[19]

Lastly, yoga can aid in your nutrition and daily decision-making because its regular practice can help you to be more mindful with your food choices, as it helps you to avoid mindless eating.

Reference

[1] Prevention: Dive Into Longevity
[2] Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology: Comparative study of lung functions in swimmers and runners.
[3] Prevention: The Happiness Trick You Haven’t Tried
[4] The Denver Post: The Many Health Benefits of Dancing
[5] New England Journal of Medicine: Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly
[6] Independent: A Daily Walk Can Add Seven Years To Your Life
[7] Scandinavian Journal of Caring: A community-based exercise programme to improve functional ability in people with Alzheimer’s disease: a randomized controlled trial
[8] NCBI: Walking – the first steps in cardiovascular disease prevention
[9] Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic Finds Exercise Can Reduce the Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment
[10] NCBI: Sexual frequency and salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA)
[11] Psychology Today:Attention, Ladies: Semen Is An Antidepressant
[12] NCBI: Blood pressure reactivity to stress is better for people who recently had penile-vaginal intercourse than for people who had other or no sexual activity.
[13] The Telegraph: Sex is the secret to looking younger, claims researcher
[14] Daily Mail: How a spot of morning passion can make you glow all day long
[15] Frontiers in Psychiatry: Yoga on our minds: a systematic review of yoga for neuropsychiatric disorders
[16] NCBI: Effectiveness of yoga therapy in the treatment of migraine without aura: a randomized controlled trial.
[17] International Society for Sexual Medicine: Yoga in male sexual functioning: a noncomparative pilot study.
[18] The Journal of Sexual Medicine: Yoga in female sexual functions.
[19] NCBI: Treatment of chronic insomnia with yoga: a preliminary study with sleep-wake diaries.

More by this author

Julian Hayes II

Author, Health & Fitness Coach for Entrepreneurs, & Speaker

18 Basic Rules To Lead A Fulfilling Life Starting Today, Stop These 6 Things to Become the Best Version of Yourself 5 Fun Ways to Transform Your Body And Health When You Don’t Feel Like Going to the Gym 4 Common Reasons Why You Fall Short With Your Weight Loss Goals (And What You Should Do Instead) 7 (Surprising) Actions to Take For Guaranteed Fat Loss

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

8 Best Cardio Workouts for Efficient Weight Loss

8 Best Cardio Workouts for Efficient Weight Loss

When people think of cardio, usually a boring treadmill, elliptical machine, or other mundane activity comes to mind. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

When you’re short on time or easily distracted, there are a variety of fat-burning cardio alternatives that will increase your body’s metabolism, boost weight loss, and keep you interested.

Here’s a list of different types of cardio workouts:

  • Steady State (Burns less fat, but isn’t as demanding on the body)
  • Interval Training (Burns more fat)
  • HIIT
  • Spinning
  • Stairs
  • Weight Training (Supersets) short rest periods
  • Weight Training (Compound Sets) short rest periods
  • Machine Circuit Training

And I’m going to talk about each of them in detail:

1. Steady State

Steady state cardio involves working at a low to moderate intensity — around 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, for a sustained period of time. This type of cardio doesn’t burn a huge number of calories, but it does burn a high percentage of fat tissue for fuel, and it isn’t too draining.

An example of steady state cardio would be a long outdoor walk at a moderate pace. Interval training, on the other hand, is much more intense.

2. Interval Training

Similar to HIIT but with exercises that are slightly longer in duration, interval training alternates levels of intensity. For example, if you enjoy running, you would run or sprint for 30 seconds, then bring down your heart rate and walk for two minutes.

Pick two intensities per interval, usually one at 85 percent of your maximum heart rate and the other at 60 percent, and alternate between them. I find that 85% for 30 seconds and 60% for one minute, not only burns more calories but increases my energy level as well.

Another example would be jumping rope. Jump rope for two minutes, rest for one minute. Begin again, this time jumping rope for one minute and resting for one minute. On the third and final round, jump rope for 30 seconds and resting for 30 seconds. Repeat five sets of this routine.

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3. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

Have a busy schedule? Fifteen minutes a few times a week is all you need. HIIT is an extremely popular workout because it can be done quickly, burn calories in a short amount of time, and can even be done in your home or during a lunch break at work. And the best part – You don’t need any equipment.

With the use of your body weight, HIIT is typically 20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of active rest which means your heart rate remains elevated for the entire 15-minute workout.

Check out this HIIT routine by Fitness Blender: 15 Minute HIIT Workout

4. Spinning

Spinning is a great way to get your heart up and keep it up in a 45-minute spin class. Our thighs and back are our largest muscles so they work the hardest.

To get the most out of spinning, try to stay out of the saddle throughout an entire spin class. That way, you are forced to hold up your body weight which burns more calories and increases intensity.

It’s also great for stabilizing and building strong core muscles, versus cycling outdoors, where most of the time you are sitting in the saddle and going for distance (steady-state cardio).

5. Stairs

One of my favorite places to get out of the gym for cardio and trim fat from my thighs and butt is the Santa Monica Stairs, near California’s most popular beach. Climbing 170 steps a few times builds the glutes, leans the thighs, strengthens the calves, and builds endurance.

So, if the gym is not your scene and you love the outdoors, climbing stairs is a great alternative. Find a place with multiple steps, do six or seven rounds, and you’ve easily burned around 600 calories.

6. Supersets

A superset is two exercises that work opposing muscle groups, such as biceps and triceps, quadriceps and hamstrings, or different body parts such as the lower and upper body with little to no recovery between sets.

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The superset may include two to five sets of 8 to 15 repetitions of each exercise or more.[1]

So, if you love to workout with weight-training but aren’t really feeling cardio, supersets with no more than 30-second rest periods between exercises will keep your heart rate up. Not only will you build muscle, you will burn fat!

For example, say you are doing a leg workout, five sets of exercises with high reps and low weight is all it takes to turn your weight-training into a cardio workout.

Here’s one of my leg training workouts:

i. Dumbbell Step-Ups on a secure bench or box (4×15, each leg)

ii. Front Squat (4×15)

iii. Wide Stance Dumbbell Goblet (4×15)

iv. Leg Extension (4×15)

v. Leg Curl (4×15)

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    Photo Credit: Shape Magazine

    vi. Front Squat


      Photo Credit: Stack

      vii. Wide Stance Dumbbell Goblet Squat

      viii. Leg Extension

      ix. Leg Curl

        Photo Credit: T Nation

        7. Compound Sets

        Compound exercises are exercises that recruit muscles in the entire body, such as pull-ups, squats, bench press, etc. However, a compound set simply means to “compound” the number of different exercises into a series of sets with little or no recovery between, similar to supersets.

          This may be accomplished by performing four to five exercises for the same muscle group, opposing muscle groups or total body exercises performed in succession such as full body extensions, followed by squat/cleans and complete the compound set of compound exercises with lunges with biceps curls.

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          Compound sets put stress on the body and are great for expending additional calories while strength-training.

          8. Machine Weight Training Circuit

          Like compound exercises, a machine circuit workout targets the entire body, upper body, lower body, or core. The difference is, with the use of machines instead of free weights, muscle strength is increased by by making your muscles work against weight.[2] By limiting rest periods between exercises to 30 seconds, your metabolism will go into over-drive!

          Machines also give you better control over the exercises, which decreases risk of injury.

          Here’s a machine circuit training example: Muscle and Strength Machine Workout

          The Bottom Line

          The above-mentioned workouts should be completed within 30 minutes, unless you’re taking a class which is typically 45 to 60 minutes, giving you time to get on with the rest of your day.

          By keeping your rest periods to a minimum between exercises, your heart rate will stay elevated and you will burn more calories, get lean, and have more energy.

          Don’t be a gym rat, spending unnecessary time doing lengthy workouts that give you minimum results. For efficient weight loss, perform these workouts three times a week and watch the fat melt away while achieving your fitness goals.

          More Resources About Weight Loss

          Featured photo credit: Spencer Dahl via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Mountain Life Fitness: Super sets, compound sets and giant sets
          [2] Better Health Channel: Resistance training – health benefits

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