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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

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Last Updated on January 5, 2021

15 Fitness Goals That Will Help You Live a Healthier Life This Year

15 Fitness Goals That Will Help You Live a Healthier Life This Year

Starting a journey with fitness goals is never easy, and you must remember this is not a crash diet; it is a lifestyle. Don’t panic and think you have to do it all at once, as this will most likely overwhelm you. You may also find yourself giving up because crash diets are not sustainable.

The best approach is to make simple changes to your daily habits, and over time, you will notice all your bad habits have turned into good ones.

Accordingly to a study by Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London, on average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.[1] And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.

Here are 15 fitness goals to help you on your journey:

1. Drink More Water

W.H. Auden said it best when he said,

“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”

With any diet, the most important thing to remember is to stay hydrated. Drinking water will support your body with digestion, transporting nutrients to your bones and muscles, and even improving cognitive function.

Ideally, you want to drink about half your body weight in ounces per day, i.e. if you weight 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water a day.

2. Add Some Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Water

It is recommended we sleep for about 8 hours a day, but this means we spend about 8 hours per day dehydrated. Therefore, hydrating your body first thing in the morning is absolutely necessary.

The best way to achieve hydration is by starting your day with a glass or even two of water. For that extra boost, add lemon juice and ½ teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. The lemon and apple cider vinegar will help your body with detoxifying, cleansing, and digestion.

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3. Stop Drinking Your Calories

Yes, keeping hydrated is important, but try to avoid high-calorie drinks, such as soft drinks, specialty coffee, and juices as they are full of fast-acting sugar.

Really push yourself to stop drinking such drinks, and before you know it, you will notice the benefits.

4. Start Stretching More Often

The benefits are vast and the repercussions of failing to stretch can be dramatic.

Do yourself a favor and always stretch before and after a workout. This will promote a healthy cool down, improve flexibility, and reduce next day aches. Failure to stretch can lead to injures and muscle damage.

Here’re some simple stretching exercises to get you started: 15 Static Stretching Exercises to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

5. Add in Some High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

You may have heard about HIIT training because it is the big thing right now, and believe me when I say that it works and should absolutely be included in your fitness goals.

The benefits include lower body fat, increased stamina, leaner muscles, and fantastic hormonal benefits.

HIIT is where you perform an intense exercise for a very short time frame (about 30 seconds), followed by a slower exercise for about 90 seconds.

Performing a HIIT routine for 1-3 times a week will lead to great results.

6. Focus on Your Breathing When You Work Out

For the most part, breathing is second nature, but when exercising, you may find yourself holding your breath, and this can have negative consequences.

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It is important to consciously take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, as this will fill your lungs with oxygen and give you the necessary energy to continue your workout.

7. Build More Lean Muscle

We all want to have lean muscles. Not only does it look good, but it also has great health benefits, including:

  • Improved posture
  • Reduced body fat
  • Improved metabolism
  • Strong bones
  • Protects and improves joint health
  • Improved stamina

You can build lean muscle by lifting weights or through other specific exercises. Learn more about building muscle in this guide: How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

8. Decrease Body Fat

This may seem like an obvious one, but it is one of the most important steps to a healthier you. Reducing your body fat has a lot of benefits such as:

  • Improved joints and tendons
  • Lowered risk of diabetes
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Better performance and endurance
  • Improved appearance and confidence
  • Better hormonal profiles in your body

Remember, it is not a race to see how quickly you can decrease your body fat. Healthy weight loss is around 1-2 pounds a week for your fitness goals.[2]

Crash dieting or pushing yourself too much in the gym can lead to you achieving an unrealistic target, and you may find yourself gaining all the weight you have lost.

Think of it as a lifestyle, and take it slow and steady.

9. Eat More Greens

What you eat is the most important factor in a healthier living plan. It is important to ensure you are getting as many nutrients and vitamins from the food you are eating as possible.

Focus on dark, leafy greens, as they will provide you with a wide array of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants—all of which you body needs!

Don’t forget to avoid processed and manufactured food. They are usually high in fat and have minimal vitamins.

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10. Start Eliminating Sugar

Another top goal you can start immediately is reducing the amount of sugar you consume. It also won’t cost you anything, and will save you money and improve your health in the long run.

There’s no surprise we eat too much sugar, and this should be one of your top fitness goals moving forward. Cutting out liquid calories is a great way to start. If you’re looking for something sweet, turn to fruits or even dark chocolate.

Be careful to eliminate sugar from your diet slowly. Cutting it out all at once can cause symptoms of sugar withdrawal, which can drive you back to sugary snacks[3].

Common symptoms of sugar withdrawal

    11. Allow Yourself to Rest and Recover

    The workout is where you go to break down muscle tissue, and it builds back through proper nutrition, rest, and recovery[4]. It might be tempting to go to the gym for two hours every day as hard as you can to achieve your goals, but that’s not the most effective approach.

    If you don’t allow for proper rest and recovery, it can set you back a few steps. Your body is more prone to injury and even illness as you can weaken your immune system from all the progressive intensity the body is facing.

    12. Get More Sleep

    When you are deprived of sleep, you make it next to impossible to achieve your health and fitness goals. Lack of sleep can increase stress hormones in your body, and over time these can lead to inflammation and chronic diseases.[5]

    Make sleep a priority to let your body heal and rejuvenate. A good approach is 7 to 8 hours. Also, allow yourself some wind-down time and a pre-bed routine to help get more consistent sleep every night.

    13. Focus on the Habit, Not the Result

    It’s easy to get caught up in trying to achieve a certain look or shed time off of your mile, but the more important focus is on the habit that will bring you closer to those fitness goals.

    Don’t look at the scale, the tape measurer, or the body fat percentage. Focus on the habits that will lead to those achievements.

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    Don’t compare yourself to where others are; you’re right where you need to be.

    14. Take Your Fitness Outside

    This may be hard depending on the weather you experience, but the more you can be outside exposed to fresh air and sunlight, the better.

    Being stuck in the gym doing cardio while staring at a wall won’t do much for your mental stimulation.

    Try to challenge your body more by getting outside. Hiking is great and also just running and walking. Give yourself more access to nature and a constantly changing environment. It also beats breathing in that recycled gym air.

    15. Do at Least One Pull Up

    This is a great last goal to focus on because it’s a great test of strength and to see how you are progressing with your fitness.

    If you haven’t been able to do one, you know what a challenge it can be. Having the goal of doing at least one pull up will not only show you how far you’ve progressed, but it is a great way to become dedicated and motivated.

    The Bottom Line

    These fitness goals will become more attainable through the year if you’re consistent with your fitness. Set yourself a concrete timeline for when you want to accomplish some or all of these in order to create realistic goals in the short term. In fact, start making one of these goals happen this month!

    More on Setting Fitness Goals

    Featured photo credit: Ivan Torres via unsplash.com

    Reference

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