A Guide to Exercising When You Hate The Gym

It may feel like Day 108 of January but hang on in there, you’ve nearly made it to the other side. How are you adjusting to post-Christmas life? How are the resolutions going? Have you joined most of the population and signed up for a sparkling new gym membership?

If the answer is no and you’d rather stick pins in your eyes than sell your soul to the dreadmill, discover how you can up your fitness game this year without the added direct debit.

YouTube and Yoga Mats

Gyms can be anxiety triggering, especially in January when it feels like the whole world is there looking to lose the weight gained by too many pigs in blankets. But never fear, YouTube and yoga mats are your new best friend.

There are hundreds of online home workouts, including everything from HIIT sessions, Zumba tutorials, aerobics or mindful meditation lessons. Most of them don’t require any equipment, so it won’t break the bank either. There’s also something comforting about being in your own space without the added interruption of strangers grunting in the weights section or taking selfies in the mirror.

From Instagrammers such as Alice Liveing, uploading video tutorials on exercises suitable to do at home, or YouTubers like The Body Coach who will talk you through a session and be there to do it with you; there are loads of experts online who are there to provide the motivation you need to kickstart your fitness journey.

Jog On

Bella Mackie’s book Jog On has sparked a conversation around exercise, mental health and how running can uplift your mood, so why wouldn’t you want to get out for a jog in the fresh air? Bella explains how running saved her life after she split from her ex-husband and encourages people to start jogging, even if is just for a minute down the street.

Make a motivational running playlist or find one of the many on Spotify, and just set off running. Don’t worry about hitting certain milestones or being slower than the people who share their Strava routes on Instagram; just getting outside and getting your heart rate racing will make you feel amazing.

Get Back to Class

If you have a busy schedule and struggle to make time for exercise, then weekly classes are for you. Designating a specific time to go workout will make you less likely to bail, as that 6am spin class is already a done deal in your diary. And it doesn’t just have to be spin, there’s a class for everything; you can choose anything from Circuits and Body Attack to Zumba and Yoga.

Getting your butt to weekly classes is also a great way to socialise and make some new friends, which is always going to be a bonus.


I hope those few little tips have been helpful if you don’t fancy braving the gym this January. Let’s face it, the gym isn’t for everyone; but as you can see there are many more ways you can keep fit and exercise in a way that makes you happy!


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