Four Great Alternatives to the Gym

Today, I want to talk about four great alternatives to the gym.  As a Soldier, you are expected to stay in shape.  In today’s world, that is much easier said than done.  People are busy with their work and family time and they don’t always have the time to make it to the gym every day.  Therefore, I want to share a few helpful alternatives, so you can stay in shape.

# 1 Online Fitness Club

This is a fairly new concept.  I know of an online fitness club called M5 Fitness.  For just $19.99 per month, you can have access to trainers, pre-made workout schedules, diet plans, nutrition classes, and pre-recorded workouts.  There is also a community where you can connect with other members to keep each other motivated.  Your account can be linked with your Facebook account so you can share workouts and post your progress.  The company also offers great supplements and you can even get a free membership by referring two of your friends.  What I like most about this concept is you can take it with you.  Whether you are on TDY, deployed, or just busy, you can login to your account and do your workout.

# 2 Workout DVDs

In recent years, these have become very popular.  Programs like P90X, Insanity, Combat Workout DVD and other pre-recorded workouts give you the option to workout from home.  These DVDs are very convenient.  The programs are intense, challenging and fun. Most of these programs are designed by Team Beach Body (I am not affiliated with them in any way).  Team Beach Body also offers coaching and an online community to get support and motivation.  There are workout programs produced by other companies as well.  Here are a few of my favorite workout DVD programs.

# 3 Home Gym

You can create a nice home gym for less than a few hundred dollars, especially if you shop around and buy a used one.   You could buy a bench, some free weights, and even a nice used treadmill for a deep discount on Craigslist, your newspaper classified section, or even on eBay.  You could set up your gym in the basement or in an extra bedroom and be ready to go.  This is a great option if you are home every morning or night, you have the available space and budget, and you have the discipline and skills to work out on your own every day.

# 4 Join a Running or Fitness Club

Many local communities offer running clubs and fitness clubs.  These clubs are a great way to meet new people and stay accountable to working out.  Most of these clubs meet several days per week and often at different places.  You just join the club (for a small fee), and then you get a schedule of events.  The only downside would be if you work long hours or are away from home frequently (deployments, TDY, schools, etc.).

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that it’s your responsibility to stay in shape and maintain your Soldierly appearance.  If you have the time and money to go to the gym, by all means do so.  However, if that option won’t work very well for you, I highly recommend you consider one of the four alternatives mentioned above.

What are your thoughts?  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.

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8 thoughts on “Four Great Alternatives to the Gym”

  1. It’s always good to keep up on fitness – not just physically but conceptually as well. Utilizing DVDs, guides, and all is crucial to having a successful work out regime. Personally, I used to brush up on and pay attention to new idea and work out methods before I went to the gym, and would always keep an open mind – if it makes it fun, it’s worth it!

  2. This is a good post because sometimes the gym can seem SO far away. Even if it's right around the corner.

    When I found myself gaining weight I started using my wife's WII fit. I started with the easy stuff and I did it for short periods of time. Pretty soon I was doing it 4-5 times per week and it was really helping. It's mostly stretching, Yoga and some muscle building, but it makes it fun and incorporates some games into it to keep you interested.
    You'll need to find your cardio elsewhere unless you want to run in place, but it is a good place to start.

  3. I have joined more than a few gyms in the past twenty years. Some of them I actually visited after the first month, but not many. My cheap and effective alternative to the gym is my local shopping mall.

    A friend asked me to walk at the mall one morning about eight months ago. I always thought that was for older people or others who could not stand the strain of doing more than an amble. I was pleasantly surprised. Our mall is covered and the perimeter of the interior hallway is half a mile. It does not matter what the weather or the temperature is outside, it is fine for a morning workout. It opens at 6:00 a.m., and I have never felt compelled to go earlier. You can run because you aren’t bothering anyone: the stores do not open until 10:00 (that also helps me avoid the temptation of retail therapy).

    I have been walking and running with my exercise buddy four or five mornings a week, for eight months now, which is far longer than I ever lasted in a gym. I see people of all ages and abilities every morning. No one is dressed to impress, because we aren’t going to a gym, and we all have places to go afterwards. Everyone is polite and says hello to everyone else. It is just wonderful.

  4. Sadly, I know that joining a gym is a personal waste of money for me. I’m gung-ho for the first month and then I stop going. Instead, I alternate between using my favorite workout videos on Youtube, go hiking, swimming (when weather permits), do a workout challenge like 30 burpees in 30 days, planking to work on the core muscles.

    Is M5 Fitness like eDiets?

    1. M5 Fitness is just an online fitness club. It’s like a gym on your computer, where you can access recorded workouts, a personal calendar, nutrition classes, and a support system to keep you motivated and accountable.

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