4 Ways To Work Out If You Hate The Gym

No matter how much I try, I'm just not a gym rat. I feel uncomfortable with all the equipment, but I don't like to talk to people while I'm in the zone, and I always think people are judging me. I've tried gaining confidence by working out with a personal trainer, and she assured me that I would "get addicted to the endorphins." Nope. Every day I went to a session was the worst day of my life. Finally, I accepted that I'm just one of those people who will always hate the gym.

Unfortunately, a distaste for the gym means that I have to come up with non-boring ways to build muscle and lose fat. I don't like picking up heavy things, and I also think gyms smell weird. Oh, and did I mention that I don't like to run, either? And that I'm terrible at all organized sports? All of this can make working out harder than it already is, so I've had to think creatively to come up with ways to exercise that I actually enjoy and will stick with. If you're in the same boat, or just want to spice up your current workout routine, look no further.

1. Acro Yoga

This is not your peaceful meditation class where you nearly fall asleep. This is you, lifting another person's body weight with your arms or legs. Both the base and the flyer get an excellent workout. After my first time trying acro yoga, I felt like I had just done the most intense core/lower body workout of my life (probably because I was basically leg pressing another adult woman).

2. Pole Fitness

If you're conjuring images of a strip club or Carmen Electra's old Striptease workout videos, think again. Pole has gone from the club to the mainstream in the last couple of years, most recently becoming a part of the global Arnold Sports Festival. These women (and men!) have some insane strength, and the classes are loads of fun. You'll be surprised at the upper body and core strength you can build without even knowing it.

3. Volunteering

Regardless of your interests, you can probably find a way to volunteer in an active way. If you're an animal lover, volunteer to walk dogs at a shelter. If you love to garden, see if there's a community garden that could use a green thumb. Gardening is a great workout, by the way...bags of mulch are heavy!

4. Surfing The Web

No, not to read celebrity gossip or watch the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars . Many gyms and fitness professionals are offering classes on demand or via streaming online for affordable prices. Two of my favorites? Crunch Live and StreamFIT. Whether you like dance classes or want HIIT cardio, there's probably an option out there.

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