Leave the Gym to Workout

Make Exercise FunI am fortunate to have reached the point in my journey where I actually enjoy my workouts and I actually look forward to them.  It wasn’t always that way though and I know there are many of you who may be at the beginning of your journey who may still be adjusting to the idea of exercise and how to enjoy it.  Does the thought of going to the gym bring about feelings of dread and misery?  When it’s time to go to the gym, can you suddenly think of a million other things you need to do or you would rather do?  Have you ever thought of stepping outside of the gym to workout?

I talk to so many people who absolutely loathe exercise and after talking to them for a little while, the common theme that comes to light is that they are under the mistaken impression that they must spend countless hours per week in the gym in order to experience any benefit of exercise.  If this is you, I urge you to let go of this notion.

Earlier this week, I had the perfect opportunity to workout outside of the gym by doing what my friend Gail refers to as “yard aerobics.”  When you think of getting some exercise in, do you ever think of working in the yard (or doing indoor housework)?  Honestly, it’s not usually my first thought either but when the opportunity presented itself on Monday, I decided to take advantage.

Michael needed to cut down a small tree and get it stacked by the curb so that the city would pick it all up and rather than sit around and watch him work, I offered to help.  We needed to complete the job before heavy rain arrived late Monday morning, so we both had a little extra spring in our step.  As he cut off branches we began hauling them to the curb.  Once the majority of the branches were off, Michael needed to tie a rope around the tree and asked me to pull on the rope as he cut to make sure the tree fell in the right direction.  Keep in mind we are talking about a small tree.  I am certainly not qualified to be guiding a huge tree falling down and I am not ashamed to admit my limitations.  I did exactly as instructed and pulled on the tree while Michael cut and when the tree started to fall (in the right direction), Michael yelled for me to let go and the tree landed perfectly.  He cut the tree into manageable logs and we began carrying them to the curb.

Yard Work

As I carried logs to the curb, I was thinking about how much I was truly enjoying the physical activity and how it wasn’t so long ago that the thought of having to do that kind of work would have been absolute misery for me.  It’s funny how life experiences can really change our perspective on things.

When we finished the tree, I did a small raking project and truly took note of how good it felt to be doing physical labor and working muscles and moving my body in ways that I may not have in the gym.  In addition, I got to spend time outside and I got to be with Michael neither of which would I have done if I had been in the gym.  I did end up hitting the gym later in the day but I felt such a sense of accomplishment because I actually felt like I had worked out twice that day.

What I want you to take away from this post is that exercise does not have to be a dreaded, torturous gym experience.  Exercise can actually be fun and it can be accomplished while doing things that you truly enjoy.  If you are having trouble wrapping your mind around having “fun” exercising in the gym, look for exercise opportunities in everyday activities you already enjoy.

Outdoor Workouts


  1. The magic baker says:

    Yesterday it was a beautiful sunny day in Florida and I was planning on going to the gym to walk on the treadmill. I decided to take my dog for a long walk on the beach instead….much better decision. My heart rate may not have gotten as high, but my spirits were higher and my dog loved it!

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