Bikini season is nearly upon us, but that doesn’t always mean we’re nearly ready for it. Sometimes you can find yourself dreading all that goes into getting your body ready for warmer weather and cooler clothes. It means denying yourself specific foods in the name of the holiest new diet. It means hours spent at the gym, or hating yourself because you can’t summon up the motivation to get yourself on the elliptical.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are tons of ways to shed those winter pounds without even realizing that you’re working out. There are tons of ways to get fit simply by having fun.
Your Gym is More Than a Treadmill
Getting to the gym can be downright intimidating. You have to block time out of your day to go run on a treadmill in front of people that always seem to be in better shape than you. To top it all off, usually the only person you’re accountable to is yourself, and a lot of times you let yourself down.
But the gym can be a wonderful, fun thing. Instead of spending your time solo on stationary equipment, see if your gym offers group classes as a part of your membership. Some, like 24 Hour Fitness, offer them as a part of your membership at no added cost. These free-to-you classes include Zumba, kickboxing, around-the-world dance, water aerobics, yoga, pilates…the list goes on. These offerings are a lot more interesting than sitting on a bike by yourself for 30 minutes. As you make friends in these classes, you’ll be more likely to feel obligated to show up, which can only do good things for your love handles.
Get Outdoors to Lose Weight
Does the gym seem overly sterile to you? As the weather’s getting better, the outdoors may be calling your name. That can do great things for your fitness goals and psyche.
Instead of spending your weekends binge watching the latest season of House of Cards, invest in some camping equipment and spend your nights sleeping under the stars. At each park you go to, try to sleep at a new campsite every night, hiking the distance between them. As you build up more muscle and endurance, plan to have your campsites further apart, intensifying your workout. Along the way you’ll experience the wonderful things that nature has to offer that we’re so far removed from in our normal Monday to Friday nine to fives.
If sleeping in a tent isn’t your thing, you can still get outdoors without building a campfire. Most large parks have biking trails at different intensity levels that can make for a great way to burn some calories. You can start with easier trails for shorter durations of time, moving on to longer, more difficult ones as your build your stamina. Just like hiking, you’ll get the arguably better results than stationary gym equipment on top of the holistic sensory experiences that come along with getting outdoors.
The only downside to getting outdoors is that you’ll have to make an initial investment for the equipment. If you’re starting from scratch, know that there are a lot of one-stop-shopping stores when you’re looking to get outside and active. Places like Backcountry offer quality gear that will stand the test of time, made more affordable when you shop using promo codes.