I know this site is called Confidence Unleashed, but let’s be honest, gyms (that’s gymnasiums for some of us older types) can be a hotbed of testosterone, grunts and groans of torture, ego and sweat, which is a no-no for some (probably most!) and I don’t blame you. We’ll work up to the sort of mindsets that will help with surviving and conquering places such as the gym, but for now, we’ve taken a look at how much a gym membership costs, gasped! And decided to go without. However, you still want to improve your body image so what do you do? Well, the rest of this post will address the four main ways I went about improving my body without a gym membership.
I should mention that I currently do have a gym membership, but when I didn’t, these tips helped me the most. Also, by no means am I a fitness expert. If you are unsure about whether doing exercise is safe for you, please consult your doctor.
1. Exercise at home.
Yes, the gym has all the fancy equipment and can pretty much cater to any muscle you want to work on, but there are a host of exercises that you can do in the living room/ garden/garage/ bedroom 😉 that can have a great affect. Due to the fact you are at home and have minimal equipment you will be doing body weight exercises. My favourites are body-weight squats, press ups (push ups for Americans), kettlebell exercises and high intensity cardio in the form of sprinting on the spot and mountain climbers. There’s so much more you can add to your arsenal but I find the above, do me just fine and get the heart racing.
2. Drink Water.
This one is imperative but seems to go under the radar. Take a quick think about how much water you drink each day. Do you always have a drink by your side at your desk or do you neglect this translucent nectar until you get home or when you get really thirsty? The recommended daily intake of water is eight 8 ounce glasses for the average person (healthline.com). Of course it’s more individualistic than this due to your sex, your level of activity and whether you live in warmer climes etc but as a good start, the 8×8 rule is great. Can I just say, though, that you shouldn’t force feed yourself water until you become bloated, take any subtle hints from your body. If you feel a little thirsty, have a glass of water, simple right?
This allows your body to function better as your metabolic rate will increase, your joints will be well lubricated (making the exercises mentioned above easier and reduce likelihood of pain), improves skin complexion making your skin look and feel younger, and generally allows your body to function better.
Extra top tip! If you find water rather boring, try cutting up pieces of fruits such as lemons, limes, strawberries and melons and putting them into your glass of water to make a refreshing drink.
Photo by Kaizen Nguyen on Unsplash
3. Increase vegetable intake.
Ah vegetables, the bane of many children’s lives. All those hours spent by parents fighting the futile battle of getting their kids to eat their veggies is one that is worthwhile. We all know that vegetables are good for our health, but for the most part they don’t taste all that great compared to the take-away kings such as pizza, burgers and a kebab. Personally, I love vegetables and have them with 99% of my meals. Broccoli is BY FAR the king of veggies for me, PACKED with nutrients and goes well in salads, stir-fries and soups, so it’s very versatile. Other great veggies include carrots, garden peas, cabbage, spinach and sweet potatoes. Told you I have them with 99% of my meals! Why not try including more vegetables into your diet. Play with different combinations to accompany some chicken? Another thing I like to do is sprinkle some herbs and/or spices over vegetables, such as Italian herb mixes and paprika (available in most large supermarkets). This isn’t to everyone’s taste but have fun and give it a go, you never know what masterful combination you may come up with.
May seem like a random one this, but hear me out. Have you ever had a poor night’s sleep and woken up tired, fed up and unmotivated? Yep! We all have. Sleep is the time in which your body rests and repairs itself ready for the vigour that the next day may bring.
Let’s say you have been doing your exercises at home for a few days or weeks now, you’re feeling good that you are working towards your health goals and your motivation is through the roof. However, you’re not getting enough sleep, which can be anything from 6 to 8 hours depending on the individual. This can wreak havoc on your body goals as lack of sleep releases more of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn lowers the level of growth hormones, meaning your muscles and super sleek abs are not developing as much as your efforts would suggest. Plus, with higher levels of stress hormones floating around inside you, you are much less likely to feel motivated to crack on with your exercises and water intake, so make sure you find out what your optimum sleep duration is and do your best to get it every night. Of course you won’t be able to do this ALL the time (late night pub crawl anyone?) but we can let you off for straying from the path sometimes.
All of the above are, in my opinion, the biggest factors in helping me on my body improvement journey when I didn’t have a gym membership. However, it doesn’t happen overnight. This takes a lot of time, motivation and dedication so you need to be patient. You may not see results until after a month but if you keep at it, you will definitely see them. It is likely that other people will notice your results before you do, as the changes are so slight and will eventually manifest into something large enough that you will then notice. Don’t allow yourself to get disheartened, as the cliché goes ‘anything worth having doesn’t come easy’ and just think of the enormous sense of achievement you will feel when you reach your goal. Who knows, you may even inspire others to reach for the stars too!
I hope that you found some value from this post. If you want to read about more confidence issues and how to overcome them, check out my other blog posts on www.confidenceunleashed.co.uk.
Here’s to smashing your confidence goals,