Gym routines help you to stabilise a consistent workout schedule, but you should keep your regime loose enough to include fresh and new exercises. Exercising is meant to be fun so switching it up every now and then keeps your routine exciting. Gyms can be boring at the best of times, so following the same routine each month will get repetitive. Here’s where ‘switch a gym day’ comes in. The idea is to trade a regular gym workout for something a little different whether that’s getting outside for a run in the park or getting involved in an adventure activity like rock climbing or trail running.
Here’s a few ideas for what you could switch a gym day for.
If you focus on strength training in your gym routine then there’s nothing like applying your skills to a practical situation outside of the gym setting:
Bouldering is a form of rock climbing but the harness is exchanged for a crash mat and takes place at a much lower height. Climbing in any form is considered to be one of the best full-body workouts, compared to the repetitive motions encouraged by regular gym activities such as running, cycling and weightlifting, climbing demands more complex motions from your muscles. Climbers have to adapt at every stage of the ascent in order to reach the next climbing hold meaning a versatile sequence of movements is required to succeed.
There are plenty of bouldering facilities readily available since its growth in popularity over the past few years: check out Ethan Walker’s fantastic guide on bouldering which explores the activity and some tips on how to get started.
Adding a sprinkling of healthy competition and sport to any exercise can add some alternative motivations to your exercise drive. Not only that but activity with friends is much more enjoyable. Rugby demands a range of skill sets including strength, agility, coordination and cardio. Strong arms and upper body for tackling, sturdy leg muscles are required to emerge victorious from rucks & scrums, and you’ll need speedy agile movements to dodge tackles in order to get to the try line.
There are plenty of clubs dotted around the country which accommodate varying levels, head to Find Rugby Now to locate your most local team.
If you commonly engage with aerobic exercises in the gym on the treadmill, rowing or cycling machine, then your ‘switch a gym day’ could include any of the following activities as an exciting alternative.
No, not the rowing machine, but the actual thing on the water, oars and all! For the sake of convenience, the rowing machine is a fantastic way to work out, but the real thing is a lot more fun. Not only does the activity take place out on the water in nature, but it’s also a team-orientated sport if you want it to be - you can row solo or in a group. The sport is a fast fat-burning activity that engages multiple muscle groups, it’s also low impact which means there is a much lower chance of causing any serious damage or strain to yourself.
Head to British Rowing to find out more about learning to row and rowing club locations.
Trail running is a much more adventurous version of your usual jog, it takes that same workout off of the treadmill and puts it up against mountains, valleys and rocky paths out in beautiful nature. It’s not only a fantastic way to put your abilities to the test with varying trails and surfaces, it’s also a wonderful way to explore spots of nature beauty whether it’s out in a local park or winding down a mountainside path with stunning vistas and streams. Check out Georgina Ayre’s article on the first steps into trail running. All it takes is some basic equipment, a well planned route and the appetite for adventure!
While you’re out and about, TREK Bars with provide you with the perfect balance of natural energy to keep you going. Looking for even more tips? Explore more articles like this in our Fitness Tips section.