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Sanofi Canada

2905 Place Louis-R.-Renaud
Laval, Quebec, H7V 0A3

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Content :

"I hate the gym. Now what?"
15 Alternatives to Getting a Gym Membership.

Going to the gym has countless benefits: the equipment is in one place, experts are close at hand to help you or answer questions, there are classes available and of course you can shower right afterwards. But gyms aren't for everyone, either because they're not conveniently located, too expensive, too uninviting or too boring! So if going to the gym is the last thing you want to do, here are 15 great alternatives that will give you just as good a workout.


1. Start running.

Few activities are as convenient as running; all you need is a pair of sneakers! When you first start out, try alternating between walking and running (run for 1 minute, walk for 2 minutes). As you build up your endurance, you can reduce your walking time. Also, many gyms, organizations and stores have running groups that you can join for free and will allow you to run with others at your comfortable pace. In Canada, one of the best known is the Running Room's runners' clinics, which help you find the proper footwear to get you started on the running path at a pace and speed you're comfortable with, whether it's a light jog or training for a 5-kilometre run.

2. Ride your bike.

Enjoy ever-changing scenery, fresh air and exercise all at the same time by going for a bike ride. Just remember to bring enough water and a carbohydrate-rich snack, and always wear a helmet.

3. Walk this way.

At a quick pace, walking can be a great workout. It's also social, scenic and can be done anywhere. Check local recreation centres for walking groups, or ask your friends to join you and organize one yourself. Be sure to take full advantage of the warmer seasons - the fresh air will do you good, too!

4. Hit the trails.

Hiking is great exercise and lets you escape to the great outdoors. Because it's time consuming, chances are you'll want to combine it with another more regular activity in order to get the degree of fitness you want. To make the hike a little more challenging, fill your backpack with heavy items like water bottles, snacks and guidebooks.

5. Make a splash.

Swimming is a great low-impact exercise that uses your whole body and is easy on your joints, as well as a fantastic cardiovascular workout. Most public pools have times for lane swimming, and your local pool or recreation centre might also offer aqua fitness, which is an excellent low impact form of exercise. So take the plunge!

6. Say "Om".

Yoga, especially Power and Ashtanga yoga, is a great full-body workout that tones your muscles and increases your flexibility and balance. Find a yoga studio near you.

7. Shake a tail feather on the dance floor.

Whether it's salsa, belly, flamenco or ballroom, dancing is good for you and a great way to socialize and meet new people - plus it's loads of fun. Sign-up for a session at a local dance studio or simply crank up the tunes in your living room and just dance!

8. Glide your way to fitness.

In the winter, free ice rinks pop up everywhere and many rent skates for a minimal cost. Strap on a pair and glide your way to a great workout.

9. Karate chop!

Boxing and martial arts are excellent ways to stay in shape. Boxing gyms and martial arts studios are different from regular gyms, so even if the gym isn't for you, this might be.

10. Go green.

Especially if you carry your clubs, golfing can be great exercise. Because it's time consuming, you might want to combine it with another more regular activity to maintain the level of fitness you want.

11. Workout at home.

By using an exercise video or a customized routine designed for you by a qualified fitness professional, you can create your own gym at home with just a few simple pieces of equipment: a jumping rope, weights, a few resistance bands and an exercise mat. Many of these are included with DVDs, but if you're looking for exercises you can do without any special equipment, print our Great Exercises to Do at Home sheet. It includes some easy and effective exercises you can easily incorporate into your day.

12. Hit the snow.

You may only be able to fit in cross-country or downhill skiing and snowboarding into your schedule on weekends, but they're a fantastic workout.

13. Clean up the yard.

Activities like raking leaves and chopping wood keep you and your yard looking great!

14. Have an active hobby.

Losing yourself in something you enjoy is even better if that activity keeps you fit. Take up a hobby, like woodworking, kite flying or sailing, which will keep you on your feet, moving around and doing some heavy lifting.

15. Try Pilates.

These core-strengthening movements keep your abdomen toned, your core strong, and the calories off.