I was forcing myself to go to the gym for more than half a year before I decide to do myself a favor and terminate the membership. Before this, all this while, I’ve always been a fan of gym- because it provides the equipment and push that I had thought I otherwise needed to keep my weight in place. But probably I go through some changes in my life and I now appreciate peace, quiet and nature more.
It had been a while since I’ve went gymless and instead turned to the park for exercise. True, one of the plus point is that the gym had the equipment- especially for strength and core body workouts that can help tone the body more effectively. Without it, we would need to rely on own cardio and body weight training in order to have the same effect. So, some bumps are beginning to form here and there- as the result of unchecked adipose tissue
But you know what, since exercising in the park, I’ve felt more relaxed. For those who us who already have stressful job, there is no use pushing ourselves to exercise if we do not particularly enjoy running at the cardio machine or lifting weights. We already need to push ourselves probably 8 hours or more a day to complete the job we are paid to do- after that, if we have to drag ourselves to the gym and force ourselves to exercise, we will systematically feel more tired and torn inside.
Some people love the gym- it’s a different story. For example, those who love group classes find it a great way to destress.
But for those of you who seemed to have problem pushing yourself to go, don’t be too hard on yourself. The gym may not be for you- after all, nothing suits everyone. If you spent too much time doing things that you do not like, I doubt it’s good for our mental health.
Let me share some benefits of exercising in the park:
- you can wear what you want- including very old Tshirts and faded pants and no one would look at you with a sneer. Coz, in the park, there’s no fixed dresscode
- people actually smile and greet you…. yes, uncle and aunties whom you don’t know would say hi and flash you a smile. Once I went early in the morning before work and even though it was still dark and we could not see each other faces clearly, I heard many cheerful ‘good morning’ directed at me
- it’s relaxing and therapeutic- to walk near trees and with nature. If it’s windy it’s even a plus. When you feel stressed up, a few rounds of walking would calm and soothe your nerves (better than loud music that talks about dysfunctional relationships)
No doubt, the opening hours of the gym is longer- so that means you can walk in on a hot or raining afternoon, night, mid morning, storm, etc in which you may not be able to do in the park. But just like everything in life, if you want to do accomplish something badly enough, surely you can consider tweaking your schedule around these workouts- so that you are free on certain evenings or you can go off early once a week and walk at a park near your home or workplace.
You can try to gather some like minded friends and you can form a group together and identify a location near your workplace. In my previous workplace, a group of us used to go to a park in the city because we could not get home on time to exercise. So we bring our workout clothes on certain days of the week. At 6pm, we changed in the washroom and go for our walk or runs- we go together and come back to office together. Usually we would be back to the office at about 7pm. Then some would stay back after that to complete work or we go home. With a group, you may find it easier to stick to your workout schedule.
I’ve really enjoyed my workouts and I make the time to visit the park- something which I would only skip unless I happened to be outstation. Perhaps you may be like me, who find the daily authentic scenes very inspiring- a grandpa carrying his grandson on his shoulders and telling him stories, a mother lying on a grass (without a mat) with her daughters staring at the clear blue sky, children running around relaxed, carefree and happy.