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The 8 Best Alternative Workouts if You Hate the Gym


Going to the gym can be great for some, but it’s not the only way to work out effectively. Many people are still not comfortable in a gym environment, whether it’s because of a lack of confidence, time, or they simply cannot afford it.

Whatever the case may be, there are countless workout alternatives out there. Let’s take a look at how you can get a sweat on even if you hate going to the gym.

1. Dance

Learning to dance is a great gym alternative because it’s so much fun that it doesn’t feel like you’re working out! It’s an enjoyable way to exercise, and before you realize it, you’ll be sweating and burning calories.

All you need to do is keep your body moving at all times. There are a variety of apps and dance classes online, from ballet, salsa, and tap dancing to hip-hop, contemporary, and even Jazzercise. You can also use smartphone apps if you’re not sure where to start.

2. Yoga

Because it can be done just about anywhere, yoga is an amazing workout that will keep your mind, body, and soul healthy. Yoga is also a very low-impact workout, where you can move your body without building up too much of a sweat—making it perfect for those who prefer a sweat-free exercise session. There are so many helpful yoga apps and online YouTube classes available that can help you strike the perfect pose.


Grab your yoga mat, put on some calming music, and improve your flexibility and balance while fighting stress and anxiety at the same time.

woman indoors performing yoga pose on yoga mat

3. Boxing

If you’re looking for a great full-body workout that also makes you look incredibly cool, then try boxing. You don’t need much—just some enthusiasm and a guided online boxing class. Most of these online classes are for beginners and don’t require any equipment; however, there are classes for those that want to use a heavy bag.

Some of the best benefits of throwing punches are that it enhances heart health, aids weight loss, improves balance, decreases stress, and lowers blood pressure.

4. Running

Going for a run is one of the easiest workouts to do if you want to avoid the gym, and it’s one of the most effective ways to lose weight. The awesome thing about going running is that you can run wherever you want, whether you want to go trail running in a beautiful forest or run on your treadmill at home. The best thing of all is that running has a wide range of health benefits, including building strong bones, sleeping better at night, improving cognitive function, reducing the risk of cancers, enhancing mental health, and so much more.

Related: The Best Running Apps for Android and iPhone

Get out your running shoes, put on your favorite podcast, connect your running distance tracker app, and go wherever your feet take you.

man outside jogging in the road

5. HIIT Workouts

If you simply don’t have the time to work out, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is something you can do in as little as five minutes. Not only do HIIT exercises make you sweat profusely without having to visit the gym, but these exercises are so quick and effective. The crucial element of HIIT is short bursts of exercise, followed by a short break afterward. It’s a hardcore way to work out, but it gets the job done, and it’s something you don’t need to do for a long period of time to see results.

HIIT needs a timer, so you don’t have to do it in your head. Be sure to take a look at some countdown timer apps for interval training and workouts to count the intervals while you concentrate on the exercises.

6. Hula-Hoops

woman holding colorful exercise hula hoop

Remember all the fun you used to have hula-hooping as a child? Well, you can embrace this childhood activity again, but this time you can burn calories and get fit at the same time. When it comes to hula-hooping there are a lot of classes online. So, rather than doing something boring, spin the hula-hoop and feel the burn in your core—all while having a lot of fun! Just like with dancing, you don’t need years of experience. All you need is a hoop and some determination.

Once you’ve got the hang of hula-hooping, you’ll feel the difference that it makes to your body—specifically your abs, hips, backside, and thighs.

7. Indoor Walking

It’s not the most intense workout, but walking is a real way to burn calories without going to the gym. You don’t need a treadmill to do indoor walking at home—but if you do have one, you can take advantage of the thousands of treadmill workout apps. Regardless of if you have a treadmill at home or not, walking is one of the easiest and most basic ways to get your steps in for the day and get your sweat on.

Going for a guided walking workout, be it 15, 30, or 60 minutes, is perfect to do from the comfort of your own home.

8. Hiking

woman walking on road with dog in forest setting

Going out for a hike may not be the best option all the time, especially if the weather isn’t great. However, it’s one of the top ways to spend time outdoors and appreciate the world around you. Additionally, it beats going to the gym and having to spend your workout session staring at everyone else also on the elliptical machine. Not only does hiking provide you with scenic views while you exercise, but it also ensures you get all the fresh air and vitamin D you need.

If you’re considering taking up hiking as an alternative exercise, be sure to check out some hiking apps to improve your hiking experience before you head for the hills.

Start Your Fitness Journey Without Joining the Gym

With all these great ways to exercise effectively, do you need to go to the gym? Instead of forcing yourself into an uncomfortable situation, look for another way to exercise—be it dancing, yoga, hula-hooping, or even hiking. Whether you choose one or all eight, these workout alternatives will keep you fit—and you’ll have fun at the same time, which is something to sweat about!

woman working out at home using laptop
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