In the past my workout routine included a monthly gym membership. While the membership offered a variety of great options including fitness classes and dozens of machines there were factors that overruled these positives. First, my gym membership was an additional and expensive monthly cost. Most importantly, I did not feel as if I got enough use out of my membership. There were so many excuses I could use to avoid driving to the gym: the weather was bad, it will be closing soon after I got there, all my favorite machines will be taken, etc. By ditching the gym I was able to improve my fitness routine.
My workout routine changed drastically for the better due to the fact that I adopted a dog! Adopting a dog required at the minimum one walk a day. I had no choice in the matter – if I was tired, or the weather was crummy, I still had to get up and out of the house. Growing up I frequently enjoyed taking hikes and walks at local and state parks. Living by myself after college, I did not feel comfortable going on these walks alone. My dog enabled me to get back into this favorite activity. I felt comfortable and safe heading out with my dog. Two to three days a week our walks take place on a trail, while the other days our walks take place in the neighborhood. To optimize the cardio benefits on neighborhood walks I pick up the pace and occasionally adding in a jogging spurt. The majority of trails I walk my dog do not have a flat surface and many contain large hills, which optimize the workout benefits received.
Shortly after adopting my dog, I canceled my gym membership due to lack of use. While I was receiving cardio benefits from the dog walks, I was not building muscle and toning. I decided to purchase a set of weights, and yoga mat. These items cost less that my monthly gym membership. I started out with basic weight training. Leaving out my weights and mat in the middle of my living room, I fit in repetitions in as I found convenient.
My new workout routine has been an incredible success. I have lost over 10 pounds and am now in my target weight range. My cardio routine works for me because I can’t use excuses as why not to exercise. I also enjoy it immensely because I am able to hike again, a former hobby. My weightlifting routine works for me because rather than taking time out to change clothes and drive to the gym, I fit in exercises when I find it convenient. Leaving the mat and weights out makes them hard to ignore.