To gym or not to gym?

Is the gym for you?

Whether you hear about it at work or you see it on Instagram, it can be hard to get away from everyone talking about the gym. To some the lycra, sweat, and sore muscles is the definition of fun. To others, it sounds like such a nightmare that Freddy Krueger’s in the corner doing deadlifts. The gym isn’t for everyone, but it can often feel as if you have to go. But does it have to be that way?

It’s time to find out once and for all if you have the potential to be a gym enthusiast or if other forms of exercise are more your thing. Gym spending is up by 44%, but is the cost a worthwhile investment or a waste? Probably best to find out before you spend all your money on workout clothes and a pricey membership.

Alternative exercise

The gym industry isn’t failing to recruit customers all year round, but studies show that the UK is opting to change up their fitness routine by cycling, swimming, and running instead.

Everyone around you might be a gym junkie, but you might prefer other types of exercise. You don’t have to dedicate yourself to the treadmills, rowing machines, and weights. If you can swim like a fish and effortlessly burn off calories in the water, why not sign up for a pool membership? Or maybe you’re a cycling pro and want to get those legs working outdoors instead of in spin classes. Bend it like Beckham and join a football club or another sports team. Hit the court for some tennis. Or hit someone else in a martial arts class.


Before deciding on the gym or not, it’s a good idea to understand why you’re going. If it’s just because it’s the ‘stylish’ thing to do, then you should probably quit while you’re ahead. Influence can go a long way, but too much will wind up with you paying for a gym membership you don’t use and swapping the weights for Wispa bars. If you hate something, you won’t do it. Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore; it should be natural and fit into your routine without too much effort.

If you’re going to lose weight, build muscle, or tone up, do it for you and you only - you’re more likely to stick with it.


Variety is the spice of life, and a major benefit of the gym is that there is plenty of it. If you get bored quickly, then you should opt for a gym that offers different types of equipment and classes. Working out doesn’t have to be a solitary activity either - socialise while getting a sweat on in a local CrossFit group.

Change of scenery

The gym is a perfectly fine choice if you’re looking for a healthier lifestyle. But for most people, when they think of getting fit, the gym is the only place they think of. The downside to it: it can be a lonely activity. It can also get boring if you’re in the same box for hours on end. But guess what? There’s a lot more out there.

Exercise is great; with friends, it’s even better. If you’re not cut out for the gym there are endless activities you could be doing instead with other people. Prefer the outdoors? Try golf or tennis. Want something exhilarating? There’s always indoor rock climbing or squash. If you want to feel a part of a community join a local football or rounders team. If Forrest Gump can be a table tennis master you can at least try some badminton.

Whether you decide to sign up for a gym membership or not, remember that there’s no right or wrong answer. As long as you’re exercising, that’s what’s most important. Find the most suitable sport and you do you.

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