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5 Easy Gym Alternatives To Help You Stay Fit This Spring

25 March 2020

5 SunGod Ambassadors share how they’re staying fit and adventure ready when going to the gym isn’t an option…

When it comes to getting fit for a season of adventuring, most of us head straight to the weights and the treadmills and rightly so, the gym can be an incredibly useful part of any fitness regime. But going to the gym needn’t be the be-all and end-all when it comes to staying fit. We asked 5 ambassadors to share how they will be keeping on top of their fitness regimes this spring and without a gym membership in sight…

1. Take up cycling

London based cyclist and single mother of two, Louise Gibson has represented GB twice and last year led the Internationelles on the full route of the Tour de France a day ahead of the men. For her, cycling outside “beats the sweaty, stinky gym every day of the week”.

Louise says: “I turned to cycling after repeated injuries from running. It was an effort to keep my fitness up and to keep me sane. Turned out I'm pretty good at it and I wish I'd taken it up years ago! My advice, buy a bike and ride it! It doesn't have to be top of the range or cost a lot of money and you don't need to be any good or very fast. Just get out there and watch yourself get hooked and healthier! Getting out on your bike gives you the freedom that you don't get inside the gym, it gives you fresh air in your lungs and the opportunity to hear the birds and see the changing seasons." Follow Louise's Adventures: @Loukew

"Cycling beats a sweaty stinky gym every single day of the week!”Photo: Mona Pantel

2. Try 'wild' swimming

Former competitive swimmer-turned-triathlete Emily Jevons has overcome a fear of open water and now can’t get enough, specialising in long distance events for both pure swimming and triathlon.

Emily Says: “I was petrified of open water or ‘wild’ swimming, for a long time but I got into it through triathlon. I was a very competent swimmer, it was just the unknown I feared. I got over this with the help of my dad literally swimming by my side, each week going slightly further out. I now love it and do a lot of endurance swimming events. It’s super easy to get into, google where is safe to go near you and never go alone! It’s good to invest in a tow float so you’re easily seen and you can use it to rest on when you need a break. I love open water swimming over the gym due to the lack of sweaty people! It's something you can do quietly and you have space to just embrace nature and the beautiful scenery the world has to offer!”
Follow Emily’s adventures: @emilyj.tri

“I was petrified of open water swimming for a long time. I now love it and do a lot of endurance swimming events.”

3. start running

London based Rich Williamson considers it a day wasted if he hasn't been for a run. Having completed multiple races from 5k up to marathon distance, and with ultra marathons in the pipeline for 2020, he's a pretty firm advocate for getting outside of the confines of the gym to experience both the physical and physiological benefits of running.

Rich says: “To put it simply, if you can walk then you can run - That’s not to say it will be a breeze at first! Take it easy to begin with, no pressure, just get your body used to moving! Currently, solo runs have never been so important, treat each run as a chance to clear your mind and get some fresh air, make that your main objective instead of focusing on distance. To keep yourself motivated, connect with other people in the running community on social media and apps like Strava - they’re a friendly bunch! You can also hit up your nearest park run as soon as you’re able to. Let me tell you, whether you’re running a mile around the park or 30 miles of trails, there is no better feeling than being outdoors with the sun (or rain) on your face – Go explore!” Follow Rich’s adventures: @richwillrun

"Getting out for a run gives you time to switch off and put your hectic world back in order. It’s a powerful tool to turn to no matter what’s going on in your life.”

4. Set up a slackline

Photographer Francesco Guerra fell in love with slacklining after shooting his friends slacklining last summer…

Francesco says: “Don’t get me wrong, slacklining is 90% frustration but all the frustration is worth it when you have a breakthrough and you take those first steps. I love slacklining because it’s one of the only sports that is all consuming, there is no space in your mind for any other thoughts. Getting into slacklining is super easy, you can find everything you need online from buying guides to advice on how to set it up. You can easily set up a slackline in your garden, all you need is two stable points! For me, slacklining will always beat being at the gym, it’s something you can do totally alone and you’ll get a way better work out any way. You’ll use every muscle in your body when you’re slacklining and above all you’re outside!” Follow Francesco’s adventures: @francescoguerraphoto

“It's easy to set up a slackline in your garden and when we're back adventuring again, there is no limit to where you can take it!” Slackliner: @alex.mignemi

5. Don't forget to eat a healthy diet

Exercise isn’t the only key to staying healthy and making those gains. Marathon runner and student Dietitian Livvy Mason explains the importance of a good diet when exercise is limited…

Livvy says: “When it comes to fueling for adventures, planning ahead is best so why not use your down time to figure out the foods that work for you when you’re on the go? Stick to a good eating routine of 3 meals a day, and don’t deprive yourself of that odd treat you enjoy! Be positive and creative when cooking and when shopping, there is no need to stockpile, just be savvy! Buy foods that will last, like pulses, tinned tomatoes, eggs, oats, rice and potatoes. Just ensure you are eating a variety of foods from all the different food groups. Include wholegrain carbohydrates, protein sources, healthy fats and plenty of fruit and vegetables but don’t deprive yourself of the things you enjoy, just have them in moderation! Yes, even Dietitians go for a bit of dark chocolate sometimes!” Follow Livvy’s adventures: @thenutritiousrunner

“knowing the foods what work for you when adventuring and ensuring you get a good balance of the right things are all important for a great base diet.”

Hopefully you can take some inspiration from what our Ambassadors are doing to stay active this spring. Remember, stay positive and stay healthy because our best adventures are still to come!

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