As a student who has access to a gym at my school, as well as a gym membership outside of school, I can safely say that there are better ways to get your daily workout without having to pay for a membership. I have tried all of these methods and I can guarantee that they are a better alternative to a gym membership. See which ones you can try out!

1. Talking a walk

Talking walks are probably the best thing to do on a regular basis. Walking around is good for your body overall, especially your cardiovascular system. It helps strengthen your bones. It’s a great workout and alternative to overpaying for a gym membership, due to the fact that you can burn calories, therefore helping with weight loss. Talking a walk (especially early morning) outside, around your neighbourhood or the nearest park, is a relaxing method of working out. Not only do you get in your daily workout, but you also get fresh air flowing through your system.

2. Talking the stairs

This is a classic alternative to working out. People who work or are in schools usually have a staircase in their building. It’s nice to be able to squeeze in a workout without having to go all the way to a gym. Talking the stairs helps stretch out your body and strengthen your muscles. It helps prevent high blood pressure, arthritis, and heart disease. Instead of being cramped in an elevator staring at the wall, take time to stretch out your body in this easy simple workout.

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3. Doing stretches/Yoga at home

There are many at home workout videos you can purchase so you can do any type of workout with privacy at your own pace. But one thing I would definitely recommend is what everyone’s trying out these days- yoga. I think yoga is great for the mind, body and the spirit. It helps you relax your body, as well as your mind. I think doing yoga, especially at home is a great alternative to going to the gym. You can light candles, have relaxing aromas and scents all around you, or you can find a video online on how to do any sort of yoga pose or stretch.

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4. Running up and down the stairs

I know I already mentioned taking the stairs, but this one is different. If you live an a apartment building like I do, you get the opportunity to have a sweaty, intense workout without leaving home. Going up and down the stairs is a great workout- works out for all the points in your body.

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5. Going to a park, setting up a workout there

When I was growing up, my parents used to take turns taking me to parks so that I could use the “jungle gym”. I think this could also be a great alternative to working out at the gym-also, public parks are free! And they are outside, which is so much better than being in a cramped, tight studio with dirty machines and no fresh air. Using the jungle gym to your full advantage, can guarantee a full body workout. You can use the monkey bars for chin ups, which are guaranteed to be at every park. Take note, every park is different. Growing up in Toronto, I had parks in my area that had workout machines that I could use for free. But, the ones that didn’t have workout machines, I went to the ones that offered a rock climbing wall, a pole to climb, monkey bars, park bench, skate park, and more.

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6. Buying gym equipment to use all the time at home

I think this is a smarter alternative to buying a gym membership because buying equipment can last you forever- and also you can use it anytime, anyday in the privacy of your own home. Having a gym membership is tough, I have one, and going to the gym takes me at least a half hour. I have to prepare my gym bag, and getting there, and when I do get there, the machines I often desire to use are occupied so I would have to wait. Not to mention the price of the membership itself. Buying gym equipment is also pricy, but you don’t pay a fee every month to use it.

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7. Dancing

I love dancing so much! Confession time, as a workout, I used to blast a Shakira playlist and belly dance in my basement all the time as a teenager. I think blasting music and just letting loose, letting your body move to the beat, beats the gym anyday. Also, if you are a student, some schools offer clubs that you can join where they teach dancing, from salsa to hip hop. I highly recommend getting your groove on!

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8. Jogging

This is the best alternative to going to the gym. Putting on your favourite workout playlist and going for a jog, is the best way to workout and tone your body, as well as refresh your mind. Going around your neighbourhood, park, school, mall, anywhere! Jogging is a great, sweat-it-out workout that is free and fun.

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9. Swimming

My mother used to put me in swimming lessons when I was younger, and I have to credit her for giving me that opportunity, because not only do I know how to swim, but I also realize what a fun, healthy workout swimming is. I think swimming is great because its a fun way to workout your body, and it never gets tiring. Doing a few moves in the water to tone your muscles such as front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke is guaranteed to help you reach your workout goal. And also, it’s a great alternative to the gym because you can go to your local recreational centre and pay a small fee to use the public pool, or go to the nearest pool or beach when the weather is warm outside!

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10. Playing sports at your local recreational centre

I had many friends who used to do this not only for a workout, but for fun! Playing sports is a great way to get in shape, and you don’t have to overspend for a membership. There are many options as to what sports you can play at your local recreational/community centre, such as basket ball, volleyball and so much more.

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