I’ll never buy a gym membership

Over the last week, I’ve taken a different approach to keeping fit: coughing violently and blowing my nose as hard as humanly possible to clear the mucus from my upper respiratory tract. My usual routine of ultimate frisbee, floor hockey and daily walking was disrupted with the onset of a nasty viral infection…yet my core has never felt stronger.

Your body is designed to move. It is not designed to sit, hunched over at a desk for 7+ hours/day. With the advances in technology over the last couple decades, it shouldn’t be surprising that we are seeing increasing rates of disease that is highly preventable with slight changes in lifestyle (namely, exercise).

My professional opinion:

  • Get outside. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the scenery – that in itself is therapeutic.
  • Skip the droning, soul-sucking world of transit – walk, bike, skip, longboard…etc.
  • Join a team. There is nothing better than meeting new people and mixing social activity with actual activity (post-game cold beer never tasted so good).
  • Dance. Leave your worries on the dance floor – great music moves your body for you.
  • If sports aren’t your thing try Yoga (highly, highly recommend this lil lady) or some other class where there is an element of commitment and motivation from a group.
  • Get a workout in the comfort of your own bed. Read about the endless benefits of sex with Dr. Marciano here.
  • If you’re going to go to the gym, make sure that you’re doing it right (ask a professional to show you how)
  • Try something new, you just may end up falling in love with it.

For those who don’t exercise because of pain or a medical condition, talk to an ND or other health care practitioner who can find a way to alleviate the discomfort so you can be active again. Ironically, it’s often those people who receive the greatest benefits from exercise.

No more excuses – find a way to incorporate some heart-pumping, sweat-making activity into your daily lives. Your body and mind will both thank you for it.

A few months back, I saw this eye-opening video on the single best thing you can do for your health and was impressed by how well Dr. Mike Evans displays the clear-cut evidence that every person needs to exercise. It’s not about being skinny or looking sexy so much as is it about feeling good and beinghealthy. The rest is just a bonus.

Some people love running and crushing weights at the gym. I admire those people, but I am not one of them. With a degree in Kinesiology, it may seem odd, but I will never get a membership at a gym. It’s just not my thing, and I’ve met a lot of people and patients who feel the same way.

For me, the trick is and always has been distraction. If I’m not chasing a person or a ball, climbing a mountain, or getting from A to B, then my motivation to exercise plummets. I’m active because I weave fun activities and friends into my routine. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t do it. Luckily, exercise takes all sorts of forms making it possible for anyone and everyone to keep fit AND have fun.

Are you a gym rat? How do you like to move it? Let me know in the comments below.

Dr. Taryn Deane, Naturopathic Physician, Vancouver

Dr. Taryn Deane is a naturopathic physician and health writer based in Vancouver, BC. She specializes in holistic dermatology, improving sex-drive and boosting self-esteem. Learn more about Dr. Deane or follow her on Twitter: @drtaryndeane