Written By: Lorenza Gil-Kabande
To be completely honest, I’m not a gym person. From the hogging of machines to not having an enjoyable view on the treadmill, I felt as though going to the gym wasn’t the right fit for me. Not everyone enjoys the gym and that’s okay! One of the questions that always arises when I tell people that I do not go to the gym is: “How do you stay healthy?” For those people who, like me, have stepped foot in the gym and felt that it wasn’t for them, the following are tricks I’ve picked up to stay healthy without spending any time at the gym.
1. Yoga at Home
Before I started creating my own routine, I tried going to yoga classes at my local gym. I figured if I still had the gym membership, I could take advantage of the classes offered and work out that way. However, I found it difficult to follow along instructors’ poses and relaxing at the same time, because I was constantly worried about doing the poses right. On top of that, there were some poses that I found more relaxing than others, but the instructor wouldn’t spend as much time as I wanted on them. These struggles motivated me to create my own customizable routine. Personally, I prefer taking some time in the morning to do my yoga routine in order to boost my mood and jumpstart my day. That way, I have something to look forward to in the morning and start my day on a positive note!
The only tools I use is a yoga mat and some videos to follow along. My go-to yoga youtuber is Adriene. She posts videos for all ages, skill-levels, and even for improving the mind and body! Though she may be one of my favorites, there are so many other amazing YouTubers who post yoga routines; The trick is to find the one who matches your style. Once you get a hang of the poses, you can choose to stray away from the videos and do your own routine or stick with watching videos! The beauty of creating your own routine is that you can stay in your favorite poses as long as you want or avoid the ones you don’t like. I highly recommend finding a comfortable and quiet space to practice your yoga at home.
2. Walking or Bike Riding
Another practice I’ve learned to create a habit of is going on a 30-minute walk or bike ride outside. Being surrounded by nature is scientifically proven to reduce stress, increase brain function, up our vitamin D intake, and even help us age gracefully! Personally, I enjoy doing these outdoor exercises around the time the sun is setting because the sun isn’t directly shining in my eyes, and there’s still enough daylight to take in the beauty of nature. In order to avoid growing bored of a routine, I recommend switching between walks and bike rides, and even routes!
There are numerous trails in San Diego that are light enough for a pleasurable walk or bike ride. One of my favorite trails is Torrey Pines in La Jolla. At this location, you’ll be able to enjoy a bike ride right by the ocean! If you choose to walk instead, the trail is surrounded by beautiful desert-like plants and at the end of the trail, you descend right onto the beach. You might even be able to spot some dolphins! Have a playlist ready, invite a friend, bring your dog, or do whatever makes you enjoy your time outside more!
One of the last things that I’ve grown to love is to go hiking. I just recently got into hiking after I went with a group of friends to one that led to a crystal clear view of San Diego. My favorite thing about hiking is that I don’t mind the cardio because I’m out in nature enjoying the challenge, and the view on top is amazing. Another reason I enjoy hiking is that hiking improves the cardiovascular system, increases energy levels, and even increases bone density! San Diego is full of magnificent hikes for all kinds of skill levels. My number-one hike for scenery and versatility is the Oak Canyon trail in Mission Trails. This hike offers over 40 miles of trails and consists of a couple of waterfalls, beautiful greenery, and a historic dam. Another one of my favorite hikes is Cowles Mountain, also located in Mission Trails. This hike is very popular due to its 360 view of San Diego and it being the highest peak in the city.
Regardless of your tastes for the gym, I highly recommend you try some of these alternatives in order to expand your range of healthy activities. Making your own playlist, using the yoga mat you like, your own bike, inviting friends, family, pets, and even doing it at your time preference, add a personal touch to these activities and makes it more enjoyable!
Written By: Lorenza Gil-Kabande
Benefits of Being Outdoors
*Benefits of being Outdoors
Yoga Poses to Practice