If you’re looking to get in shape and improve your fitness, the gym might be the first place you turn. After all, joining a gym can be a fantastic way of building muscle, improving your stamina and shedding the pounds. But if you hate the thought of spending several hours each week stuck inside the same sweaty and noisy room, you may be less than excited about signing up to a costly membership. To get the best results and really improve your health and fitness, you need to adopt a routine you enjoy and are likely to stick to. So if you’re less than enthusiastic when it comes to regular gym sessions, it could be worth exploring some other options. Here are four health and fitness alternatives for if you hate the gym:

Get home gym equipment

With new exercise equipment often costing upwards of a hundred pounds, this may sound like a costly option. But as long as you cancel your gym membership and use your home equipment to achieve your goals, your investment will soon pay off. Whether you buy an exercise bike or a treadmill, one of the best things about a piece of home fitness equipment is that you can comfortably watch TV, listen to music, or chat to your partner or housemates while working out. You can easily fit exercise into your day without shifting your timetable or having to travel to the gym.

Walk everywhere

Increasing the amount of walking you do each day can make a huge difference to your health. Here are just a few ways you can do this:

  • Get off the bus a couple of stops early and walk the rest of the way to work
  • Go for a brisk walk on your lunch break and eat your sandwiches on a bench
  • Visit a new town or city every weekend and spend hours exploring
  • If you have a dog, increase the speed or duration of your walks
  • If you don’t have a pet, offer to walk a friend’s dog when they’re too busy

Run or cycle

The gym can be a great way of doing a wide range of exercises and working all your muscles in one session, but for many people, being cooped up in a sweaty room isn’t fun. If you’d rather exercise in the great outdoors and escape from the restrictive confines of your gym, why not take up running or cycling? You don’t need a membership and you’ll benefit from a sense of freedom and adventure.

Join a boot camp

If the words ‘boot camp’ evoke feelings of fear and terror, you may be glad to hear that boot camps don’t always involve crawling through the mud or getting shouted at by a man dressed head to toe in camouflage. Joining a weekly boot camp can be a great way of motivating yourself to exercise, getting out into the fresh air and making new friends in the process. It won’t be easy, but you’ll be surrounded by other people and able to cheer each other on. Weekly boot camps are often really affordable too, with many organisers charging £5 a week or offering bundled packages if you’re willing to sign up for several classes in one go.