Cross-training for a gym-hater?

I know I probably ought to do a little cross-training for core stability and all that, but the problem is I absolutely LOATHE the gym, it bores me senseless, I lose count and generally I'm really quite rubbish at it!  And cross-trainer machines make my hips hurt.

We also only have one full income at the moment so I can't afford it anyway.

I like swimming but hate lap swimming as, again, I lose count of how many I've done.

I can't commit to any evening classes as the husband does shifts, but with absolutely no pattern at all.  And I can't get a babysitter in for the girl for a number of reasons, chief of which is that she is recently placed with us for adoption and it's too early to leave her with anyone other than us.

I like Pilates but around here you have to sign up for blocks of weeks at a time and I simply don't have the income available to pay up-front, and all the ones near me which are during the day are when the girl is at home from school.

I'm really struggling to find a solution to this.

Any advice would be very welcome...


  • "Dee-wee-dee madam?" as they said to me in the shopping centre in Bangkok (true!)(took me a while to work out ...).

    I am very fond of the abs section (all 5 minutes of it, tops) of the New York City Ballet workout DVD. Short yet comprehensive. Other folk will have their own favourites.  In fact haha I have just found it on YouTube. "Abdominals and Leg Darts". 

    I did it faithfully twice a week for a few weeks this year but then plopped off the wagon. 

    Perhaps we should start a "The core stability, stretching and strength work we all know we ought to do, but don't" thread to provide some spurious accountability - like there are running training threads. It should be called

    The "My child/dog/cat/neighbour is staring at me but the physio said I have weak glutes and poor core stability" thread.

  • Do it at home for free. I would say you need more than five minutes to make it worthwhile, but 30 - 40 mins a couple of times a week would be a good start.
  • do some core stuff at home, and go out cycling once a week?

  • Thanks for your suggestions.  What kind of core stuff do people do at home?  I'm not very good at motivating myself!

    I also have a crumbly lumbar spine so anything that arches the back is out of bounds - I had to stop doing yoga as so many of the poses were back arching, bit of a waste if you can only do half the class...

  • Right...the bike is at the workshop being 'fettled' - the gears were really cranky and not changing cleanly.  Once I get it back I can start to do some cycling.

    That's a start anyway...

  • If your back is dodgy- then see a decent pilates teacher. She'll know what to give you and what not to give you.

    Doing stuff at home by yourself sounds risky to me. You need to know what you're doing and have someone there to correct you. A change in posture of a few cm can make all the difference.
  • I do boxercise a couple of evenings a week which has helped my running and you can replicate some of it at home. Mix in body-weight exercises with plyometrics and some cardio (helps if you have a spin-bike but a skipping rope will do it).

    Mix in 60 seconds cardio then drop for 60 seconds of body weight (press up, crunches, burpees, zombies, plank).

  • Well, I went out on my bike today, not very far, but it was good to get back into it and I did enjoy it.  

    Ah Herbi, I haven't been to a gym class for about a decade!  I know what plank is, but burpees?! No idea! 


  • bookworm-airhead wrote (see)


    I like swimming but hate lap swimming as, again, I lose count of how many I've done.



    I was the same but have found doing patterned reps gets me over it and helps keep focus. 4 breasts stoke, then 3 BS and 1 crawl, then 2 BS 2C, then 1 Bs 3C etc etc

  • Well, I went to the pool with the daughter and discovered that my lumbar spine problems have deteriorated so that I can't really do much swimming on my front now - which is a shame as it's just yet another thing I can't do and I hate focussing on the negative.

    Bike it is then!

  • I won a competition of a year's membership to a local leisure suite place!  So I can go to the gym without having to pay and then feeling guilty for not using it enough...

    The membership includes classes too and I reckon I can get over my hatred of gyms if I'm not having to pay!

    I've also got my bike out and am using it whenever I can so things are slowly coming together.

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