Hate working out--no problem. You never have to go to the gym to get a good workout, even if you live in the smallest apartment. The best piece of equipment you have is you: Pushing and pulling your own weight is all you ever need to do. Forget about the gym and just get back to the basics.
If you don't like to exercise, I suggest breaking it down into three or four mini workouts combining both strength training and cardio. Here's a sample mini workout you could try:
Push-ups: Do them for one to two minutes nonstop (try to do the real ones, where you don't touch your knees to the floor). Trust me, you'll feel the burn. Push-ups work the entire upper body, core, chest, triceps, etc. You can do them an infinite variety of ways and it's always a challenge.
Wall Sit: This is a great exercise for the butt, hips and thighs. Press your back up against the wall and slide down until you look like you're sitting in a chair. Try that for 90 seconds. You'll see what I'm talking about.
Jump Rope: Bar none, the best cardiovascular exercise is the simple jump rope. The jump rope is a low impact, full body cardiovascular exercise that simply annihilates calories. If you were to jump rope at 120 to 140 revolutions per minute (this pace should be your ultimate goal), you would burn 750 to 1000 calories per hour. Try to jump for at least six minutes. If you are new to jumping rope, just take your time and jump at a pace that you feel comfortable with and work your way up. Remember that you should not jump more than one inch from the floor (this keeps this exercise low impact). With practice your skills will improve and ultimately you'll want to skip rope like highly trained boxers do.
If doing bouts of jump rope throughout your day isn't up your alley, then walking at a good clip works just fine. Put on a pedometer and be sure to do at least the minimum 10,000 steps per day, which is equivalent to approximately five miles and about 500 calories burned.
Ultimately, no, you don't have to go to gym, ever. You just have to make exercise a daily practice. You don't leave the house without brushing your teeth or combing your hair, right? So, don't leave home without your daily dose of exercise either. Burn baby, burn.
Once you have your WHY in place, here are a few additional tips to get you in the mood to workout!
- Load your ipod up with some awesome tunes! Music ALWAYS gets people in a MOVE IT mood!
- Put your gym clothes ON and tell yourself just 15 minutes. If you are not into it after 15 minutes you can leave. Chances are you WILL BE after 15 minutes!
- Have a pre-workout HEALTH SHAKE. Ideally pre workout WHEY and a small piece of fruit are the perfect snack. If you are a caffeine fan ADD some to your shake. I love mixing black coffee and chocalate whey protein powder in a blender over ice. Perfect pick me up to get me in the workout mood.
The key is to think of it as supporting the lifestyle you want, making it PART of the lifestyle you want, and not just a chore you have to do. Then you can tailor your workout to your goals. Like, if I wanted to hit clubs and dance and have an active social life, I'd take zumba or hip hop classes at the gym.
Also, being in an environment where people are excited or motivated to be healthy and fit can often make it more fun, and introduce something new in your life, whether it's new people or new hobbies. A lot of workouts are just fun because everyone is excited to be there.
Also, do exercises that you enjoy. If you really can't "force yourself to get to the gym" then maybe you need to look into a class or find a sport that you'll stick to.