Gym Alternatives for that Worst Time of Year

That time of year is here again: the time when everybody all at once decides to migrate their sweaty, coughy, runny-nosey bodies to the gym. The convergence of flu season and New Year’s Resolutions is always a good time.

This year’s flu seems milder than last, at least so far, so that’s good. The adult vaccination rate as of mid-November 2018 was 43%—not great but not terrible—and this year’s vaccine seems like a pretty good match for the strains of flu we’re seeing. The vaccination both decreases your chances of getting the flu and decreases the severity of symptoms if you do get it. It will also lessen the risk for people you come into contact with, so the more people who get vaccinated, the better. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, it’s time.

With that standard plea out of the way, let’s get back to the gym—or not. Have you seen what the gym is like in January? It’s disgusting. All those people who haven’t worked out in months, crammed into hot rooms and putting their hands all over the equipment, dripping onto the treadmill control panel, forgetting to wipe down the machine when they’re finished. It can be enough to turn a person off of exercise entirely, or at least until February when things have calmed down.

So it’s always good to have backup options for those times when the gym seems like too much of a risk. Here are a few:

  • Have you seen those Peloton bikes and treadmills? Combining quality equipment with group workout instruction streamed onto a large integrated screen, these are the exciting workout toys everyone is after these days. If you’ve got the space and the money, it’s a great way to bring the motivational gym experience right into your own home—minus the germs, of course.
  • For a lower budget option, don’t forget YouTube. The streaming video site is not only your go-to source for DIY auto repair videos, it’s also loaded with guided workouts. Yoga is especially popular, and easy to do within the confined space of your bedroom, where nobody has a cold.
  • You probably don’t have a full weight set or weight machine in your living room. You probably wouldn’t want one there, anyway. But you can still get a complete workout using elastic resistance tubing or bands. They’re great for all fitness levels and can be used for strength training any and all muscle groups in your body. They’re also inexpensive compared to weights, and they’re a lot easier to put away and store unobtrusively when not in use. If you want to step up the capabilities and ease of use of resistance tubes just a bit more, and you’ve got a few feet of wall space to spare, consider a Web Slide Exercise Rail System or Economy Gym for your own home. You’ll never have to touch someone else’s filthy barbell again.