Why I Quit The Gym & You Probably Should Too

Around new year 2017 I made a pledge: To quit the gym and get fit.

I know this sounds like a slightly odd inverted new years resolution, but for around 5 years I had been a committed gymphile (not sure that’s a word but there you go). My physique hadn’t changed radically except for slightly better arm definition and on occasion slightly better pecs. But for the effort I was putting in, not to mention the money, it wasn’t really worth the return on investment.

And what’s happened since I’ve quit the gym? Well, I’ve drunk a lot of beer, eaten a lot of cheese and done some very half assed exercise regimes.

The result. I’m about the same as I was when I was going to the gym.

The response from many gym go-ers will undoubtedly be, well you weren’t putting enough effort in at the gym or else you’ve been quite good with your self motivation.

Neither of those statements are true.

I used to go to the gym three times a week and put in an hour at a time – working hard on each set and making sure every minute in there was put to good use. I walked out of the gym dripping with sweat every time I went. Literally. Every. Time.

So my self motivation post gym has been good? Well. I used to run home from work on a weekly basis (about a 5 mile run). Aside from that and some runs around the park. That’s it.

So why do I think you should quit the gym?

First of all, if you’re one of those people who does about 2 hours, 4 times a week in the gym and posts selfies on Instagram of you in gym gear – this does not apply.

If you’re one of those people who goes for the social and seems to know everyone in the place and is full of tips and stuff… Probably doesn’t apply to you either.

I’m talking to the other 90% of the population – the people who go because they feel like they should. The people who when they get to the gym just go through the motions and do a few sets of this or that, or worse still just SIT on an exercise bike.

You’ve probably been sat at a desk all day eating cake and you’re watching the calories tick up on the digital display, waiting til it gets to the same number as that Krispy Kreme so you can go home.

Or, you’ve got to lose a stone so you can go on that beach holiday/get in that wedding dress/eat more cake on your birthday.

Or you saw a photo of Kate Middleton in a bikini on holiday somewhere glamorous again and decided you hate your flabby body and you really should do something about it.

Don’t get me wrong these are all noble reasons to get exercising – and exercise you definitely should. But in the gym? Not necessarily.

The gym is made for those body sculptors – the people who have actual fitness regimes and programs and have an end goal. And they will get to that end goal because, well, that’s what they really really want. When they’re not in the gym they’re planning their next visit to the gym and ACTUALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.

Is that you? If it isn’t do yourself a favour and cancel your gym membership now.

What do I do now then?

Cancelled it? Saving yourself £60 a month already? Go you! Have a doughnut.

I’m joking don’t have a doughnut, that’s a terrible idea.

Food

First things first – it’s your diet. Hate to break it to you but that’s probably why you’re a bit flabby around the edges. If it comes in a packet and has ingredients that you don’t really understand – avoid it. If it claims boldly on the cover to be packed full of minerals and vitamins and to make you at least 6 times more attractive to the opposite sex – avoid it. Those ‘healthy’ breakfast bars and cereals or those low fat thingumyjigs. Swerve it.

So what to eat? Eat natural food. And not loads of it either.

Also drink water. Don’t go crazy, 2 litres is the recommended amount – about 4 pints of water.

But, you know when you’re thirsty? Have some water.

Exercise

When you’re taking in decent fuel for your body and not pumping it full of additives, you won’t have to work so hard to process it. This makes the exercise bit relatively easy.

My routine was this.

Every day I’d walk to the nearest tube station, which is about a fifteen minute walk away. I’d then get to my very sedentary work, get to lunch and then on my 45 minute lunch break I would walk as much as possible. Some days that was 5 or 10 minutes. Other days it was my whole lunch break. And then when I got home I’d either walk back home or I’d go for a run.

Total active time daily was around 1 hour 30 or more.

To amp up any exercise regime it is often a good idea to have fun while you’re doing it.

I’ve recently discovered parkour. Yes, parkour is famous for the people doing backflips and jumping across roofs but at it’s foundations it is simply a way to get from a to b in a slightly more interesting way. I’ll be honest, I’m not backflipping or rolling yet, but what I am doing is jumping onto things, pulling myself up walls or trees or doing press ups and sit ups in the park.

Basically, I’m doing resistance exercise. Trying to use my body for the things it was meant to be used for – climbing, jumping, lifting. But… Without paying a hefty monthly fee to do so.

Ways to get free exercise

There are plenty of ways you can exercise and not pay a penny. Parkour, for me, is a good one as it literally involves running outside and when I get to a bench I jump on and off it for a bit. Or if I see a tree or a fence I climb or vault it.

If you live in the country – or a smaller city nearer the country – good for you. You can probably run up hills, climb trees, swim in the sea or a river and so all kinds of free things.

In the big city it can be harder.

Running is a good start but some people find this can impact on their joints, especially without proper warm ups.

The simplest one is walking. Just walk as much as possible, as fast as possible and do it every day. Supplement it with some exercise outdoors and if you can do maybe ten or twenty sit ups and press ups too, you’ll find some good results.

Taking up a sport is probably the best way to stay in shape. Football, volleyball, dodgeball, cycling, tennis, yoga, pilates, swimming, gymnastics, hide the sausage… OK maybe not hide the sausage, but basically anything that keeps you moving and having fun.

Actually yeah maybe hide the sausage.

However you do it, get some exercise and crucially, don’t do it at the gym. Unless you NEED a weights rack to sculpt those tight buns of yours, you’re only wasting your money.

Am I talking total rubbish? Well, put me right in the comments section below…

Unique Ideas for a Theatre Rental

A theatre rental doesn’t have to be reserved only for staging a play. Renting one can be a fun and unique way to commemorate a special event, host a speech or cater to a large group. Guests will love the unusual setting and the thought that went into making an occasion memorable. And, of course, the host will have the enjoyment that comes from a well-organized event with minimal fuss. These are four ideas for hosting an event at a local theatre.

1. Weddings

A theatre can be a dramatic, one-of-a-kind location for a wedding ceremony. Guests can sit comfortably in the audience seats while the bride and groom exchange their vows on stage. This is a perfect setting for drama buffs, movie lovers, or anyone who wants a unique setting without resorting to the outdoors. Old spaces are especially well suited for this, as many have interesting architectural details that will be lovely in photos. Décor can be minimal. Consider designing invitations to resemble old playbills. For a fun favour for guests, serve popcorn in old-fashioned containers commemorated with the bride and groom’s names and the date of the wedding.

2. Birthday Parties

Consider a theatre rental for a fun, memorable birthday party. Many locations allow the use of their facilities for birthdays, and some even include the food, balloons, and décor. This venue is perfect for a large group, and it is the ideal time to get all the kids together to see the newest animated release, teen-friendly action flick, or age-appropriate comedy. Parents may just need to ask for permission to bring in a cake and candles. Bonus: someone else gets to clean up after the party!

3. Photo Shoots

A theatre can be a great location for a photo shoot. Engagement photos, maternity shoots, wedding photos, and social media promotions can all be staged among the seats, in front of movie posters, or among any interesting details that might be found in the building. The opportunities for creating an original layout are nearly endless. By renting the facility, the photography team can be sure that there will be no onlookers or crowds disrupting the shots. Of course, the photographer should secure all necessary permissions from management ahead of time.

4. Private Showing

Who wouldn’t love a private showing of their favourite movie? Anyone can rent a theatre to host a viewing for a small group. This is a great opportunity for independent filmmakers to show off their work, or for a group of super fans to get together regularly to re-watch their favourite heroes battle on screen. The rental fees are usually lower than people anticipate, especially for daytime or after-hours showings. Many facilities welcome the opportunity for additional revenue and offer special discounts for large groups. The organizer of the event should consult with management to determine whether or not a projector and screen will be provided.

No matter the reason for considering a theatre rental, it’s a great way to create an unforgettable occasion.

The Key Ingredients of an Unforgettable Baby Shower

Much like any other parties, it does require some planning, but, being an informal event, you don’t have to worry too much about all the details and you can keep things casual while at the same time being creative. The benefit of baby-themed parties is that there are many amazing things you could try and you can make most decorations and foods yourself. With a bit of imagination, you can turn the shower into an unforgettable event, not just a formality, and enjoy its memory for years to come.

Cute decorations

Decorations are key in creating a theme for the shower and establishing a warm and pleasant atmosphere in general. You don’t necessarily have to create a theme if you don’t want to, buy decorations are a must. Until not that long ago, future parents would choose decorations based on the baby’s gender, but recently this trend has lost its popularity. If you don’t want your baby shower to be gender specific, or if you’re tired of classic ideas and want something new, you should think outside the box. choose charming decorations that can apply for both little girls and boys and place them carefully around the house. You can get everything from toys and stickers to baby themed plates and balloons. Pastel colours are recommended, because they inspire purity, playfulness and innocence.

Creative desserts

Desserts are the highlight of any baby shower, but, apart from pleasing guests who have a sweet tooth, desserts can be a sort of decoration if done properly. Instead of the traditional cookies and cupcakes, why not make thematic sweets shaped like cute animals? Baking them yourself can be quite difficult and the last thing you want in the last month of pregnancy is to spend hours in the kitchen, so ordering them from a candy shop would be more practical. Also, don’t forget about the cake. It should be the most impressive dessert yet, so find a professional cake shop to bake you something custom and colourful.

Baby shower favours

Although shower favours aren’t as important as wedding favours, they add a personal touch to your party and help guests remember what made the shower so special. Contrary to common belief, baby shower favours aren’t expensive at all and you can even do them yourself. For example, you can fill a small jar with candy and then wrap some cute pastel colour ribbon around it. Alternatively, you can also offer mini tea sets, miniature stuffed toys or a jar of cookies.

Holiday themes

If you happen to throw the shower around a main holiday, such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween or St. Patrick’s Day, you can use that holiday as inspiration for your shower theme. You can ask your guests to wear thematic costumes and choose your decorations accordingly. Regardless the holiday, there are many amazing baby shower ideas you can try.

Baby shower photography

People who don’t like their picture being taken might wonder what the purpose of baby shower photography is if maternity photography and newborn photography exist. It’s simple: the shower is a completely different part of pregnancy, the final step, where parents are the most excited. Maternity photography also illustrates pregnancy, but in a different way. The parents are usually alone and photographs consists of portraits. At baby showers, you can take candid photos and capture a fun event with all your friends and family. After many years go by, you will definitely love showing your grown up child how you got ready for the event and how happy you were to welcome them to the family.

No matter how you decide to decorate your home for the shower, planning is very important. Some things should be established one month before the big day, while others can be left until the last minute. Also, regarding the responsibilities for the planning, it depends how well you feel. Women with easy pregnancies like to take charge and organise everything themselves, while others decide to get help from their spouse, friends and family.