As good as it feels to put in a great workout at the gym, I’ve never been the biggest fan of going to the gym on a regular basis. Instead, I like to get my workouts in with alternative exercises like the 10 listed below. With alternative workouts, you’re able to still get your exercise in, but it’s a bit more fun and doesn’t quite feel like you’re having to drag yourself to go to the gym. So if you’re like me, and not the biggest fan of the gym, make sure you check out these options so you can still get some movement in, work your body, and have fun while doing it!


We recently went kayaking with West Coast Outdoor Adventure for our staycation honeymoon and had an awesome time! With kayaking, you have lots of exercise options, and they don’t really feel like exercise because you get to check out cool things on the water while you’re doing it. There are traditional kayaks with paddles which focus on your upper body, or you can use peddle kayaks like West Coast Outdoor Adventure uses, which gives your lower body a workout and the amount of strenuous activity you do is totally up to you and how fast you want to go.


Hiking is a favourite alternative exercise of mine and one that we do on a weekly basis with our dogs. It gets you out in nature, and again, it’s totally up to you for how hard to want to push it. You can challenge yourself with a  mountain hike, like our local Victoria Mount Wells and Mount Finlayson hikes, or you can take it easy with a trail hike around the woods or a lake.

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Zumba is a great alternative workout for going to the gym because you have so much fun you barely notice how good of a workout you’re getting until you make it home. It’s a chance to move your body to Latin music, get a little silly, and work your cardio and legs. This year I’ve started doing Zumba classes at our local YMCA, and I have so much fun doing it.

Pole Dancing

Pole dancing is a great workout that helps build your confidence. It works your arms and whole body while leaving you slightly bruised as you learn new moves. The bruises aren’t the most fun, but you feel so great about yourself when you finally master that new trick. It’s also a lot of fun to perform! Pole Trix is a great local studio if you’re looking to try it out in Victoria.


Get that ballerina booty with a barre workout. It’s low impact and something you can do at a studio, or you can do it at home. Holabird Sports has a kick butt YouTube workout, or if you’re a FFF member you can do some with FabFitFun TV with minimal or no equipment needed.

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Swimming is a great alternative exercise, especially for people with certain injuries. The support of the water helps keep things fluid and low impact while you do your laps or splash around with your kids. If you swim often make sure to use a swim cap to protect your hair!


Swimming laps not your idea of fun? You can also try exercising in the pool with aquafit which is generally a combination of gym exercises in the water done to music, although there are many different kinds of classes. Our local YMCA offers 4 different styles of classes, and I’m really looking forward to trying them out once my pregnant belly becomes a bit too much with Zumba.

Hula Hooping

Another fun alternative exercise is hula hooping. It really works your core, along with your whole body. There are so many videos online to help you learn and try it out, Deanne Love is especially great for tutorials! It’s easier than you think to make your own hoop at home, and so much fun to learn. Warning – if you practice inside make sure you are very clear of any breakable objects!

Clean Your House

Cleaning your house may not be the most fun thing to do, but it really does burn calories. Bonus, you’ll feel totally productive, and it may be more motivating to clean and organize knowing it can totally count as exercise.

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Ride a Bike

Get out of the gym and ride an actual bike outside on a trail. It doesn’t feel like you’re working out, till you hit that big hill 😉 and you get to get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and check out a new or familiar area.


There ya have it, 10 alternative exercises if you’re not a fan of the gym. I’d love to hear what your favourite way to exercise is. Please leave me a comment below!

xo Jannine

If you don't like going to the gym try out one of these 10 alternative exercises. Get outside, try a new class, or splash around, either way, find something that works for you and gets your body moving.

Try out one of these 10 alternative exercises if you don't like going to the gym.