10 Ways to Work Out at the Gym Without Exercising

01/20/2015 02:42 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Are you having trouble maintaining your gym routine? You're not alone.

I hadn't gone to the gym in so long that I'd forgotten how to silently judge everyone and get ice cream afterwards.

Why do we always talk about how much we want to go to the gym and then never do? The answer: exercise. Like many of you, I was holding on to the false belief that I had to actually work out at the gym to feel good about myself.

But it's not true. There are great ways to reap all the rewards of feeling like you worked out, without any of the benefits of actually exercising.

Here are 10 ways to do just that.


1. Sleep in your gym clothes

Getting to the gym is hard. Reduce the morning friction by sleeping in your gym clothes. When you wake up, this is one less thing to do.

Pro tip: If you're always wearing gym clothes, you always feel like you're working out.

If you end up not leaving your house, spending all day on the couch in your gym clothes is great alternative to working out at the gym. And you get a head start on the next day, too. Either way, you always feel like you worked out.


2. Warm up with a glass of wine

It's a little known fact that alcohol makes everything easier, especially when it comes to feeling like you worked out.

The benefits of having a glass of wine before heading to the gym can't be overstated:

  • You exude confidence, intimidating everyone around you
  • You don't even notice you're using that machine backwards
  • In fact, you think you may have invented a new technique
  • The time just melts away and suddenly you've spent 3 hours at the gym (passed out in the locker room)
  • You won't remember if you worked out or not, so you can assume you did


3. "Accidentally" forget something

"Accidentally" forgetting your favorite water bottle, headphones or sports bra is a great way to go to the gym and then be able to leave immediately.

Let everyone on Facebook and Twitter know how bummed you are about not getting to work out, then go get a milkshake.


4. The perfect 60 minute workout

Spend the first 10 minutes of your workout stretching on a mat. Stretching is just like yoga but with more napping.

Pro tip: Occasionally tweet about how important stretching is, and how great your stretch was.

Spend the last 50 minutes in the sauna, working up a decent sweat while not moving at all. It's the perfect way to feel the burn without burning anything.


5. Wait for machines

If you see a machine that someone's using, go over and wait for it. Ask the person how long they'll be. If they say they'll only be a few minutes, tell them you can't wait. Then, go wait for another machine.

Pro tip: Waiting for exercise machines is a great way to feel like you're working out at the gym.

If you do end up sitting at a machine, spend 5 minutes adjusting it. Then walk away.

If you end up on a treadmill, pretend it's broken. Then walk away.


6. Fill your water bottle

Hydration is so important isn't it? Who cares. The time you spend time filling and refilling your water bottle will help pass the time and make you feel like you worked out at the gym.


7. Do some fake weight training

Pick up a few weights, sit down at a bench and stretch for 2 minutes. Then, get up and put the weights back. You'll feel like you might have done something with them and no one will be able to tell you didn't.


8. Look like you're keeping track of something

Get a smart watch that does incredibly complicated timers, stopwatches and rep counting. Look at it intently, as if you're counting something, holding your finger to your neck if you can.

Real weight trainers always carry around notebooks. Get one and keep referring to it. Play tic tac toe with yourself or paste a crossword puzzle into it.


9. Wear a towel and sunglasses

First, wear sunglasses at the gym so you look cool and also so no one can tell when you're asleep.

Second, wear a slightly moist towel around your neck -- it will feel like sweat.

Finally, practice seeming completely bored and annoyed with everyone, as if you're at the gym all the time. You'll feel right at home, like you really belong there.


10. Leave looking like a pro

Douse your head with water so you feel like you've had the workout of your life. Make sure your water bottle is only half full, so it feels like you've been drinking it. Your gym bag should be as giant as possible.

Hopefully this will help you feel like you're working out at the gym and maintain your extreme aversion to exercise -- all at the same time.

How do you like to pass the time at the gym? Let's chat on Twitter. For more from Sarah, check out her satirical blog, The Cooper Review.