The number one excuse for not getting fit is not having the time. If the exercise is fun, however, we find the time. We don’t need to shell out on expensive gym memberships or make fools of ourselves falling off treadmills in order to achieve a transformation.
Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle as well as keeping our bodies looking good and boosting our mood. So, here are my top ten activities for keeping fit, burning calories and increasing strength and flexibility, as well as releasing endorphins to make us feel good too.
There are many different dance classes in every city and town so you can choose the one best suited to you. From salsa to ballet, ballroom to pole dancing, there is something for all ages and abilities. Each is guaranteed to be enormous fun, while toning, improving flexibility and burning energy. Even if you can’t get to a class, playing your favourite songs and dancing around the living room for an hour a couple of times a week gives you a great workout.
“How can sitting astride a horse be a workout?!”, I hear you ask. Well, a typical horse riding session can burn up to 650 calories whilst also improving your balance and flexibility. Muscles you wouldn’t normally work on flex and retract to match the movement of the horse. You need to adapt your body to keep astride as the horse leans, improving your balance and core strength. Horse riding is also excellent for improving back strength.
We’ve all heard of boxercise and various martial art exercise classes, but any form of physical combat gives you a great workout improving both balance and coordination. Why not try something a bit more unusual, such as fencing? With graceful manoeuvres, fencing helps build muscle strength, stamina and balance with the bonus of improving your coordination and mental agility too.
Trampolining is an excellent form of exercise. Burning more calories than jogging and without the stress on leg joints, it is definitely more fun. Whether you go to classes, have one in your back garden or even invest in one of the small fitness trampolines, you can rest assured you will be bouncing your way to a fitter body in no time.
Nowadays, most of us are not too far from an indoor climbing centre. This is a great form of exercise! As well as burning calories (500-900 per hour), it gives an all over body workout as you stretch to reach those holds. Excellent for toning arms and legs, it also helps balance, stamina and even self-esteem as you achieve your goals.
Who knew a child’s toy could be one of the most effective forms of exercise? Not only is hula-hooping tremendous fun, it’s cheap. Hoops can be picked up for a few pounds, although it’s best to buy a large weighted one to start with. Great for weight loss, this exercise also increases core strength and improves balance. You can expect to burn up to 200 calories when rotating those hips for approximately 30 minutes. A low impact exercise, the rhythmic motion also increases joint flexibility and relieves stress.
This is one for the back garden that you can do with the kids. Involving children in an active lifestyle is vital for their health and well-being. There are many fun ways to work out. Skipping is a fantastic way – ten minutes burns 150 calories, bouncing on a space hopper or pogo stick is also a fantastic fun form of exercise – great for the heart and toning up those thighs. Get the kids involved too by playing hopscotch or having a mini sports day!
Not for everyone, but for those who would like to try something new or remember the basics from childhood, skating gets you fit … fast! An hour of inline skating can burn up to 800 calories, which is just as effective as most intense cardio workouts. It’s also fantastic for toning and sculpting your legs and backside. If you fancy giving it a spin, protective gear is essential to prevent injury.
I had my doubts when including this as I didn’t think it would be accessible to everyone. Imagine my surprise when I found a class less than a mile from my home! In fact, after doing an online search, I discovered most towns and cities offer trapeze classes. Combining cardio exercise with strength, stamina and flexibility. Seriously, what could be more fun?
Regular activity between the sheets is arguably the most fun of all, burning upwards of four calories per minute (you do the math). Not only is canoodling good for the heart, some reports say it reduces the risk of a heart attack by up to 50%. Be adventurous! Increasing flexibility and releasing endorphins, aches and pains are relieved and a good night’s sleep guaranteed.
So, these are just a few unique ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine as well as having fun. They may not all be for you, and some require more practice than others. Try a couple, and remember, if living a healthy lifestyle is fun it’s much easier, and you’ll want to participate more often.
Do you have any interesting and unique ways of keeping fit? We’d love to hear your suggestions below!