“Exercise” is a word that most people dread. But this is probably because they immediately conjure images of doing repetitive moves in a hot and stuffy gym with an overzealous instructor yelling at them.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get fit that don’t involve going to the gym, repetition, or yelling. The key to finding a fitness program that works for you is to think about what you love to do and then incorporate that into your workout routine. Here are some ideas that will help you lose weight, tone up and have fun all at once.
Head out for a walk. A lot of people think that getting fit has to be super strenuous, but that’s not necessarily true. In fact, brisk walking boasts a lot of benefits for your heart, your figure and your overall health. Put on your shoes and take a trip around your neighbourhood for a low-impact exercise that will help you relax, regulate your metabolism and make your night’s sleep better. And if you’re ready to elevate your heart rate, simply add some hand weights to the mix, or if you’re a parent, carry your child with you.
Have a dance party at home. How many calories can you burn by dancing? That depends, but putting on an upbeat playlist and dancing your way around the furniture is sure to raise your heart rate and your happy factor. And if you’re really into dancing, you could even try out a Zumba DVD for professional guidance on how to mix dance styles like cumbia, reggaeton, salsa and hip hop for a calorie-burning workout that you’ll want to do every day.
Ride a bike to and from work. A lot of people wish they had time in the day to work out but find it difficult because they work so many hours. Commuting to work via bicycle is a great way to solve this problem. If you live in a bike-friendly city, you could squeeze in two moderate workouts every day just by biking in the morning and the evening. Not only that, but biking to work helps you save money on fuel and car maintenance as well.
Go rock climbing or hiking. For people who love the outdoors, there’s no better way to get fit. Hiking has the benefit of distraction; because you’re so happy about the scenic view, you’ll likely forget that you’re actually exercising. Going on a trek combines walking with strength training (since you’re often lifting your own body weight). And all you’ll need are some decent hiking boots, a mapped out trail and a friend to go with you.
Take up a new sport. It’s never too late to start a new sport. Instead of spending your weekends watching football or tennis, pick up a racket and train yourself to play. These two sports are great for getting fit because they require a lot of running as well as muscle toning. In addition, you’ll have fun watching yourself progress from novice to expert player!
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Gina is a personal trainer and understands that exercise needs to be fun and engaging.