Exercise is great for our body and overall wellbeing, but sometimes getting up at 5am every morning to hit the treadmill is downright boring. If you feel like you’re stuck in an exercise rut, meaning your routine has become dull and somewhat unproductive, it might be time to try a new approach to fitness. Here are 7 exercise alternatives that are so fun, you won’t even realise your burning calories!
Indoor rock climbing
Rock climbing is a great cardiovascular and strengthening workout. Burning anywhere between 500 and 900 calories an hour, it engages most major muscle groups in the body making it a great alternative to weight lifting, and also increases your heart and respiratory rates. Difficulty levels vary depending on the type of wall you climb and the speed at which you climb it. For first time climbers expect to feel the burn for a couple of days after, particular in your arms, shoulders and back.
Stand-up paddle boarding
SUP is a low-impact, overall body workout that’s perfect if you prefer to train outdoors. It improves your balance, flexibility and cardio fitness and is an exercise alternative that suits all age and fitness levels. By standing on the board your core and leg muscles are engaged as you try to keep your balance, while your upper body is strengthened as you propel yourself through the water with the paddle. If you’re a beginner it’s best to start in calm, flat water. Alternatively if you’re looking for something more challenging, the ocean will give you a more intense workout as you’ll be weathering the waves and current.
In the past pole dancing was often associated with strip clubs and somewhat erotic behaviour, but today it’s a renowned way to tone and firm. It’s a full body workout that combines resistance training with cardio and is especially great for arms and shoulders. There are loads of pole dancing studios that specifically target women who want to get fit and most classes incorporate dance routines, so don’t think that you’ll only be climbing and spinning.
What do you get when you combine traditional yoga with calisthenics, dance, pilates and acrobatics? You get Aerial Yoga – one of the newest exercise trends that will have you swinging from the ceiling (no, not the chandeliers) in silk hammocks. Due to the nature of the suspended movements, it’s a full body workout that tones and redefines muscles while strengthening the joints. It’s highly recommended for anyone with back issues and can also be used for physical rehabilitation.
Just like Aerial Yoga, Barrelates is another popular exercise phenomena that combines two different types of sport. Integrating pilates with barre, it’a a fat burning formula that reshapes your entire body through full-body dance movements and muscle conditioning. It’s perfect for those who enjoy the benefits associated with pilates, but are looking to inject some fun into their routine.
If you’re chasing a workout that will make you stronger both physically and emotionally, trapeze flying will do just that. It’s great for building confidence, overcoming fears and your adrenaline will be through the roof (enter peaking endorphins). You’ll be knee-hanging, hand grappling and swinging from an eight metre platform, so you will be required to well and truly step outside your comfort zone. Mind you, your biceps and core will love you for it!
This is a great exercise that you can do with your kids and also in the comfort of your own home. It’s a cardiovascular workout that slims your hips, tones your butt and tightens your abs. If you prefer a studio setting, hooping classes are also available so an instructor will be there to guide you. Did we mention Beyonce and Kelly Osbourne have both credited hooping for their figures?
Image via Glamour