Orlando Bloom Just Went Paddleboarding In His Birthday Suit

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7 Alternative Ways To Get Fit AND Have Fun

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!

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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.

Pole dancing

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.

Aerial yoga

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.

Flying trapeze

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

Paddle Your Way To A Better Body

As one of the most effective cross training activities you can do, it’s no wonder celebs such as Jennifer Hawkins, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew McConaughey and Australia’s ultimate bachelor, Tim Robards, have been snapped SUPing up a storm.  And, as an activity that’s super fun and simple for almost anyone to master, it’s no surprise that SUPing is quickly becoming the most popular water sport around.

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“Anyone who tries stand up paddling for the first time will feel the effects the next day,” says Australian surfing legend, Tom Carroll, who has recently launched his own range of high performance Stand Up Paddle boards – Tom Carroll Paddle Surf, through Global Surf Industries.

“What’s great about stand-up, is it’s a full body workout. When you’re paddling hard, everything is working – your lats, your back, your shoulders, your arms, even your hands and feet. Think about doing 1,500 side sit-ups with rotations per hour. That’s pretty much what you do when you go for a hard stand up paddle workout,” he said.

Here are Tom’s tips for getting the most out of a SUP workout:

1. It’s all about technique

“As with most sports, technique is really important when it comes to mastering the SUP,” says Carroll.  He suggests taking a lesson, getting a coach or watching a training video when starting out. “This way, you’re likely to get the hang of things more swiftly, then you’ll be able to get the most of paddling by starting out with excellent technique and setting up good muscle memory from the outset.”

2. Get on the right board

With surf, racing, flat water and all-rounder SUPs available, Carroll emphasises the importance of choosing a board that is appropriate for your skill level. “The Allrounder style is best for most beginners and a good board to start out on is the Adventure Paddleboarding Bamboo All Rounder SUP (RRP from $1,020). If you’re a little more advanced and are keen to mix up flatwater SUPing with some wave riding, opt for the Adventure Paddleboarding Sixty Forty SUP (RRP From $1,293),  and if you’re really advanced and want to get some serious wave action while working out, try my Tom Carroll Paddle Surf Long Grain SUP (RRP $2,200),” he said.

3. The perfect paddle

“The type of paddle you use is equally as important as the board itself and when you’re holding a paddle for an hour or more, the weight of the paddle is critical,” says Carroll. “It’s well worth investing in a top of the line carbon paddle that’s super light and easy to manoeuvre.” Carroll recommends the Trident Adjustable Carbon paddle (RRP from $249).

4. Size it up

“It’s important to select a board according to your weight,” says Carroll. “If you’ve got too much length, it will be much harder to push all that extra board around.”  Carroll suggests using the manufacturer’s suggested rider weights as a guide and then having a good chat with your retailer before choosing your board length.

5. Heads up

According to Carroll, the reason you can lose balance when leaning too far forward or leaning over the board is because of the significant weight of your head, compared to the rest of your body. “Keep your gaze up and become aware of the horizontal plane ahead and practice resisting the temptation to control by looking downward to the board, this does two things. One it keeps your head over the centre of balance and two, it increases awareness of where you are. Also by maintaining a slight bend at your knees you will create natural shock absorbers, keep shoulders centred over your hips,  and feel the movement throughout your body, like a dance with the water, this starts the process of awakening your stabilisers.  And, before you know it your up and going!” he says.

6. HIIT it up

To up the ante on your SUP workout, Carroll suggests incorporating some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). He suggests repeating the below routine five to 10 times per paddling session to get “one hell of a workout.”

Always warm up at moderate pace (approx 60 per cent), within our best form stroke for 10-15mins (minimum):

  • Paddle 100 per cent for one minute.
  • Paddle at 80 per cent of your fastest pace for three more minutes.
  • Rest one minute.
  • Repeat five to 10 times
  • Paddle at a slow pace for 10mins
  • Stretch to cool down

All Stand Up Paddleboards featured in this release, including the Tom Carroll Paddle Surf range, are available from Global Surf Industries.

To purchase online or find your nearest stockist, check out www.surfindustries.com