Saturday, June 17, 2017

10 Unexpected Ways to Get Active

10 Unexpected Ways to Get Active

I don't know about you, but I love the idea of getting active and staying active-- I love how great I feel when I am more physically active (both physically and mentally!). One of the things that I don't love quite so much about exercise is how monotonous it can get to be. Sure, a routine visit to the gym is enjoyable-- especially as that rush of endorphins hits afterwards-- but even the most exciting gym routine can get to be a bore. When that happens, instead of becoming a couch potato, try one of these ten exciting (and maybe even unexpected) ways to stay active.

And of course, I am no expert in any of these things. Always be sure to check with your doctor beforehand!

1. Body Weight Exercises

Okay, okay, you got me, how on earth is this exciting? Or unexpected? Maybe it isn't, BUT I am including it on my list for a few reasons. I used to think that choosing to do body weight exercises instead of lifting weights at the gym was uber dumb, but my husband recently convinced me otherwise.

By choosing to incorporate more body weight exercises, you gain great control over your body-- I am convinced that it greatly increased my proprioception! Not only are body weight exercises something that you can do ANYWHERE (no gym required), but you can also incorporate some pretty cool moves. For instance, learning to do a handstand, which is definitely a body weight exercise, is next on my to do list!

2. Trampoline Fitness

This is one of my favorites! Go jump on a trampoline! Just be safe. One of my favorite things about this option is that there are so many ways to try it! You could find your local trampoline gym, most of which offer wall to wall trampolines to go jump on! Some even have trampoline obstacle courses, or even trampoline fitness classes, which are beyond fun! Or, if you don't have one of those near you, and you have a large trampoline in your back yard, get out there and get jumping! And if you don't have one of those, you could totally invest a little money to get a small indoor one to bounce on and burn some calories while you watch t.v. or fold laundry (which, if you can jump and fold laundry at the same time, let me know, I want to know your secret!)

 I have even read some claims that working out on a trampoline can burn as much as 1000 calories an hour! Now, I know that seems like an outrageous if you know a more accurate number, please comment below!

3. Bouldering

Bouldering has become one of my most loved ways to spend my weekend! Now, unless you are a part of the climbing community, you probably don't know what bouldering is (I know I didn't until I started doing it). Bouldering is a form of rock climbing, which can be done both outdoors or in a climbing gym. It differs from top rope climbing because you don't climb as high and are not strapped in to any ropes or harnesses.

Sounds dangerous, right? Well, like any sport, it has its risks, but along with those risks, you take certain precautions to keep you safe. I am by no means an expert, but I do know that I would never go climb anywhere without a crash pad underneath me, and  a friend to spot my head and neck. I could write an entire article about why I love bouldering, but for now, I am just going to seriously encourage you to look into it!

4. Dance

There are SO many forms of dance that you could get involved in-- ballroom, jazz, ballet, swing, tap, hip hop...seriously, the options are endless! Dance is such a great way to improve cardio fitness, improve your core, and to have fun! Many dance studios now offer beginner classes for adults. I took a ballroom class at my local community college and fell in love with it!

5. Hiking

Not only is hiking a great way to improve cardio, and muscle endurance, BUT what better way to de-stress than to get out into nature, breathe the fresh air, and enjoy some trees? This one can be a little bit trickier depending on where you live. When I personally think of hiking, I think of mountains, lakes, and evergreen trees. I guess that is what happens when you grow up in Oregon haha. But if you live in the midwest, like I do now, there may not be mountains as easily accessible. That does NOT mean that you can't get out there and find beautiful places to hike-- that's what Google is for, right?

6. Play with your kids 

I understand that not everyone who reads this post will have children...but if you have kids, get outside and play with them! Chase them around the yard, play tag with them at the playground, just have fun! I am always shocked at how out of breath I am after playing with little ones, and I am always equally surprised by how much fun I have with them!

7. Water Aerobics

I have to admit that I haven't actually tried this on, but I definitely want to! I have been told that it is a great, low impact way to get in that daily exercise-- especially (but not limited to) if you are older. I like the idea of the low impact exercise especially since I am currently pregnant, it sounds particularly appealing. 

8. Water Sports

Some people might consider my number 7 and number 8 to be one in the same, so let me explain. When I think of water sports, I think of things like canoeing, kayaking, and white water rafting. Not only are these three things great for toning up your arm muscles since you generally have to paddle yourself around, but the are also great for your core muscle groups as well! I also think that they are great cardio activities because you can vary your level of effort and thus vary your heart rate. 

My personal choice in terms of water sports is definitely the white water rafting (I always go through a river guide company, I'm not good enough to go without a pro). White water rafting is both an exciting way to have fun as well as getting a great workout-- I am always very exhausted and sore the next day after rafting!

9. Kickboxing

What can I say about kickboxing? It is a great way to get your heart rate up, take out any extra aggression you might have lying around, and to have a ton of fun. I like to take the kickboxing classes that are offered occasionally at our local gym. It is also a nice way to meet other people and to possibly form some new friendships. Or, you could always make it a ladies night thing and go kickboxing with your girl friends!

10. Roller Skating

I saved the best for last! Roller skating can burn up to 600 calories an hour, and is literally a total body workout! You of course use your legs (duh), but there is also a lot of core strength involved with roller skating in order to remain upright. Skating has so many options as well! You could just skate recreationally, at your local skating rink during public session. You could look into joining a roller derby team, or a speed skating team (both quad skating and inline skating are options for this), or you could learn artistic roller skating. With artistic roller skating, there are multiple different disciplines-- figures, dance (like ballroom, but on skates, its awesome!), and freestyle (jumps and spins) are just a few of them. You should totally check it out!

And finally my list of ten different ways to get activity is concluded! I know it was a long post this time, and I thank you for sticking with me through it! 

Do you have any thoughts on any of these? What do you like to do to shake up your exercise routine? What are some other things you might have included on the list? I want to hear from you! 

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