Does the thought of crunches, tricep dips and squats send you running for the hills? Do not despair, there are options for the gym-phobic population out there. Instead of putting the blinders on whenever you hear the word workout, it’s time to embrace options that will have you excited to get toned and in shape.
Here are a few options to consider when looking for the exercise that’s right for you.
Walk it out
You can step out your front door and begin exercising. Just putting one foot in front of the other offers free, easily available exercise. If you have weight issues, or a heart condition, start with a slow and moderate walking program and a modest distance goal. It’s well known that jogging, while wonderful for your heart, can harm your joints, especially the knees. Many people have come to prefer walking “ and many have banded together to form clubs and groups. Give it a try “ no learning required!
Gym haters can learn yoga at home, either with a DVD or private instruction, or in the relaxed environment of a yoga studio. Different styles of yoga permit people of different baseline fitness levels to start either a slow or gentle program. You can build strength as well as flexibility.¨Take time to try out different types of yoga to learn what is best for you. It is a very effective way to maintain fitness levels, increase balance, and manage stress.
Pilates is similar to Yoga, but while yoga focuses on linking breath and movement, Pilates focuses on using breath to increase endurance. The main goal of the Pilates Method is to strengthen the core muscles. It accomplishes this by using your own body weight to create resistance, building strength and poise.
Why not tackle your road rage and exercise phobia by investing in a bicycle? You can zip past gridlock traffic and gain a fresh appreciation for the scenery around you. You’ll feel great about the green benefits, and it won’t be long before you’re admiring your calves in the mirror! Biking provides an opportunity to engage in high-energy, low-impact exercise. Just make sure you get a bike with reliable brakes.
Remember how easy it used to be to tackle the monkey bars at the playground? That takes an impressive amount of core strength, and yet kids look like stunt doubles while climbing those things. Think about the other physical activities you used to enjoy when you were younger–like jumping rope or playing a game of ball. Or consider activities that look like fun now, perhaps rollerblading or dancing. Sometimes it’s best to engage the past and rediscover a sense of fun in movement.
Despite the exotic name, strip aerobics rarely includes taking your clothes off. The focus is on using different moves to increase physical fitness. Pole-dancing in particular has become very popular because it is a highly aerobic activity requiring strength and agility. In any form of strip aerobics, the emphasis is on using moves to build strength and flexibility”it’s up to you how you want to use your newly-honed skills outside of the classroom!
Why not learn how to defend yourself while getting a killer workout too? Classes such as kickboxing, judo, and karate have surged in popularity. In addition to their practical applications, these classes increase strength, posture, and flexibility. They have the added bonus of developing concentration and confidence. Whether you prefer kicks, punches, throws, or even weapons, there is a form of martial arts for you.