With healthy living and fitness being an increasingly hot topic in society, there’s never been so much incentive to want to get off the sofa and do some exercise. Even if you don’t like using the gym, it doesn’t mean there aren’t more fun ways for you to stay in shape.
You’d have to be living under a rock to have missed the surge of dietary fads, exercise regimes and pictures on Instagram of healthy meals and kale smoothies. With a lot more people showing a genuine interest in healthy living and getting fit, the need to find new and exciting ways to stay in shape will always be welcomed.
If you are someone who fancies switching up your regular fitness regime, here are some more unique activities that will make you break a sweat.
1. Rock Climbing
Rock Climbing is in no way a new activity, and one that most people will have tried at some point, but if you climb on a regular basis, it can prove to be a brilliant way of getting yourself into shape.
Whether you’re scaling a cliff face or an indoor wall, the adrenaline rush of making your way up higher and higher will be something that’s difficult to rival. As your ability begins to improve, so will your upper body strength, allowing you to take on more challenging climbs and push your limits.
Aside from the most obvious benefits of rock climbing (increasing strength, toning muscle, cardio workout), it also provides you with a way of increasing your self-confidence by taking on a new challenge. You will also become a lot more flexible, which is a trait that will prove to be extremely useful in other sports and activities.
2. Dance Classes
While dancing was previously seen as a leisure activity, hobby or, in some cases, a career, it has now become a very popular way for people to keep fit. A few years ago, Zumba classes were the ‘in thing’ and have continued to provide an aerobics workout which incorporates highly dynamic movement and dancing.
Along with Zumba and other aerobics-style classes, there are many other forms of dancing that can give your body an equally efficient workout. For example, if you happen to know anyone who regularly attends a ballet class or classes that use a street or hip-hop style, you’ll notice that they are in incredible shape.
Not only does joining a dance class give you a new hobby to explore and learn new skills; the positions and movement of your body while you dance will provide you with an excellent cardiovascular and body toning workout.
For many people, paintballing is an activity they may have tried for a special occasion, like a birthday, stag-do or a weekend activity with friends. However, as well the rush of adrenaline it provides, consistently making an effort to play paintball has some great health benefits.
The combative nature of paintballing will naturally create a highly energetic experience. Each game will provide new scenarios and well-designed maps to explore. This type of activity requires plenty of quick movement, even quicker thinking, and soldier-like instincts to make sure your team comes out on top.
The immersive environment of paintballing will require a variety of different tactics if you want to succeed. You’ll find yourself climbing over obstacles, ducking behind cover and sprinting to evade and chase enemies. A fully-loaded paintball gun is light enough to allow you to manoeuvre quickly and freely, but still weighs about as much as a light dumbbell. Carrying it around all day and raising it frequently to fire is sure to give your arms an extra workout.
4. Pole Dancing
It’s pretty safe to say that, for many people, pole dancing comes with certain connotations. But since the 1990s, pole dancing has become a popular and highly-efficient way of improving your fitness — and many people now refer to it as ‘pole fitness’.
Unlike other activities or sports where you’ll be exercising specific areas of your body, pole dancing gives you a whole body workout that improves your flexibility, strength and endurance.
The core aspect of pole dancing is to elevate your entire body up off of the ground, using only the pole for support, which is much harder than it looks. Doing so for a prolonged period will prove to be a tough task; it will take plenty of practice dedication and core strength.
5. Martial Arts/MMA
It wouldn’t be too wild a statement to say that over the last decade, boxing has taken a backseat to mixed martial arts, with the UFC leading the way as the face of MMA. Aside from making anyone who watches wish they were as badass as some of the fighters, it has inspired many people to take up MMA as a hobby and use it as a primary source of exercise.
Sparring with a partner or hitting pads for few minutes is an excellent form of cardio, especially if you up the intensity and have to avoid oncoming punches. While fighting and combat may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s no doubt that the training behind it is a brilliant way to get in shape, which is why classes such as ‘boxercise’ have become so popular.
Along with the health benefits of mixed martial arts, there’s also a lot to be said for the positive impact it has in regards to self-confidence, as well as being a practical way of teaching self-defence.
Whether 2017 is going to be the year that you kick-start a new fitness regime and lose some weight, or just about carrying on where you left off in 2016, it’s good to switch things up and adopt a unique way of keeping in shape. The activities mentioned above are varied enough for you to like and try at least one of them. It’s an excellent way to have fun while you workout — and you may even find a new hobby for life.
What’s your favourite activity that keeps you fit? Have you tried any of the activities mentioned in this post before?
Go Paintball London is one of the UK’s leading paintball companies. With a focus on providing the best paintballing experiences possible for people of all ages. They believe Paintball is an activity that everyone should try at least once. It builds confidence and communication skills, encourages teamwork and is a super fun day of exercise and adrenaline that needs to be experienced to be believed.