Getting fit can sometimes be a daunting task. Running a marathon or doing a long session on the treadmill are brilliant ways to lose a few pounds. However, there are a number of alternative ways to get fit which you may have never considered before.
Anti-Gravity Yoga is a mix of yoga, dance, Pilates and calisthenics. There are a number of benefits such as it being a total body workout due to the nature of the movements, strengthens and tones muscles, improves posture and putting you in a fantastic mood as it releases happy hormones such as endorphins & dopamine which make you more energetic. Dan Smullen of Dartry Gym says ‘Anti-Gravity is the best form of yoga for lower back pain and for anyone who doesn’t have the flexibility to do regular yoga’.
Cycle to Work
Cycling to work can be a great way to kick-start your day and lose a few pounds. Not only will you feel healthier, your boss will love you too. A study of 200 people carried out by the University of Bristol found that employees who exercised before work or at lunchtime improved their time and workload management, and it boosted their motivation and their ability to deal with stress. The best part about cycling to work is that you don’t have to own a bike! The Dublin City bikes just cost €20 per annum.
Walking is a great way to get fit and to be healthy. A Harvard University study showed that women who walked 1 to 3 hours per week had risk of death from breast and uterine cancer reduced by 19%. When they walked 3 to 5 hours per week, their risks of the same cancers were reduced by 54%. Men who walk briskly for at least 3 hours a week after being diagnosed with prostate cancer were 57% less likely to see the disease progress. Look at ways that you can incorporate walking into your life every day.
Here are some examples to get you started:
- Instead of having a meeting sitting down in a room, go for a walk.
- Walk up the stairs rather than taking the lift.
- Go on a walking tour! Learn more about the country you live in.
- Get off one or two stops earlier than your usual stop and get walking!
Mud runs & obstacle races
Mud runs & obstacle races are getting more popular as they combine fitness with fun. During the races you will be doing a variety of things such as climbing, crawling, jumping, swinging that will test every part of your body.
Hiking is not only a great way to get fit, but is a great way to clear your head! Jack Lynch, managing director of Basecamp Adventure Store, says ‘From a simple canal walk to Carrauntoohill, the walker is always rewarded.'
Hydrorider is an effective and versatile way to exercise in the water to up-beat music. The Hydrorider is an aqua bike that allows you to pedal while immersed in the water taking advantage of the many benefits of the aquatic environment. It can be also be used for people with limitations due to arthritis, fibromyalgia, previous injury or obesity.
Think you’re too old to be using a trampoline? Studies by NASA scientists show that rebounding on a trampoline is 68% more effective than jogging and yet requires less effort! Take a look at this 10 minute trampoline workout. The next time you see a trampoline or bouncy castle, make sure to get involved!
Stand up paddling
SUP is a fun way to get fit and is great for all ages and is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. It requires you to stand upright on the board, which requires a lot of core stability and leg strength to maintain balance. SUP improves your balance, reduces stress as water naturally soothes your body and as it’s a low impact sport and it’s useful for rehabilitation injuries.
Aqua Zumba is a popular workout that uses Latin dance moves in a swimming pool, to help you work out. Water is 800 times denser than air, which means we have to make much more of an effort when in a swimming pool. Running in water will burn up to 11.5 more calories per minute compared to the 8 calories you might get rid of on land. Give yourself a whole new way of doing exercise, with Aqua Zumba.
Hula hooping not only raises your heart rate but firms up your abs and core muscles, and can lead to that flat stomach you’ve always wanted!
Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE