Admit it: Exercising is a chore. Even if you're a fitness buff, there are times when you have to drag your feet just to get through a strength training session. It becomes particularly draining when you're sticking with a boring and monotonous routine.
The thing is, working out doesn't have to make you miserable. Exercising comes in all shapes and forms, so if you dread a particular type of exercise, there are hundreds of others that you can replace it with. If you're not into running, then don't do it. If you don't like using exercise machines, then by all means, cut off your gym membership.
The important thing is to find something that works for you. After all, exercising is all about moving your body, so here are some unconventional and fun workouts that you might want to try this year. You'll sweat a lot, but that smile won't leave your face.
12 Roller Skating
You may associate roller skating with those good old days when you would go to a skating rink with friends, but that doesn't mean that you've already outgrown it. Instead of doing your usual jog around the neighborhood, why not put on your skates and hit the pavements? You don't need a skating rink because you can do it anywhere that has a smooth and steady surface.
It also has tons of health benefits, such as strengthening the heart, protecting the joints, and improving balance, agility, endurance, and coordination. An average 150-pound woman burns 450 calories in just an hour of skating—roughly equivalent to the calories you burn during jogging.
Dancing is a classic but always a goody. There are so many dance classes that you can engage in, from hip-hop and Zumba to barre and ballroom dancing. These dance classes incorporate a wide variety of whole body movements that help you achieve balance, coordination, power, flexibility, strength, core stability, and aerobic fitness.
If you don't have time to attend these classes, simply turn up the volume on your radio and make your own choreography. You can do it on your own or you can invite your friends to dance with you. There are also many YouTube channels that feature tutorials of the latest hit single's dance moves.
Speedminton is a cross between tennis, badminton, and racquetball minus the walls and nets. You beat a speeder back and forth using lightweight racquets. The speeder, which looks like the birdie used in badminton, also glows at night, so you can play it with friends even when it's already dark.
It's a great cardio activity that tones the same areas that tennis does—arms, back, and legs. It also helps enhance hand-eye coordination. An hour of playing Speedminton burns a whopping 400 calories.
You can play Speedminton almost anywhere—at the park, beach, or even in your driveway. Just use a chalk to draw a court of sorts.
This Brazilian art form with African roots combines dance, martial arts, acrobatics, and music to create a unique workout experience. However, it is not advisable for beginners as it requires a great deal of strength and flexibility to bust out some complicated high kicks, spins, and punches.
Nevertheless, if you're ready for a challenging workout, capoeira just might be what you're looking for. It improves upper body and core strength, as many of the moves engage the abs and arms. The quick movements also increase stamina, enhance breathing and blood flow, develop balance, build flexibility, and promote hand and eye coordination.
8 AntiGravity Yoga
Also known as aerial yoga, AntiGravity Yoga is great for those who are looking to level up their yoga practice. It combines yoga, calisthenics, and Pilates with aerial moves done on a hammock-like apparatus, thus suspending you in mid-air.
It helps you achieve proper body alignment by lengthening your spine, thus providing relief to back pain. But aside from decompressing the spine, AntiGravity Yoga also helps increase strength and flexibility while bringing you greater awareness of your body. It helps you achieve the mind and body connection that you get with yoga, only so much more because of the different exercise styles combined.
Kayaking allows you to get in touch with nature while also getting your calories burned. The focus is on sculpting your upper body since pulling the paddle against the water provides great resistance training. It targets your shoulders, back, triceps, biceps, and core.
If you're adventurous, you can try kayaking on whitewater for an exhilarating activity. However, if you're looking to have a peaceful workout, try sea kayaking. It's just inches above the water and gives you a good vantage point for viewing abundant sea life.
One hour of kayaking burns as much as 340 calories. It's the perfect summer outdoor activity that will blast away your fats.
6 Wii Fit
Whoever thought that video games can help you achieve your fitness goals? Nintendo's Wii Fit allows you to virtually play all your favorite sports, while also engaging in a workout session right in your living room. But the great thing about Wii Fit is that you're able to track your progress, personalize your workout, and know how many calories you burned.
Many Wii Fit activities are targeted at core strengthening and balance, so if these are areas that you want to improve, a video game may be the perfect solution for you. Wii Fit also features other games like strength training, aerobics, and yoga.
5 Jumping On A Trampoline
Who needs jumping jacks when you can jump on a trampoline? Many trampoline gyms are popping up everywhere, taking advantage of the fact that trampoline jumping burns calories while also providing you with loads of fun. You can also set up your own home trampoline if you have enough space in your house.
But if you think you'll easily get bored bouncing up and down, then you might want to engage in a full-body trampoline workout lasting for 20 minutes. A total body strengthening workout should incorporate a variety of jumps like straight jumps, pike jumps, jumping jacks, seat drops, and hands-and-knees drops.
4 Ballet Barre
Barre exercises are ballet-inspired workouts usually performed by dancers as a warm-up technique. Don't worry if you don't have any ballet experience; tap shoes, leotards, and fancy footwork are not required. Most moves, like planks, push-ups, and a series of arm exercises, don't need exercise gears as they use your body weight, but you can level up your moves by using resistance bands.
Barre boasts of multiple fitness benefits, such as enhancing strength, improving mind and body concentration, increasing endurance, and burning calories. Since you're targeting multiple muscle groups at once, you can be sure that you're burning a lot of calories and building lean muscle mass. It can even reduce the appearance of cellulite.
3 Water Exercises
If you have a pool, swimming is not the only exercise that you can do. You may also take part in many water-based fitness activities, such as aqua Zumba, water jogging, and water aerobics. Aside from the weightless feeling of defying gravity, water exercises provide low-impact cardio fitness that's great for individuals of all ages and for maintaining your fitness level even when you're injured.
The viscosity of water also makes it a natural weight-training and resistance machine. If you want to increase resistance to further tone your muscles, you can use water fitness equipment like webbed gloves, floats, and buoyancy belts.
2 Hula Hooping
If you want an intense ab workout without doing the usual crunches and sit-ups, then you should try hula hooping. According to a recent study by the American Council on Exercise, intermediate-level hula hooping can burn as many calories per minute as step aerobics or brisk walking. That's around 420 to 600 calories per hour.
Hula hooping can tone your abs, back, arms, and legs, and at the same time improve your balance and flexibility. But if you want to experience maximum benefits, don't just buy any kiddie hula hoop that you find in the toy store. Invest a grown-up weighted hoop that's a bit heavier than the toy and definitely more challenging to use.
1 Pole Dancing
Want to try something wild? Unleash the wild child within you with pole dancing workouts, which allows you to embrace your inner sexiness while toning your body at the same time. It strengthens almost every muscle in your entire body because you are always moving, hence making pole dancing a great cardio and isometric exercise. It also helps improve balance, joint mobility, and flexibility, hence minimizing the risk of sprains, stiff neck, back pain, and muscle soreness.
With just 30 minutes of pole dancing, you can burn as many calories as you would doing aerobics and calisthenics for the same duration.