Fitness for Fun: Alternative Fitness Activities That Work

Are you one of those people who think that losing weight and keeping fit needs to be done at a rigorous pace and with a totally competitive mindset? Are you struggling with your weight loss program because of this kind of thinking? Are you almost drained of your last ounces of hope that you will ever get fit?

If you’re just beginning to start your fitness journey, or even if you’re already going but feeling a bit burnt out, then you might be approaching fitness all wrong. Getting fit shouldn’t make you feel like you’re in a boot camp. It should be enjoyable, and that’s where fitness for fun comes into the picture.

A lot of people who are overweight, or have health and fitness issues, may not be suitable for those in-gym workouts that are very rigorous and require a lot of correct technique. In fact the gym is just not an enjoyable experience for some people. Lifestyle, like working in an office setting where you don’t have the opportunity for a lot of physical activity, may have also taken over and quite frankly the hours that are being worked aren’t compatible with long sessions in the gym. The good news is that, there are alternative fitness options readily available.

First off, fitness for fun is an easy way to start getting back in to shape. Just because it’s fun it doesn’t mean that it isn’t working. Alternative fitness activities are far from the dumb bell curls that you normally do at the gym, think pillow fights, sports, rock climbing, hiking and the list goes on and on. I hear you say that doesn’t fitness have to be structured? In my opinion alternative fitness doesn’t have to be structured at all, the further from structured the better, as then it won’t feel like work at all!

How do you get back to that fitness for fun mentality? The best place to start is to just remember your younger days. Was there a sport that you enjoyed playing? Did you love to dance back then? Where you a cheerleader once in your life? Why not go back to those activities. Playing a sport that you once loved can be the furthest thing on your mind if your current fitness status is on the downside. However if you just get started you’ll be amazed at the support you will get and that in itself will help you go in the right direction and on the road again to regaining your fitness and health. You’ll also have that super benefit of burning those calories while you play. Remember just to be patient with yourself as you might struggle at first, but you’ll eventually start to feel that you’re getting better at it and before you know it you’ll be back to your old form and shape. It is never too late to take that first step. You could invite your old buddies to play with you as extra incentive and then it’s even more fun as it’s an excuse for a catch up as well, or you can join a local club if none of your buddies are still playing. There are many age clubs around that welcome players with our without experience. I know that for a fact as I’m now at 40 starting to seriously to consider taking up soccer in the local women’s team for the first time in my life to add some more fun into my fitness program.

It’s the same with dancing. When did you last dance? Most women nowadays prefer to join fitness clubs that offer dance classes as part of their fitness for fun programs. There’s a wide variety of dances that you can choose from like belly dancing, pole dancing, and Latin dancing just to name a few. Jazz and Ballroom dancing are also popular choices. This is a great way to learn a new skill and burn those calories at the same time.

Other alternative fitness activities would include playing Frisbee at the park, or learning how to swim, cycling, and even hauling logs with your bare hands. Why not? It’s a great way to keep you fit.

Anything can be fitness when we just stop thinking of fitness in the traditional sense of the word and open our eyes to all the possibilities around us. The best place to start? Just look through the eyes of a child, don’t take yourself seriously, laugh put a skip in your step and go from there.

Healthy Walking For Fitness and Fun

Here is another exercise designed to keep you out of a gym. In fact walking away from the gym and putting as much distance as possible between you and it is good.

Good old fashioned walking is still one of the best keep fit activities there is. This is what the Human frame was originally designed for. That design has not changed – our lifestyle has! The experts tell us that to keep fit a healthy body should take ten thousand steps a day for a woman and for a man it should be twelve thousand steps. How many of us complete anything like that many in an average day? To give you an idea of how many steps that is, if you walk briskly with a slightly lengthened step, you will make thirty every fifteen seconds, sixty every half minute, one hundred and twenty every minute and a half hour energetic walk will give you three thousand five hundred toward your target.

The best time to walk is early morning which, in addition to being invigorating, enables you to enjoy the freshness of the air, Natures’ sounds of the coming day and of course you know that you will not be sharing it with too many other folks – so a good time to think and make plans for your day.

Where to walk? Well, once again, I’m sure our ‘maker’, when designing our extremely complex body, did not have concrete in mind! Because for the remainder of the day you will probably be walking on hard surfaces, for your health’s sake take your morning walk on a grassy surface or, if you live by the sea, walk on sand. Sand is the best surface ever. Because of its giving nature it works many more muscles in your legs – giving your legs a better workout. If you are lucky enough to be walking on sand, please please take off your footwear and walk barefoot. Feel the sand on the soles of your feet, the sea water around your toes and ankles and revel in Natures free gifts. And remember, as we are all children of Mother Earth, she likes to kiss the soles of our feet when she can.

If you study other people walking you will see many banging their heels into the ground as they walk. The resulting jarring effect up the spine from this heel contact is huge and over a lifetime can contribute to spinal and back problems. Take your weight forward just a little and lengthen your step slightly so you can feel the tension in your lower back muscles as your leg reaches the end of its travel. You will also find this takes weight off your heels and reduces the impact with the ground. Slightly spring off the balls of your feet. This will help to stretch and flex those long muscles at the back of your thighs and calves and strengthen your lower back muscles in the process. Practice this and you will find that your walking will become smoother, more comfortable, graceful and much more enjoyable. You will also find that that little spring in your step will produce more energy and create a better feeling of well being in you.

Back to how many steps you would take in a day. Technology can be of assistance here in that you can buy a pedometer which will register every step you take. You can buy one that registers your steps only, for a few dollars, or you can go all the way and get one that tells you how many calories you have burned and what you had for breakfast for around thirty dollars. Whichever one you get, you strap it to your waist band for the day and it will tell you exactly how many steps you have made. It is a great motivating tool in that it encourages you to find additional ways to add more steps to your daily routine.

For example, park your car further from the shops, park in the parking spot farthest from the supermarket (this also reduces the possibility of contact from other vehicles and shopping trolleys), take the steps instead of the escalator, walk down to the corner store, meet a friend and walk with them, join a walking club. These are all incentives to walk more and once they become a habit you will find that you will increase your daily number of steps quite easily, ultimately reach your target and of course, gain all the health benefits that will accrue – you will be amazed at how your fitness increases and how much better you will feel. So, get walking and enjoy.