Mix it up
Bored with your same old gym routine? Doing an activity that’s both physical and fun, such as dancing or indoor rock climbing, is a super way to get in shape and stay motivated to exercise. “When a physical activity has fun aspects you’re more likely to make it a habit because it doesn’t feel like exercise,” says Ottawa exercise specialist Jennifer Greger. “Trying a new activity will also work your body and your cardiovascular system in a different way than your regular routine so you’ll see better results, especially if you do it at least twice a week.”
Whether you want to kick off a brand-new fitness regimen or add a little variety to your current routine, you’ll have a blast while burning calories with these eight fun activities.
If you like to dance, you’ll love Zumba. This aerobic workout blends choreographed footwork and body movements from salsa, merengue, flamenco and other dances to sculpt your body and burn fat. When you’re grooving to the spicy Latin beats during a Zumba class you won’t even realize that you’re toning your abs, thighs, glutes and arms. Find a class near you or go on Youtube and try Zumba at home.
This 1950s craze is no longer just child’s play. Hula-hooping, or “hooping,” has re-emerged as a great cardio workout to slim your waist, hips, buttocks and thighs while toning your abdominals and lower back muscles. Hooping can be done indoors or out, on your own or with a group in a class setting.
To get started, you’ll need the right hoop, preferably a heavy, large one that is about waist high, says Montreal hula hoop instructor Rebecca Halls. “The children’s hoops sold in toy stores are too small and light.” Here’s the basic technique: hold the hoop at your waist, keeping your legs shoulder- or hip-width apart. With one foot in front of the other and your knees bent, spin the hoop around your waist, using small back and forth or side-to-side movements.