Each year thousands of people start with the best of intentions and join a gym. Yet most of those people will only go to the gym a few times before they get bored, and their goal of loosing weight and becoming more fit fails as they have lost their motivation. A lot of people feel like they are putting so much effort into their exercise but not getting much in return. This causes them to loose the motivation they originally had as they feel it’s not fun any more and it feels like hard work. On top of the disappointment of not managing to stick to an exercise plan, there is the additional frustration at the money wasted on paying for the gym membership.
The most common reason for people loosing motivation is that they simply start to get bored. If you find exercise fun you are more likely to stick with it and reach your fitness goals. It’s for this reason that many people are seeking an alternative to the gym, but with so many options out there where do you start. I have put together my favorite ways to stay in shape to help you get started.
You may not have skipped since you were at school but it is actually a fantastic way to burn calories and shed a few pounds, (you can burn up to 300 calories in 30 mins). It also provides a great workout for your shoulders, thighs, calves and bottom as well as being a good cardio workout. Even if you haven’t skipped for yours it shouldn’t take you too long to pick it up again and with a bit a practice you’ll be surprised at how good you get.
Skipping is a really versatile workout, all you need is a rope, some supportive shoes (tennis shoes are good) and somewhere to skip. You can skip pretty much anywhere insite our outside. It is best to avoid skipping on concreate or any surface where you could injure yourself if you were to fall. Grass, carpet and wood make good skipping surfaces.
Begin by practicing skipping on the spot. When you can manage 70 skips in a minute then you are ready to move on and try out some of the more fun and advanced moves. If you can’t remember them, here are a few to refresh you memory:
This is one fo the more basic advanced moves and a great one to move onto when you have got your skipping to to speed. Jump forwards then backwards as you skip. This move will do wonders for your thighs.
This move it great for working you abs. As you skip simply pull up your legs.
When you have got the hang of the moves above then you will find it easier to master some of the more advanced moves. A good one to start with is double-unders. For this move you need to pass the rope around your body two times for each jump.
As the name suggests, in crossovers you have to cross over your arms while the rope passes over your head. As the rope does this you jump though the space that is left.
Pole fitness is becoming more and more popular as a way to work out and get in shape. The sleazy stripper image is long gone and pole fitness is now thought of as a type of gymnastics. It is a great method of building up your strength and giving your muscles a good workout. To get started you will need a pole. There are a wide range of pole dancing poles on the market today to suit every budget and level of ambition. The x-pole dance poles very easy to put up and are probably the most popular choice across Europe and the US. Once you have installed your pole you are ready to get started and there are lots of free lessons on YouTube. There are also lots of pole dancing DVDs that will take you from beginner level to advanced. Just remember to take it at your own place, some of the moves can be difficult to master. Make sure you put your safety first and stay inside your comfort zone.
This is a fantastic zero impact workout and considered by many to be the best exercises you can do. It is much gentler on your body than jogging and running that can damage your joints and tendons. If you think about it why would you pay good money to sit on an exercise bike in a gym going nowhere, when you could be riding through the countryside taking in the scenery. If you are nervous about riding on roads in the city or countryside then get a mountain bike and enjoy cycling in parkland and countryside trails.
Dance games like the renowned Dance Dance Revolution provide a fun way for you to exercise and keep your motivation. They are especially good as you can compete against your friends and family so it won’t even feel like your working out. Most dance mat games let you select from a range of music. It can be a lot harder than it looks and will take a lot of practice to master. But most games will have beginner levels, so you can start off slow and work your wau up to learning the faster paced songs
This article was written by Caitlin, a fitness fanatic who hates the gym with a passion and writes for . When she is not blogging she can most often be found spinning upside down on her X-Pole Xpert