There are so many more ways to get fit without going to the gym! If you don’t enjoy spending hours on a treadmill or you’re looking for a bit of cross training to add to your regular workout schedule, check out these fun ways to get fit without ever stepping foot in a gym. You’ll have so much fun doing these that you won’t even realise you’re working out.
If you love the beach and the sea why not give surfing or bodyboarding a go. All you’ll need is some kind of surfboard and a wet suit and you’re ready to get out there and ride the waves. The reality is you’ll be paddling in the sea more than you will be catching waves but this is great for your upper body strength, legs and core and you’ll increase your cardiovascular fitness too – and perhaps unleash your inner mermaid…. Surfing burns around 200 calories an hour and if you really enjoy it and want to get better, you can take some lessons, which most surf shops run.
This isn’t just a sport that you’ve left behind at school all those years ago, netball is a legitimate way to get fit and have fun at the same time. If you’re the competitive type, join a netball team (there are loads of Back to Netball groups that will get you back into the sport with drills and tactics if you need a refresher) with some friends and relive your youth. Netball is a fast paced and intensive sport and even though it’s no contact, anyone who has played it will know that this doesn’t mean the opposing team can’t hold onto your skirt and other dirty tricks to throw you off! You’ll be working all of your leg muscles, arm muscles and it’s a great interval training session sprinting for the ball or to get away from the opposition. If you’re going to try this out I’d highly recommend doing some ankle strengthening exercises as you’ll be changing directions frequently and want them to be in tip top shape to avoid injury.
Foxes and hounds
This used to be one of my favourite games as a child, and no animals are harmed which is even better! Not just for children, this game is essentially a more intense version of hide and seek but on a bigger scale. One team are the ‘foxes’ and another team are the ‘hounds’ and the foxes have to evade capture by the hounds. I promise you’ll have so much fun, a must try for a group camping trip for sure.
Music can’t help but make you want to move especially if you’re listening to some up beat songs and the best part is you can do it anywhere, your bedroom, in a large field surrounded by festival goers, at a club or an actual dance class. You know what they say, dance like nobody’s watching, and burn those calories, whatever shapes you want to throw, and if you’re throwing some particularly fierce shapes, you can burn up to around 300 calories per hour.
Not just for the pros, tennis is a great way to get fit and pretend that you’re Roger Federer. It can also increase your cardiovascular fitness, improve your hand-eye coordination as well as strengthening your legs and arms. Tennis can burn around 600 calories in an hour which is not to be sniffed at in comparison to other forms of cardio. There are loads of tennis courts, usually in local parks, where you can hire rackets and balls where you can practice your best backhand and overhead serves to your hearts content.
Another game which isn’t just to be left behind in your childhood, rounders is a great summer game with a group of friends and all you’ll need are 4 jumpers (bases), a bat and ball and you’re all set. If you particularly enjoy this game, there are rounders clubs that you can join and attend competitive events, or you can just stick to family gatherings and parties, the choice is yours.
Seeing the look of pure joy on your furry friend’s face when you’re exploring somewhere new is priceless. You don’t have to limit your walks to pounding the pavement daily with your dog, take them to the great outdoors and explore dog friendly beaches, woodland areas and rivers where you can let them roam free and have fun. My Labrador isn’t much of a chase-a-ball-and-retrieve it kind of dog (despite her heritage, she’ll mostly run off with it or you’ll have to wrestle it from her jaws) but she does love to explore and she goes wild over new places to sniff and run off into.
So there you have it, some great ways to have fun and burn those calories at the same time. I’d love to hear some of the ways you keep fit without stepping foot in the gym.