We all know exercise is an absolutely essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, we’re just as familiar with the benefits of exercise as we are with ways to procrastinate hitting the gym! And let’s face it: boredom is one of the main reasons we skip our “daily” (read: monthly) run or early-morning spin class. Luckily, getting fit doesn’t mean we’re confined to logging miles on a treadmill. Unconventional workouts like rock climbing or Zumba classes are more popular than ever! Here are six of our favorite ways to work out without setting foot in a traditional gym.
Image: Matchbook Magazine
Written by Kathryn Leahy
Indoor Wall Climbing
You may remember visiting these facilities for friends’ birthday parties years ago. And now, if you take rock climbing more seriously as an exercise, you’ll reap muscular and cardiovascular benefits —plus the sheer enjoyment you felt as a kid!
Image: Avax News
Zumba and other dance classes
Who says exercise has to be monotonous? Bust a move and try joining a dance or Zumba class. And fear not: you don’t need to have the slightest amount of skill or experience to join a beginner class! For added fun, bring along your significant other or best friend.
Image: Ripped & Fit
Bike around town
When the weather permits, ditch your car as often as possible and hop onto your bike! If you work close to home, set your alarm a bit earlier to allow yourself more time for the commute. If work is a bit too far, ride into town for groceries or on fun outings with friends and family. Your body, the environment and your gas bill will all thank you.
Image: Matchbook Magazine
Sign up for fun runs with friends
Races like The Color Run and Color Me Rad make for a great workout and lasting memories. Sign up with a group of pals and prepare yourself for five kilometers of fun—and color! To celebrate your finish, the race is followed by entertainment, music and food. Plus, the runs are for a good cause: both give a percentage of the proceeds to local charities!
Go on a hike
Explore your local terrain by seeking out and taking on nearby trails. Pull on your hiking boots (regular athletic shoes should also do the trick for less intense endeavors), leave your phone at home and take a few hours to soak up nature and get in some solid exercise. Don’t forget to pack water and a few yummy snacks!
Do you happen to live near the coast—or a particularly boisterous lake?If so, try finding a surf instructor (or a skilled friend with an extra surfboard!) to give you some lessons. The sport is a great cardio workout that strengthens your balance as well as your core, back, shoulders and legs.
Image: Free People