It’s February, the month most of us get back to work and seriously consider finally getting those well-meaning New Year’s resolutions underway. Whatever your goal may be: getting fitter, losing weight, running a marathon, walking a little more each day, it needn’t be boring. Or gruelling.
We’ve compiled 15 simple, doable tips to help put the fun back into fitness – so you’ll more likely to actually keep this year’s fitness resolutions!
1. Bend, stretch, dance.
Why not take up something new such as yoga, Pilates or Zumba classes? Or even swing dancing? Many fitness centres offer dance classes specifically designed to sculpt and tone your body – they’re a lot of fun and you don’t need to be good at dancing to kick up your heels and really enjoy yourself.
2. Workout to the beat.
These days, there’s no shortage of technology to help you play music while you’re exercising. Load up your phone or MP3 player with upbeat, fast-paced music for running, walking or your gym session and a slower playlist for cooling down and stretching.
3. Exercise your eyes - and your body.
Instead of couch-surfing, why not jump on your exercycle while you’re watching TV? Chances are, you won’t even notice you’re exercising once you get stuck into a favourite programme. Or prop a book up on your exercycle – again, the distraction makes the daily workout a whole lot more fun.
4. Get out and about.
There’s no time like summer to mix up your exercise routines. Swap the gym routine for a walk, a bike ride or a swim (or all of those). Or try something new like stand-up paddleboarding - this is a challenging workout for your core.
5. Get together.
There’s nothing like exercising with a friend, co-worker or family member to get you motivated, share stories and goals and make exercise fun.
6. Record (and reward) yourself.
Having proof of your progress will boost your motivation, so keep records of your workouts and take pictures along the way (and share them on social media if you’re game). And reward your effort and your successes: even if it’s a healthy reward like a post-workout smoothie.
7. Reach new heights.
Rock climbing isn’t just fun, it’s challenging and a great way to get fit and toned without even realising it! There are plenty of indoor and outdoor climbing centres and clubs around New Zealand with a range of levels to suit beginners and experts.
8. Run (or walk) for a good cause.
Make your workout more enjoyable by setting a goal to train for a fundraising walk or run in your area. Even better, do it with friends, colleagues or family members so you’ll all feel more motivated (and doing good for others will make you feel better too).
9. Take a hike.
Not a gym bunny? Try going hiking, especially with friends. You’re not only getting great exercise, you can enjoy New Zealand’s awesome scenery and enjoy a chat along the way.
10. Try martial arts.
From karate to kung fu to tae kwon do, there’s a martial art out there to suit every level of fitness and know-how. You’ll get fitter, stronger and more flexible, learn some awesome moves, meet like-minded people and have more fun than you can imagine.
11. Bounce, skip & jump.
Jumping’s not just for kids! Did you know that using a skipping rope burns the same number of calories as running. Alternatively, hop to it and jump on a trampoline to build up your stamina and balance. Or even more fun, try a pogo stick. It’s easier on your joints than jumping on the ground, reduces stress and definitely increases your fun quota.
12. Hula hoop it.
Revisit your childhood and use a hula hoop for some serious abdominal-toning fun. They’re much cheaper to buy than most fancy ‘ab’ equipment and you can hula anywhere (even in front of the TV).
13. Doggone do it!
Don’t have a dog? Offer to walk one for a friend or neighbour. You’ll get fresh air, exercise and there’s nothing like a tail-wagging, leg-licking, walkies-loving furry friend to make exercising more fun.
14. Play like a kid.
Summer’s the perfect time to play tag, frisbee, hacky sack or jumping jacks. Jump around with the kids, hit the swings at the park, or how about a good, old-fashioned arm wrestle? You’ll not only release your inner child, you’ll get a good workout without even realising it.
Lighten up and get some health benefits at the same time. A good belly laugh is good exercise in itself so get those laugh lines moving any chance you can.
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