We all know that if we will just commit to exercise 3-5 times a week, we will be healthier, happier individuals; yet it can be a real challenge just to find the motivation to lace up your Nikes. Why?
Maybe you are prone to choosing happy hour over training for the half marathon that’s on your bucket list.
Or, you do great for a week and then you find yourself on the couch binge watching Netflix.
Or life simply, seemingly gets too busy to make your health a priority.
If you are anything like me, sometimes I dread going to the gym. Not necessarily because I don’t want to work out, but because I prefer doing almost anything over a routine set on the machines.
Call me “easily distracted”, but mixing up a gym routine with other types of exercises is the only way for me to make fitness a lifestyle.
With all of these reasons, excuses, distractions, whatever you want to call them, we’ve been there. So in the spirit of Women’s Health Week, we have searched for socially centered, and out-of-the-box (or gym) activities that you WILL schedule, and involve friends and family in your fitness goals.
7 Fun and Social Ways to get Fit Outside of the Regular Gym!
- Indoor Rock Climbing. This is fantastic if you are in a state that experiences extreme heat or cold. In Arizona, the rock-climbing communities have been growing exponentially because of a few great rock climbing gyms and the ability to escape extreme summer heats. Enthusiasts have monthly memberships or packages where they can enjoy their favorite sport in an indoor environment. You do not have to be experienced to start, there are typically rock walls every skill level.
- You can also use rock gyms as a launching point for meeting new friends for practicing outdoors during the months when the weather beckons.
- Rock climbing is a full-body experience that engages mind and muscles. You are sure to never be bored, and if you give it a shot you WILL get hooked!
- Paddle Boarding. If you do not have your own paddle board or know someone who does, you can typically find a local spot for rentals. There are several ways to paddle board. You can paddle board on your knees, standing up or even doing yoga on a board for a creative core workout. Depending on where you live, paddle boarding classes may be available. Search for a local listing like Riverbound Sports here in AZ.
- Hiking Club. Hiking can bring you to some breathtaking views, so if you are going to work out, why not enjoy some gorgeous scenery? If you have a few friends who enjoy hiking and don’t mind researching trails, how much water and equipment to bring, difficulty level, elevation gain, etc, hiking can be a great group sport. If you aren’t prone to researching, aren’t directionally savvy, and don’t have any willing hiking buddies, join a hiking club through Facebook or meetup.com. Groups can be according to skill level, or may accept all skill levels. Different clubs might hike regularly or do a big annual hiking and camping trip to places like the Grand Canyon, or Zion National Park. If you are a beginner, always be sure to check the difficulty level and gear requirements before embarking on a trip, and never go alone.
- Aerial Yoga. Some people have a negative view of yoga because they picture in their mind a room full of people laying on their backs, or doing calming stretches, without any aerobic activity. There are many different types of yoga, vinyasa, Bikram, and restorative to name a few, with varying intensity levels. If you do a power yoga class, you will never complain of being board. Aerial yoga is another way to make yoga more challenging and fun! In an aerial yoga class, you will be suspended in a soft, aerial fabric hammock where you do yoga both in the air and on the ground in a safe learning environment. Bring a group of friends, or meet new friends in class.
- Surfboard Workout. Yes, you read that right. Cool, huh? Even though these classes do not necessarily teach you how to ride a surfboard in water, they still will give you a great workout. Surfset Fitness is a popular multi-location business that offers boards, lessons and classes. They are worldwide and you can see if they have a location near you by clicking here.
- Trapeze School. A trapeze school will definitely bring you to new heights! Swinging from one side to another can sound terrifying, but remember, safety nets and lots of training are involved at a good gym. Some classes want you to come in pairs because they will teach you to work together; this sounds like a great date idea or outing with friends!
- Join a Kickball Team. When I was teaching, I joined a kickball team for fun, and my students often made jokes about this. However, each time I brought in a gold medal from winning a championship they thought it was awesome! A kickball team can be a fun way to get out and burn some calories. Not to mention, you can make some great friendships, and games are SCHEDULED, so you are more likely to get your exercise in. There are leagues in every state, on various nights of the week so you can find a team that works with your schedule.
While these ideas are fun, keep in mind, it actually takes 66 days to change your life. Humans are naturally creatures of habit, and studies have shown that habits are created, not born. To find out more about the 66 days and habits, click here.
Don’t miss out on the 5 Crucial Mental Health Concerns for National Women’s Health Week.
We would love to hear from you! Are there any other ways you love to workout besides going to the gym?