7 Fun Ways to Stay Fit Without the Gym

Let’s be honest, no one classifies the gym as fun. It can be rewarding and social, but never fun. There is nothing truly enjoyable about running on a treadmill for 45 minutes or busting out a full set of bicep curls while other men breathe down your neck. Maybe this is why it can be so tough to stick to a fitness routine. If you don’t truly enjoy doing something, you’re more apt to make excuses to skip it every chance you get. There are plenty of ways to stay fit without the gym, many of which you probably already know of: hiking, biking, running, rec sports, and so on. Before you give up and resign yourself to another day at the gym, check out these unique, strangely unusual, and totally fun ways to stay fit without dedicating your life to the gym.

1. Acro yoga

Aerial yoga, exercise

Source: iStock

Acro yoga combines traditional yoga, acrobatics, and healing arts together into one, very fun package. The practice involves two people, one who acts as the base and one as the flyer. The base lifts the flyer into the air and has to hold and balance them, a job that gives your abs, legs, and arms a noticeable work out. The flyer also has to maintain balance as they rest on the base’s feet and often get into traditional yoga poses while in the air. Both partners get a great workout, a deep stretch, and a lesson in trust. Sounds too extreme? It isn’t. There are acro yoga classes and workshops all over the country, with great teachers that create a fun, social, and physically challenging atmosphere. Flying solo? Most people are. Meet and swap around partners in the class.

2. Video games

Source: Nintendo

Gamers rejoice! You can get fit from home, by utilizing your game console. Some of the best options are Wii Fit Plus with over 40 types of training activities to appeal to fitness newbies and exercise pros. Xbox 360 offers Your Shape: Fitness Evolved which measures your body type, weight, and exercise habits so that you can great a fitness routine that is perfect for you. From Tai Chi to yoga, this game will keep you moving. Other high-rated games include EA Sports Active 2, Dance Central, and The Biggest Loser challenges and workouts.

3. Parkour

This form of exercise and play is growing in popularity. Parkour is the act of overcoming obstacles to move from one place to another with ease. Parkour uses running, jumping, swinging, and climbing to move the body from one place to another. It can be done anywhere from playgrounds to buildings to trees. There is no right or wrong way to do things, but one thing is certain, parkour works out your entire body. Check out this video to get a feel for the movement, then look up parkour groups in your area and give it a try.

4. Rock climbing

rock climbing, bouldering

Source: iStock

Rock climbing may be one of the most physically demanding activities you can do. It can be done indoors at a climbing gym or outdoors in the mountains. This sport is unique in that it combines strength, flexibility, cardio, and intense mental challenge. Rock climbing requires significant upper body strength, while the core and legs are used to help find balance. Several different muscle groups must be engaged keeping your body guessing. In addition, rock climbing is a complete mental workout as it requires you to navigate the route, make snap decisions, and solve problems.

5. Dancing

You may have watched Dancing with the Stars and been impressed, but it takes confidence to go to a dancing class, especially alone. The benefits of dancing easily outweigh the fear you’ll have to overcome to try it. Dancing is a great workout and it helps reduce stress, meet new people, and increase flexibility. There is something invigorating about learning a new skill, and whether you’re interest is in salsa, swing, ballet, or jazz, there is nothing sexier than a man who can move on the dance floor.

6. Slacklining

Source: Thinkstock

This activity is similar to tight rope walking that Philippe Petit infamously performed between the Twin Towers in the ’70s. The nylon slackline is stretched tightly between two points so that it lies a few feet from the ground (you can forget about skyscrapers for now). The fun comes from stepping on the line and giving your balance a try. Balancing on a rope engages all your muscles to ensure you distribute your weight evenly, which is required to successfully find your balance. Your core will be utilized to limit excess movements and the mental focus required will give your brain a workout along with your body.

7. Martial arts

In addition to helping you protect yourself, martial arts provide one hell of a workout. Karate strengthens and tones the upper body, tae kwon do focuses more on leg strength through kicking, kung fu requires intense cardio and aerobatics to evade your opponent, while judo leverages the opponent’s weight and strength to defend yourself. No matter what your inclination, all forms of martial arts improve muscle tone and strength, while improving posture, flexibility, and agility. What’s not to love?

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