This year’s resolution to get in better shape is probably fading fast for most people. Though everyone means well when setting goals, they usually go for something that isn’t realistic or make too many changes at once. Even if your fitness goals are in line with your current level, a boring routine could prevent you from making progress.
If shaking up your workout means opting for the bike instead of the treadmill, it’s time for an exercise intervention. There are tons of ways to get your heart pumping and have fun at the same time. Make 2016 your fittest year yet by trying these eight great ways to get in shape.
Anyone who’s never tried snowboarding has always secretly wanted to try the sport. Whether you’ve stayed away because there aren’t any mountains in sight or you feel intimidated, it’s time to get over it. Book a trip to the closest slope and sign up for a class. The best way to really get the hang of things is to spend several days snowboarding, so don’t try to learn in a single day.
Once you’re carving a path down the mountain, you can really benefit your body. The twisting, turning, and holding will boost leg strength and help improve your balance. According to Health Fitness Revolution, you can burn anywhere between 250 and 630 calories per hour. Since most people spend hours on the slopes, that can lead to a pretty impressive total.
2. Mountain biking
The stationary bike can be a real bore. Besides, research indicates exercising outside is way better for your mood. Since you’re headed outside, you might as well take things a bit further by mountain biking. This heart-pounding exercise is a great way to work your legs and boost your endurance, particularly if you opt for a hilly route. According to the Houston Chronicle, a 155-pound person can torch 1,196 calories after two hours of mountain biking.
3. Rock climbing
The popularity of indoor climbing gyms has skyrocketed in recent years, making it easier than ever to get a start on rock climbing. Scaling walls is a great way to add some excitement to your fitness regimen and it’s even better for your body than you’d expect, strengthening just about every muscle group, particularly your legs. You can also burn between 500 and 900 calories per hour, according to Life by DailyBurn.
For the true experience, skip the gym completely. Getting started outside isn’t difficult, as long as you choose an experienced guide. They’ll get you set up with the proper equipment and teach you all the safety basics.
Another sport that’s seeing a popularity surge, boxing is a killer workout for your whole body. The Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services said a 155-pound person can burn 633 calories for an hour of sparring alone. Since workouts often include sparring, jumping rope, and punching a heavy bag, you’ll really challenge your body over the course of a workout.
Forget everything you thought you knew about gymnastics because the moves these athletes perform are far more difficult than anything you do in the weight room. Need proof? Check out these eight exercises featured on Men’s Health. Such workouts also tend to be the most beneficial for everyday life because they involve strength training, conditioning, and working on flexibility.
Total newcomers should sign up for a class. Fortunately, there are offerings specifically designed for adults at many gyms. These professionals are used to working with people at all levels, so don’t be embarrassed if flexibility is an issue.
Whether your home town is frigid or pleasantly toasty right now, it’s likely you have access to an ice rink. Simply lacing up some skates and hitting the ice is a good way to add some extra movement to your day. When you really want to up the intensity, though, give hockey a try. This is another sport that’s pretty popular with adults, meaning you can find plenty of leagues in just about any locale.
Exactly how good of a workout you get will depend mostly on the intensity of a game, so being competitive is an advantage in this case. With that in mind, HealthStatus’s calorie calculator predicted a 175-pound man can burn around 640 calories playing for one hour.
Perhaps not the most obvious choice when you’re looking to get fit, paddle-boarding is a fantastic choice for those who love the water. It’s less intimidating than surfing, which really requires a fair amount of practice before you can do much more than get thrashed by waves. It’s also a surprisingly good workout, challenging your arms, legs, and core.
Even paddling at a relaxed pace can burn 305 to 430 calories per hour, according to Stand Up Paddle World Magazine. If you’re at the beach with friends, try a little friendly competition. You’ll get your heart pumping even more.
We could all do with a little less stress in our lives. Since it’s unlikely your job will suddenly become a lot more relaxed or your schedule any less packed, you might want to consider a workout that helps you blow off steam. MMA is about as good as it gets in that department. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Rickson Gracie told Men’s Fitness mixed martial arts teach you how to maintain control during stressful situations.
As for the physical benefits, FitDay suggested a 175-pound male can burn more than 700 calories per hour engaging in various types of martial arts. You’ll also develop coordination and sports-specific skills. If you thrive on competition, you might want to look into signing up for some amateur competitions in your area.