You've Got Options
As stated earlier, exercise need not be boring. So choose something that you find fun and exciting – that way, you won’t lose interest easily. The options are so many, choose what you like and can sustain. The range includes – using a simple jumping rope, weight training, treks and hikes, rowing, salsa, jive, ballroom dancing, cycling , stationary bicycling, prevents muscle and bone loss, Parkour, Pilates, Tae Kwon Do, Tai chi, kickboxing, karate, judo, Yoga and
Walk, Jog or Run
It’s easy on the pocket and exercises all body parts. It increases stamina and prevents muscle and bone loss. Caveats include taking shorter strides, landing on your mid-foot and working the diaphragm (and your chest) to breathe. Also, make sure you’ve got the right shoes on. The treadmill alternative works well if you prefer the privacy a gym offers.
If you’re a water babe, this is the way to go. Besides, its health benefits are unbelievable. Research has shown that just floating or even standing in water can help the heart function better. Swimming has good aerobic function and does not cause undue strain to muscles and joints. So get a great-looking swimsuit and dive in!
Cycling or Stationary Bicycling
Cycling tones your leg muscles and has good cardiovascular benefits. Take the stationary option if you’ve forgotten how you balanced on a cycle as a kid.
Salsa, jive, aerobic and even ballroom – all dance forms work well for the body as they involve most major bone and muscle groups. It doesn’t even have to be a formal dance form actually. A 30-minute free-style dance in your living room accompanied with the right music is good too. But doing it in groups has other benefits - dance is also a confidence booster and amazing outlet for your social skills.
Another form of aerobic exercise that works the legs, abdomen, arms, buttocks and back. In terms of calorie loss, rowing ranks higher than other forms of aerobic exercise.
Treks and hikes
Not only is this outdoor activity a lot of fun, it comes with its own health benefits too! Occasional trips up a mountain carrying hiking gear on your back with a friend in tow – it’s a good break for body, mind and spirit.
It improves muscular and cardiovascular strength; it involves muscles like the legs, thighs, calves, stomach, upper body and arms. It also helps maintain the body’s stability and balance. Get the right rope size; don’t land too hard; and keep your shoulders relaxed as you jump your way to health.
This form of anaerobic activity is strictly for those who wish to build body mass. There are weights designed to exercise specific body parts – so work out a schedule with your trainer before you decide to start pumping iron.
Yoga combines breathing, posture correction and meditation to deliver physical and mental health. It’s a slow process but, at the same time, makes demands on physical endurance and stretching abilities. Yoga also lowers stress levels and keeps you in high spirits throughout the day.
Regular team sports – football, cricket, squash, rugby, badminton, volleyball – are also good workouts. You don’t have to follow the rules, really. Just break into a sweat, and have fun!
Tae Kwon Do, Tai chi, kickboxing, karate, judo – these and so many more forms of martial art are high on intensity and require strict discipline and form. So you can’t avoid getting into shape meanwhile. It increases flexibility, channels inner strength and, sometimes, also involves a spiritual aspect.
Pilates is a very popular system of exercise and it can be done by all ranges of people, even seniors and pregnant women. It revolves around core strength training, torso ability and mat work. The famed six principles of Pilates are – Centering, Concentration, Control, Precision, Breath and Flow.
Parkour, free-running, or the ‘art of movement’ is about doing a specific route and clearing all obstacles along the way in the most efficient way possible (it will include running, jumping, and climbing). The key is to adapt one’s movements to the environment. It’s fun, stylish and exciting, but beware – parkour needs a LOT of practice and expert training. Or you could end up hurting yourself badly.