Make Fitness FunIf you find yourself in an exercise rut after one too many workouts on a stationary bike or treadmill, it’s time to make fitness fun.

Introducing some new physical activities into your exercise routine could be just the thing you need to make working out something you look forward to rather than dread.  It could also be the difference between upping your fitness level and losing those extra pounds, or giving up on exercise altogether and gaining back the weight you’ve worked so hard to lose.

Following are four activities for you to try.  Not only will each and every one of them make fitness fun again, they will help you drop pounds and inches as you tone up muscles you may never even have known existed.

Activities that Make Fitness Fun:

1) Zumba

We’ve all seen those late night ads on TV promoting Zumba workout DVDs.  What you may be surprised to learn is that not only is it a whole lot of fun, Zumba also provides an excellent workout that will tone every muscle in your body.  While Zumba can be done at home, I recommend you sign up for at least one class.  Do this and I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be hooked.

You may think you’ll be too shy to really let yourself go in front of a roomful of people and “dance like nobody’s watching”, but once the music starts up most people find themselves shimmying, hip-hopping and sambaing with the best of them.   Zumba is exercise in disguise, which to me is fitness fun at its best.

A quick glance around the room during a Zumba class will reveal that nobody cares what anyone else is doing, so there’s no need to feel embarrassed if your technique is less than perfect.  The other participants will be too busy having fun to notice and you, too, will soon find yourself caught up in the atmosphere.  With all the smiling, happy faces and cheering and clapping that goes on, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re at a rock concert rather than an exercise class.

By the end of the session you’ll be on an emotional high.  You will also be sweating from having burned off anywhere between 500 and 700 calories, and up to 1,000 calories as you become used to the pace and put more effort into your workouts.

2) Ice Skating

Ice skating is another activity that makes fitness fun.  Whilst thought of as a winter sport, indoor ice skating rinks mean ice skating can be done year round.  If you’re new to it, you may want to take along a friend or go as part of a group.  There’ll be plenty of laughs and giggles, but within ten minutes of taking to the ice you will feel your muscles working, especially your glutes and thigh muscles.

Ice skating is an excellent aerobic exercise that improves coordination as it strengthens and tones.  There’s little doubt you will fall over at first, but you won’t be the only one and that’s all part of the fun.  Stick with it, and as you become more confident your technique will improve.  As a result, you will fall less and get a better workout.

Taking a beginner’s class if you are new to ice skating will enable you to progress at a faster rate than you will by just going it alone.  The focus of these classes is on how to keep balance and maintain good posture.  You will also be taught how to fall and how to get back up again when you do.  One hour of ice skating will burn between 500 and 750 calories.

3) Indoor Rock Climbing

Though it may appear that upper body strength is necessary to rock climb, when executed correctly it’s the leg muscles that are used the most during this activity.  Yes, your arms will get a workout and, beginners especially, will feel the burn in their upper back, deltoids, biceps, triceps and abs, but as you become more accomplished you will get used to pushing up with your thighs, rather than pulling yourself up with your arms.

Rock climbing challenges the mind as well as the body.  It’s the ideal workout for adrenaline junkies who will enjoy the challenge of overcoming their nerves and making their way to the top of a sheer, vertical wall.  If this sounds like you, why not give it a try!?  Though it may look dangerous, this is not the case.  You will be securely strapped into a harness, so safety won’t not be an issue.

It’s estimated that experienced indoor rock climbers can burn around 700 calories per hour while climbing, but keep in mind it will take some time to get to that level of fitness and proficiency.

4) Pole Dancing

Pole dancing could just be the ultimate in fitness fun, at least as far as the male of the species is concerned.  On the other hand, most males don’t view it as exercise, but as something alluring and seductive women do to entice guys.  Be that as it may, one look at the toned muscles of anyone who regularly pole dances will reveal that it is one tough workout.

Pole dance regularly and you will  trim down as you work your arm, core and thigh muscles.  A further benefit to pole dancing is that it is said to impart a sense of confidence and help women conquer mental and emotional hurdles.  Don’t let this fool you into thinking pole dancing is only for girls though.  Guys can do it too, and many do.

If you are a beginner, at first it will be hard to even lift yourself onto the pole, but within minutes you will know exactly which muscles are being used.  Give it a half hour or so though and you will be spinning, climbing (okay, maybe an inch or two, but it still counts!) and body rolling for all you’re worth.

A one hour pole dancing workout will burn between 320 and 580 calories.

These are just four of many ways you can make fitness fun.   Stay tuned, as I will be posting more ways to make fitness fun soon.

NB The number of calories expended during exercise depends upon a wide range of factors including age, weight, fitness level, resting metabolic weight and the intensity and duration of the workout.

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