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5 alternatives to the gym that are fun and highly effective

Skip the same old boring workouts and take up one of these fun and effective ways to stay fit! By Satyaki Sarkar

Unless you’re a fan of working out itself, chances are you don’t really enjoy spending time at the gym, and you see it as more of a chore. But believe us when we say getting fit really can be fun. Check out these five exercise regimens that keep you fit and trim, while actually being fun and enjoyable!

Dancing

1. Dancing
This one’s a no brainer, if you want to lose more calories and get toned by boogying to your favourite songs. Dancing for just half an hour burns a massive 279 calories, as well as strengthens and tones your muscles, while perfecting your moves simultaneously. The best part is that it doesn’t even matter what kind of dance you do, be it the zumba, hip-hop, disco, ballroom, or even Bollywood dance, they all have effective health benefits. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to use your entire body, by including a lot of reaches, twirling, bending, and hip movements in your routine, while maintaining your core balance, to avoid tripping and injuries. Even if you’re someone who has two left feet and can’t dance to save your life, you need not worry, and can simply join a class, follow a video you like for reference, or play a video game like Dance Dance Revolution. So skip the gym and go crazy!
Photograph: Edson Hong/Flickr

Swimming

2. Swimming
When celebrities like Katrina Kaif, and Milind Soman swear by swimming, you know there’s more to the sport than it seems at first. A dip in the water and intensive swimming for around half an hour burns around 295 calories, a lot more than most other forms of exercise. The best part is that swimming, being a low impact exercise, doesn’t hurt or damage your joints and is almost entirely injury free. Apart from that, swimming is known to provide excellent cardiovascular conditioning, while developing core strength, endurance, and making you leaner and taller, among countless other health benefits. Fun fact, the now 49-year-old Jason Statham, who gives most gym-freaks a run for their money used to be an Olympic level swimmer!

Hula-Hooping

3. Hula Hooping
There was a reason hula hoops had gone viral back in the 1950s when they were first launched. From cheesy advertisements to movies, hula hoops became one of the most versatile dancing accessories overnight. They are now making a comeback, and this time as a fitness equipment. Cheap and easy to do, hula hooping for just half an hour can burn as many as 216 calories. Not only is it a great way of keeping fit, it’s incredibly fun as well. And if you want to take it a step further, you could learn a whole range of neat tricks to do with a hula hoop. So put on a groovy playlist and start rolling your hips to the beats.
Photograph: ISKME/Flickr

Trampoline

4. Trampoline
Yet another childhood exercise has made a huge comeback in recent years—the trampoline! It is an excellent workout tool that is as much fun as it is effective. An intense, 30-minute session on the trampoline burns over 130 calories. And if you have kids in the house, what better way to bond with them than by joining them on a trampoline and combining fun with fitness? While the fun factor is the main draw, trampolining also helps tighten your abs, increase leg power and core strength, all without excessive pressure to your joints.

Bicycling

5. Bicycling
Another great way to stay fit while actually saving time is by bicycling to work. Not only does it save time and money, it burns a whopping 297 calories for each hour you spend on the cycle! Regular bicycling is exceptionally effective in toning your leg muscles and trimming away all the excessive fat that has built up in your body. In addition to that, choosing a bicycle over a car also reduces the harm to the environment. 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

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