Most people know the benefits of exercising. That knowledge has been present in the majority of Americans’ lives. However, most Americans are also aware of how difficult it can be to achieve the kind of motivation it takes to actually follow through with fitness plans because the activities are not necessarily fun.
Americans can’t get away with that excuse anymore. New types of exercise are popping up with the goal being that the participants will enjoy themselves so much, that they won’t even realize they are working out.
Zumba, kickboxing and step aerobics are examples of these alternative forms of exercise. Zumba is similar to an upbeat dance class, and usually uses fast paced hip-hop and salsa music to burn calories. Cardio kickboxing, not to be confused with the sport kickboxing in which sparring is practiced, is comparable to a high intensity self defense class.
Kickboxing is loosely related to various forms of martial arts. Martial arts aren’t new; experts say some types originated as far back as 500 A.D. However, this doesn’t change the positive influence they can have when used as part of an exercise routine. There are hundreds of variations of martial arts–some of the most popular being Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kung Fu, Capoeira, Arnis (Ecrima or Kali), Muay Thai, Krav Maga and Jeet Kune Do. Each has its own distinct style, and each one can be used as a tool to not only physical health, but mental health as well.
People alive in the ‘80s might remember Jane Fonda’s exercise videos, in which step aerobics were a key component. This form of exercise, which involves stepping up and down from a platform in a routine, is making a comeback.
All three of these forms of exercise are intense cardio workouts designed to sculpt and train all areas of the body, burn hundreds of calories and be fun.
Dancing is another great way to combine a night of fun with some much needed exercise. Experts say to grab a partner and sign up for salsa or swing dancing classes. While focusing on the twirls and twists of the moves, 300 to 600 calories can be burned in just one hour.
Outdoorsy types can try rock climbing or hiking to keep their interest while exercising. Local hiking trails are easy to find and easy to enjoy. Bringing a buddy is advised though. Edgeworks Climbing is an indoor rock climbing gym in Tacoma, open every day of the week at 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and until 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
So whether it’s high-intensity cardio or revisiting the days of childhood with jumping rope or inline skating, make it fun to get exercise 30 minutes daily.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost