Let’s face it, not all of us are cut out for the gym life. Maybe you can’t find a decent gym that appeals to your specific needs. Perhaps you don’t want to fork up a membership fee for fitness resolutions you know you won’t keep.
Maybe you live in a big city, and you simply don’t have 20-30 minutes to get to that sports club.
Luckily, there is more than one way to burn those calories. And chances are, the more fun you have exercising, the more you will perform that activity.
So let’s take a look at (mostly) cheaper, and pleasing ways to stay fit:
You will initially have to splurgeon a pair of good blades (and protective gear) if you don’t have your own. But quality ones will last for years, and you can pretty much go skating in any park (or anywhere if you’re confident with your skills).
If you are a newbie, however, avoid busy streets and test your skills on smoother surfaces.
Sparkpeople.com features a calculator where you can type in your exercise time and weight, and it gives you the amount of burned calories.
A lot of us already own bikes. Depending on where you live and work, you can even substitute your current form of transportation. It’s cleaner, cheaper and healthier than driving.
For instance, popular actress Rachel McAdams doesn’t own a car. She bikes around everywhere in Canada, which contributes to her lovely figure.
Even if weather conditions, long distances and lack of bike roads prevent you from commuting by bike, you can still take out your bicycle in your free time for some fresh air workout.
If you live near a beach, I recommend riding along a great view. It does wonders for your body and soul.
You don’t need a gym to indulge in a couple of hours of bliss in water. During summer, you can dosome decent strokes in a nearby lake, sea or ocean.
You can always spend some summer days in the outdoor pool facilities of hotels, which also offer memberships. If you are a water junkie, it might make sense to get a better deal by choosing a membership plan over individual visits.
Whatever swimming venue is your choice, it’s one of the healthiest, most-recommended and peaceful ways to lose the extra fat and strengthen your body.
Just try not to snack on unhealthy things when the post-swim hunger strikes you.
A lot of websites offer calculators to measure your swimming efforts, like Calories Burned HQ, you can enter your style, distance, weight and time to get an estimate.
Apart from some comfortable sneakers, walking doesn’t take much financial investment. You can go wherever you like, whenever you please. You can adjust your pace according to your needs and energy level. It’s free, soothing and a wonderful way to clear your head.
You can listen to music, or find a walking buddy. And you can always go hiking or trekking to challenge yourself further.
According to SparkPeople’s calculator, I burn 128 calories walking at 20 minutes/mile (I weigh around 165 pounds at 5’9”).
Dancing is usually the most liberating of them all. You can experiment, freestyle, take classes and combine any moves you favor. You aren’t location-bound either: go out with friends, dance around at home or sign up to learn your favorite types of dancing.
However if you do go out, the trick is not to drink too much, so that you won’t consume more calories than you burn. Too many drinks at expensive places also increase the cost.
Whatever you choose, make sure you like the music and the type of dancing. If you can’t stand Latin beats, you might not have a blast at a Salsa class. Believe me, I tried. You don’t improve much when you practice to Guns ‘n‘Roses at home.
But whenever I go to the local Irish bar that plays a mix of hit pop-rock songs, I swing, twist and shake until I can barely stand. I also belong to a lindy hop (a kind of swing dancing) studio where the participants wouldn’t look out of place at a 50s movie set with their costumes and moves.
Don’t worry if your friends aren’t into dancing:you can find fellow enthusiasts throughFacebook or meetup groups.
It’s harder to estimate your calories though, because it depends on the dance, as well as the speed of the song.
While it’s not the healthiest option on the list, it’s among the most fun.
A while back, I suffered from a stomach condition that put me on an obligatory diet (which meant I ate ice cream for dessert, ate grilled meat as opposed to fried, and stuck to healthier things in general).
Having had to spend most of the winter and spring inactive, summer found me with stored energy and cash. I signed up for an Italian course, hung out with friends, followed my diet and shopped whenever I had a spare minute.
Walking through long streets and constantly trying out a number of outfits worked wonders on my weight: I lost about 16-17 pounds in three months.
Of course this “fitness”activity should be done with caution, as shopping irresponsibly might burn more money than fat.
However,unless you are on a strict budget or are a shopaholic, shopping can carry you closer to your ideal weight, without messing up your savings.
Make sure to combine it with some of the other activities on this list for longer-lasting and healthier results.
There you go: 6 fun activities to mix and match according to your tastes and personality. But please remember: no amount of exercising will get you the results you desire, unless you are also eating healthily.
BIO Author: Pinar Tarhan is a freelance writer and blogger who’s a big advocate of enjoying whatever you are doing for better results. You can read more of her work on her blogAddicted to Writing.