Gyms often use hip techno, dance or pop hits to get people in shape. Unfortunately, if you don’t like these types of music, you’ve another reason to dread exercise. You might also find it hard to adjust your movements according to the rhythm with these types of songs.
But if you are a rock fan and are avoiding gym classes for this reason, worry not. You can burn a massive amount of calories by just moving to the rhythm of rock music, whatever activity you’re doing. A friend of mine meant to vacuum her room but ended up cleaning the whole house because she was listening to Nirvana.
In my teens, I did aerobics for fun while Black Sabbath was on. So let’s see how you can rock way to a fitter, healthier body:
- Power-walking/hiking/taking the stairs
I’m not a runner; I don’t have the stamina. Walking, on the other hand, is something I love. The faster, the better. I usually have to restrain myself when I’m walking next to others because they complain I walk too fast. But when I’m on my own, I turn on my favorite fast rock beats, adjust accordingly and the calories fly away.
If you need suggestions on some great songs to walk to, start with Radar Love by Golden Earring.
Granted, taking the stairs is a clichéd tip since it’s, well, free and more convenient than the alternatives. However, I recommend caution. Stairs (and step aerobics) put a lot of pressure on your knees. So take the stairs sparingly, especially if you have extra weight as this will put more force on your knees.
That said, sometimes you have to take the stairs. Not all buildings have (working) elevators. The other day the electricity was out, and I put on Barracuda (by Heart) and before I knew it, I was in front of my 6th-story apartment, ready to climb 6 floors more.
Running isn’t my favorite activity, but that’s because I generally associate it with marathon runners and extreme fitness enthusiasts. But you don’t need to run like a pro to have fun. You can do it however you like, though you might not want to be as “free” as Phoebe (from Friends) does.
Pearl Jam’s started out primarily as a grunge band, but even a classic rock/hair metal lover like me enjoys their more recent (and rocking) numbers, such as Lightning Bolt. As for The Offspring, you can jog to pretty much any of their songs.
- Rollerblading, skateboarding and cycling
Power to your legs! I once tried a spinning class with a friend. My only complaint was the music until the trainer put on Let’s Get Rocked by Def Leppard.
It starts easily and slowly enough, but then it gets faster. Of course, it feels faster as you keep spinning and try singing along too. I was exhausted after the class, but it was a blast.
- Rock concerts
Rock concerts (acoustic concerts and seating-required special events excluded) are some of the best places to get fit while getting your groove on. Sure, there’s a bit of standing and waiting required, but it’s all forgotten once your favorite bands take the stage, and you sing and dance at the same time. If you want to spend the most energy and make most of the moment, take pictures (and videos) less and get lost in the music more.
And what’s even better than a single rock concert? A rock music festival where you get to see several of your beloved bands in a row, dancing on hours on end. I once got to watch Whitesnake and Def Leppard on the same night!
I can also highly recommend a Bon Jovi live gig. Jon Bon Jovi is one of the most hyperactive lead singers in rock, and you can’t help but try to catch up. Surely if he can move that much in his 50s, so can you!
Sure, there’re the mandatory ballads at a rock gig, but those enable you to catch your breath and hydrate. Who said love songs just have to be about romance?
- (Going) Dancing
Dancing is one of the most fun and liberating calorie-burners ever, but how seriously you’re going to take it is entirely up to you. Going to bars and clubs with ample steps is fun, and it’s appropriately listed in our 6 Fun Ways to Stay Fit for the GYM-Averse article.
But if you don’t feel like getting dressed and being social (or your friends aren’t in the mood), there is no need to deprive yourself of the activity.
You can even make a YouTube playlist of movie dance scenes, music videos, and concert footage and dance the night away. For starters, we suggest My Sharona by The Knack as seen in the Ethan Hawke movie Reality Bites and Footloose by Kenny Loggins as seen in the Kevin Bacon movie Footloose.
- Taking Dancing Classes
How about taking swing, rock’n’roll or jive classes? There are festivals worldwide where you can opt for classes, parties or both. There’s likely a dance studio near where you live or work as well.
If you choose to go to festivals, you can also add traveling to your fun fitness activities, which also goes along quite nicely with rock music.
(A rock’n’roll dance video)
Alternative Suggestions: Mixed Genre Songs
If you’re not sure about rock music, you can always test the waters with mixed-genre songs. Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life, which topped both rock and pop charts in 2000.
BodyRockers’ It’s The Way You Move is a decent mix of dance, electronic and rock beats, and so is the album (the only “dance” album I’ve bought).
Metal fans might try Black Sabbath, as well as Ozzy Osbourne’s solo tracks. It would go well with any workout plan. If it gets too fast, there are always the slower (more on the rock side) Metallica tracks for stretching.
Author bio: Pinar Tarhan is a freelance writer and blogger for hire. She writes about entertainment, relationships, career management and life design. You can connect with her on Twitter or catch up with her blog Addicted to Writing.