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10 Fun and Cool Alternative Fitness Ideas to Get You Moving
We’ve always known that exercise and physical activity are loaded with positive benefits. However, doctors in a new study are discovering just how effective exercise is for mental health. We’ve known for a long time that exercise is an effective way to promote wellness in people suffering from mental illness, but just how effective it really is incredible, with 95% of study participants reporting improved mood after agreeing to an exercise regimen of about five hours per week. But it can be hard sometimes to motivate yourself to get off the couch and go to the gym or jog around the block. So, to get you motivated and excited again, let’s look at some new, cool and exciting fitness trends that might just get you moving again.
Created in 2011 by two female athlete drummers who came to the realization that drumming with no stool required incredible physical endurance, pound is basically air-drumming in the form of a workout. Pound takes the usual background music of most workout classes and makes it integral to the workout itself. By focus reps around the beats of popular pop and rock songs, participants basically become the beat by pounding a set of specially designed lightweight drumsticks along with the song in ways that engage your entire body. Pound can also improving coordination and reduce stress. To learn more and find a class near you, check out https://poundfit.com.
Indoor Rock Climbing
Want to get a great full body workout while challenging yourself and doing something a little X-treme in the process? Find an indoor rock climbing centre in your city and basically become Spiderman. Because who doesn’t want to be Spiderman? Rock climbing is best done in groups however, so go with a friend a club from school or a local meetup for the best impact. mindyourmind’s home city of London has a great place called The Junction that you should check out if you’re in town, but you can always use Google to find climbing centres in your area.
Don’t feel like being Spiderman? Well, how about Superman? Trampolining is a great way to ramp up your heart rate and not even realize you’re doing a workout, because you’re having so much fun. Lots of cities have recreation centres where you can bounce around, climb, zipline, etc. mindyourmind’s HQ city of London, Ontario is actually home to Canada’s largest indoor recreation centre, The Factory. Alternatively, you could purchase your own trampoline. Places like Kijiji are often a great place to start if you don’t want to break the bank. A small, personal model is a great place to start. You don’t have to fill your entire backyard. Though, if you do, can I come over sometime?
Have you ever had a hamster and watched it walking around in its little plastic ball and thought, “Gee, that looks like fun.” Well, now you can be that hamster Zorbs are basically hamster balls for humans and allow a range of activities. You can roll down a hill, walk on water or even play sports like zorb soccer. You can learn more about zorbing here. It may seem like a wacky thing rich people do, but buying a zorb is actually cheaper than buying a new bike. Depending on the quality, prices range from $100 to $1000.
Ever wanted to try surfing, but the closest major body of water is the pond in your local park? Developed by a California surfer who was sick of getting bored and out of shape during the off-season, Surfset allows you to imitate the bodily impact of catching some waves by riding an indoor simulator. It’s still catching on in a few places, but there are a few fitness studios in Canada that offer this class. And hey, you could always train to become an instructor if you really want it that bad.
Ever watched The Little Mermaid and wanted to be a part of Ariel’s world? Well, now you can with Aquamermaid classes. Aquamermaid started in Montreal and classes are currently offered at a handful of major cities in Canada like Toronto, Quebec City and Edmonton, but the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The classes train you to use your mermaid tail to glide effortlessly through the pool as well as to control your breathing and other techniques that will increase endurance.
It might sound a little risque, but pole dancing is actually a great way to engage your whole body while learning something fun and challenging. And no, you don’t have to become a stripper or anything. Pole dancing can be a fun way for all genders, ages and body types to exercise and build confidence, because everyone deserves to feel sexy.
Parkour is the art of using movement to overcome obstacles in an urban setting, but it can really be practiced anywhere. Have you ever seen a Jackie Chan movie where he climbs a wall in ten seconds and it looks super hard, but also amazing? That’s basically parkour, but don’t be freaked out. There are beginner courses on YouTube and centres and gyms that teach beginner to advance level classes. Parkour may be a great way to get off your couch and get from point A to point B while looking as cool as possible.
This one is great if you want the bouncy fun of a trampoline, combined with the intensity of something like Pound. Kangoo Clubs started in Toronto, and clubs are starting to pop up around Canada, including one right here in London. Classes use special “Kangoo Jumps” boots to get you moving without feeling as much discomfort in your joints that a regular aerobics-based workout might cause and workouts can help improve coordination and posture. Check out this video to learn more.
Created in Sweden in 2016, Plogging is a great way to get some exercise and help the environment at the same time. The name is portmanteau of jogging and the Swedish plocka upp, which means to pick up (litter). Plogging groups are starting to pop up around the world, but it’s something you can just do on your own or with a group of friends. It doesn’t cost anything and it’s a great way to feel great about yourself and your environment as you help make the world a little cleaner.
The point of all of these exercises is that they should be fun and engaging and that working out doesn’t have to be a chore or a compulsion. When done for the right reasons, exercise can be a great way to feel good and build confidence. Everyone is beautiful in their own way and you don’t need to be “skinny” or “ripped” to be beautiful. If you find yourself struggling with your body image and self-worth, mindyourmind has some great wellness tips for eating disorders and loving yourself.
David is a former intern at mindyourmind. He is a mature student currently in his second year of East Asian Studies at Huron University. He speaks English, Japanese, terrible, broken Spanish and a few basic phrases in Mandarin Chinese. A lover of anime, fitness and weird music, you can often find him working out at the gym or blasting some random band through a pair of headphones (or both). He loves travelling and has lived abroad twice, in Taiwan and Colombia, and hopes to go study in Japan next year. David has Autism Spectrum Disorder with depression and OCD and he hopes to spread the word to Canada’s youth that they are not alone.
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