Fitness tips on the internet will more often than not tell you to hit the gym if you’re trying to lose weight. But if you feel that you can’t be contained within the four walls of a gym because deep down you’re an outdoorsman of the Discovery Channel variety, we’ve got all the workouts you need to get the body of one. Afterall, treadmills and medicine balls aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Moreover, after long hours of navigating your busy schedule in an airconditioned office building, we bet you’re dying to run out the door and get some fresh air for a change. So don’t mourn the unused gym membership as you cross the half-year mark without achieving your weight loss goals. It’s time to look forward to the other half of 2018, and get outside and get moving, to achieve that New Year’s resolution you set for yourself back in January. These fitness tips will help you out.
Fitness tips beyond the gym: 6 workouts for the man who likes to mix it up
Working out doesn’t have to feel like a punishment. The whole idea is to get fit and to have fun while doing it. Taking a jog in the park or spending an hour doing weight training are perfectly good ways to get into shape, but it can be hard to be consistently enthusiastic about these traditional workouts.
“As humans, we are lazy people. The mind gets lazy when you have to do something repeatedly again and again, and then you start looking for novelty. In physical fitness, you’re constantly going to think of what to do next… or your mind starts thinking that this is boring, forget it. And then eventually you’re an unfit person,” explains Shruti Jasani, founder and aerial instructor at The Wooden Stage.
If running on the same spot in an air-conditioned room doesn’t excite you enough to want to work out, then we’ve got a list of fitness tips for unconventional work out activities to pump you up.
1. Aerial fitness
Ever watched Cirque Du Soliel and been amazed at people’s insane ability to do yoga-like stretches while hanging mid-air? Aerial fitness is one of the most challenging and fun forms of working out that have recently sprung up in India. “Aerial focuses on all your body parts from your toes to your finger-tips,” says Jasani. “A beginner might think that I need to first lose weight and then start doing aerial, but you actually start off with stretching and going easy on the silk or the rope and then move on to aiming higher,” she explains.
If you’ve ever fancied ninjas (or Jackie Chan’s insane moves), you’re going to love practicing this ‘art of flight’. This military obstacle-inspired form of working out takes place in the real world and teaches you how to manipulate your surroundings to get to your goal, which makes it as creative as it is badass. It is a combination of a variety of physical movements including jumping, running, swinging, rolling, vaulting etc.
3. Horseback Riding
Sure, you might think that the horse does most of the work. But if you think saddling up will not leave you sore and sweaty afterward, boy are you mistaken! Riding a horse helps you build your core, improve your flexibility, and is particularly great for your thigh muscles and coordination skills.
4. Boot camp fitness
Whether you’re someone who needs that extra push to get things done or just enjoy taking on grueling challenges, there’s nothing better than joining an intensive boot camp. “There are lots of boot camps in parks these days which you can be a part of. All these High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes target all the components of fitness like speed, agility, balance and coordination and flexibility,” says Huzefa Lokhandwala, Celebrity Fitness Coach & Program Director at TrainMe.
5. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
If it’s badass enough for Connor McGregor, it’s badass enough for you. Unlike most sports and gym workouts, you don’t focus on one body part at a time in MMA. Being a total body work out, it helps to strengthen your upper and lower body and also gives you a steel core. MMA is so much more than cardio; it’s not only an intense form of a workout to get fit, it is also a self-defense combat sport– the knowledge of which is always something that’s good to have.
This ancient form of martial arts originated in South India, and has continued to be relevant even in recent times all over the globe. Kalaripayattu is more than just a work out that will tone your body – it will keep your body healthy from within. It builds your stamina, increases agility, enhances flexibility, and provides you with a holistic fitness routine that you can never fully find in a gym.
With these unorthodox fitness tips and workouts, you’ll actually look forward to exercising. “Make sure that whatever you join, the intensity levels suit you,” advises Lokhandwala. “Otherwise you’ll just go once and never go again. Give it time and slowly and gradually it will become a part of your lifestyle.”