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How To Stay Fit Without Hitting The Gym

Strategies For Controlling Your Appetite

The first two weeks of January have come and gone and so has your New Year’s resolution to work out at the gym every day.

How could this have happened so quickly? You did all the right steps and it’s just the start of the new year!

You’ve bought the membership, you’ve planned out your upcoming months to accommodate your new daily routine, and you’ve finally justified dropping a couple hundred dollars for those new Nike runners only because you figured that they’d be well loved by the end of the year.

Unfortunately, heading out to the gym has now become a chore and a burden. That new pump-up playlist on your iPod has recently turned into an annoying reminder that you’ve yet to go to the gym, and you keep pushing your workout to “another time” because honestly, why would you want to waste a few hours at the gym when you could be catching up on work or sleep.

For most of us, the problem isn’t physically doing the workout, but it’s finding the motivation to get out the door and making the trip. If that’s the hardest part, maybe the solution is to find alternative activities to stay fit. The monotonous workout routines on gym equipment isn’t for everyone, so for those of you who want to try something new, here are a few ideas on how to get the most out of getting or staying fit and having fun while you’re at it!

Dance Classes
One of the most common qualms that some may have about dancing is that it takes years of practice to perfect and it requires some degree of flexibility and coordination. Yes, those are all factors to consider if you’re considering dancing professionally, but many overlook the benefits of taking recreational dance classes. Dancing is not only a perfect way to burn off the calories and strengthen all parts of the body, but it’s a creative and somewhat therapeutic way to let loose and forget the stressors of work, school and commitments. There are many dance studios, community centres, and university REC centres in Vancouver that offer drop-in dance classes, which is a perfect option for those with a busy schedule, as well as continuous dance lessons, which are great for those who want to get a taste of different genres of dance.

Yoga has re-surfaced in popularity in the past few years (even though it’s been around for thousands of years) and thanks to the growing number of studios, it’s become a main choice of activity for most. There are different forms of yoga, with each type focusing on breathing, strengthening, meditation, relaxation or a combination; this is an activity that encourages a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Rock Climbing
Rock climbing probably wouldn’t be the first activity that pops to one’s mind when thinking of workout activities, but it’s an incredibly invigorating and intense sport that’s underrated and overlooked. Not only does it build and tone muscles, but it’s also a great way to lose weight. Did you know that by climbing at a moderate pace for an hour, you’ll burn around 400 calories? What’s more, rock climbing is a social activity and another plus is that it can be done indoors at a climbing facility, which is a plus with our typical Lower Mainland winter weather.

Fortunately for us, Vancouver is a walkable city. It may not have the intense hills that San Francisco has, but if you’re planning to go window shopping around Robson Street or take a scenic walk around the Sea Wall, walking is a simple way to get daily exercise. This form of activity may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s often overlooked because our busy lives require us to either drive or take public transit.
With picturesque scenic routes, how could you not take advantage of walking around postcard perfect Vancouver?

For those looking to burn the most amount of calories without entering the gym, take a look at the most effective types of cardio!

What are your exercise plans for 2013? Do you have any alternatives to recommend? Leave them in the comments below!

Written by: Kels Tham

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