Weights can wait - 5 ways to hit your fitness goals
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It’s important to remember weight training isn’t the only option, especially for beginners only getting started and taking small steps to a healthy lifestyle.
If the gym isn’t for you, then do not despair - there are still many ways to move and start a healthy lifestyle outside of the weights room.
1. Step outside and join an outdoor class
Over the warmer months, it may be more tempting to step outside to exercise. During the summer, you might be able to find fun-oriented outdoor bootcamp-style fitness.
Classes tend to be popular with beginners, especially those who may wonder how to increase energy and motivation, as exercising with people can provide a real boost. Being around others creates a supportive environment, which in turn encourages participants to push themselves and make the most out of the session.
What’s more, taking part in a class means being guided by a professional instructor throughout the session, taking out all the guesswork and leaving participants to focus on the exercise. It’s also ideal for beginners still learning the ropes and keen to receive feedback on their form - or simply a few words of encouragement.
2. Hit the road
Running has been a popular discipline for centuries which many view as a synonymous of self-care - it’s easy to understand why.
In addition to its all-round health benefits, from lowering the risk of heart disease to strengthening lower body muscles, it’s an incredibly accessible sport. It requires little to no equipment - other than a pair of well-fitted, comfortable running shoes.
If your body allows it and the sun is shining, lace up your running shoes and put on your favourite playlist. There’s no better time to go on a run around your neighbourhood, or even your nearest park than on a sunny day.
3.Take a walk
Walking is a fantastic, low-impact alternative to running, packed with health benefits. The NHS recommends 150 minutes of weekly exercise – which a brisk 10 or 20-minute daily walk could count towards. Many fitness trackers and apps also offer a step counting function, which is a great way to track your efforts and challenge yourself.
If you’re short on time, then why not fit in a lunchtime walk, ideal no matter if you’re working at the office or from home.
4.Dance like nobody’s watching
Putting on your dancing shoes can do more than just boost your mood - and with the many types of dances around, there is one to suit every ability.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of partner dances, from foxtrot to salsa, or a Saturday night dance floor hero - many types of dances can fit many abilities and tastes. More importantly, it requires little to no equipment either, aside from your favourite playlist and your best moves.
What’s more, the health benefits of dancing are countless, from improving coordination and agility to boosting overall fitness and heart health.
Consider Zumba, if you enjoy group exercise classes, which combines rhythm and popular songs with aerobics and core exercises – the best of both worlds.
5.Try a new sport
There isn’t just one way to exercise, and there are a number of options to make healthy lifestyle changes - so it’s important to find the one that suits you the best.
If none of the previous suggestions seem quite right, then perhaps it’s time to try a new sport. Team sports are a wonderful way to meet new people in a supportive environment. Individual sports can really promote self-discipline - a key component to any lifestyle change program.
There are plenty of sports to try, from ball games and racquet sports such as squash, tennis and badminton, to martial arts and climbing, meaning there is a right fit for any individual. You could also try a new sport or level up your existing skills by taking part in a range of sport and activity courses.
David Morris Content Contributor, Warwick Sport
David is an avid runner and writes about different aspects of fitness, health and wellbeing. He enjoys running, fitness classes and outdoor activities with his daughters.
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