Getting fit doesn’t have to mean hoisting heavy barbells and running marathons. There are gentler ways to boost your fitness level.
Remember January 1? That’s right, New Year’s Day, the day you made that resolution to get fit. Or fitter. The problem is, getting fit requires hard work, persistence, stamina, and hours in a gym. If only there were a fun way to get one’s body moving and grooving.
Well, there is. If weight-training and treadmills aren’t your thing, imagine how much you’d exercise if it were fun. And yes, exercise can be fun. Here are a few enjoyable ways to get moving.
* If you can summon a few friends to join you in a stroll around the neighbourhood, it’ll feel more like a social occasion than a workout.
* In the absence of friends who can join you, consider plotting a route that will take you to a friendly neighbourhood café. Reward yourself with a coffee for all the walking you’ve done, and then walk home.
* Walk in a different neighbourhood, one that is unfamiliar to you. You’ll have the urge to discover more of it without realizing how far you’re walking.
* Walk in nature, preferably in a forest. Visit the Morgan Arboretum or one of the nature parks—Cap-Saint-Jacques, Bois-de-Liesse or Terra Cotta. Any plein-air destination that has groomed trails is an ideal place for a walk.
* That’s right. Don’t worry about replicating Flashdance or Saturday Night Fever. Just crank up the music and dance as if no one is watching. Extra points if you work up a sweat. Internet video channels offer free dance classes so you’ll find plenty of encouragement there to move.
Dorval resident Lesley Charters Cotton offers free line-dancing classes at Pine Beach Park while Tai Chi practitioner David Vaughan offers free Tai Chi lessons. Read more about it here.
* Invite a friend to join you in a local park to play with a Frisbee. It’s an amusing activity that engages all of the body’s major muscle groups, but is particularly beneficial for the upper body. Bonus: Frisbees are relatively inexpensive. Also, dogs love them.
STRETCHING AND YOGA
* Finally, if you want a bit more challenge but are not quite ready for intense workouts, consider following a 30-minute online stretch class or yoga practice. Internet video channels are awash with free classes that will ease you into exercise and help you to honour that resolution you made way back on New Year’s Day.