• Daniel K, MSpCoach

5 ways to get fit that don’t involve the gym.

There are plenty of ways to improve your health and fitness that don’t involve going to a gym. In fact, improving your health and fitness outside of your scheduled training sessions with a PT has a significant impact on the progress you make with your trainer. Now obviously I’m not about to say abandon your PT (because that’d be crazy talk), but there is such a wide range of activities that you can participate in that will complement your PT sessions, as well as being complemented by them. Below are only 5 activities and their health benefits that can be complementary to your PT sessions. Some of these I have personally participated in and others I have seen the benefits of, through those closest to me.

1. Pole Fit

This is essentially where you learn the fundamentals of pole dancing, without having to necessarily perform. It is a medium intensity form of exercise that incorporates strength, flexibility and rhythm. No matter your fitness levels, there are classes available that will cater for beginner through to advanced levels and it is accessible to anyone – both male and female alike. There are plenty of venues and locations so if you’re interested, find your closet centre and give it a go.

Pole Fit Freedom list several health benefits and these include:

· Increased strength

· Increased flexibility

· Increased cardiovascular health

· Improved coordination and rhythm

· Better body confidence

· Reduced stress and anxiety

· Healthier sleep

· Health joints and bones

· Being part of an incredible worldwide community

2. Dancing

There are so many styles of dance that are available to you, whether you want to dance competitively, socially or even just at home. There’s nothing quite like hearing a great song and just moving to it. You don’t have to have the world’s best rhythm to get involved, you just have to be willing to move, and there are plenty of health benefits associated with dancing. These include:

· Improved condition of heart and lungs

· Increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness

· Increased aerobic fitness

· Improved muscle tone and strength

· Weight management

· Stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis

· Better coordination, agility and flexibility

· Improved balance and spatial awareness

· Increased physical confidence

· Improved mental functioning

· Improved general and psychological wellbeing

· Greater self-confidence and self-esteem

· Better social skills.

3. Social sport

One of the great things about social sport is that even if you don’t consider yourself particularly sporty, there are so many options that you can choose from. The number of sports are almost endless ranging from soccer to touch football, netball to tennis and everything in-between. The degree of competitiveness also varies greatly so you can join a competition that suits you.

Some of the benefits of social sport:

· Developing new skills or improving existing ones

· Being in a team environment

· Being united in working towards a common goal

· Socialising

· Letting off steam

· Meeting new people from a variety of back grounds

· Improving fitness

· Breaking up your routine of work and home duties

· Celebrating wins and learning from losses

4. Swimming

A great way to fill your weekly activity quota with a low impact activity and is suitable to almost everyone. Now you don’t have to necessarily swim laps in a pool, but moving whilst in the water is very beneficial. Also, it can be done all year round so there is no excuse not to do it in winter given plenty of centres have heated pools. In the summer months it’s a great way to cool off. In terms of calorie burning, it is similar to running but without the impact on your bones and joints. Healthline lists several benefits to swimming:

· Works your whole body (including cardiovascular system)

· Is appropriate for people with injures, arthritis and other conditions

· Good option for people with asthma

· Beneficial for people with MS

· Improves your sleep

· Boosts mood

· Helps manage stress

· Safe during pregnancy

· Affordable

5. Running/walking clubs

The benefits of walking and running are well known as they are quite popular forms of exercise. However taking your walking or running from a solo activity to a group one has additional benefits. Depending on what you’re after, there are clubs that walk in large shopping centres, in parks or in the bush. There are clubs out there to suit everyone’s needs. When you walk or run with others, according to the Mayo clinic the benefits include:

· Accountability

· Motivation

· Safety

· Socialization

The important thing to remember is that no matter who you are, there is a way to be physically active that best suits your needs. You don’t have to stick to only one type of physical activity to improve your health and fitness. Whether you to choose to be active socially through dance or sport, or select something with professional guidance such as pole fit or PT, as long as you’re moving your body regularly you will reap health and fitness benefits. So get out there, and get moving. Your body will thank you for it.

For any questions relating to how you can incorporate personal training into your health and fitness regime to improve your health and fitness, get in touch today. You’ll be glad you did.


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