|You are aware of your “trouble spots” – your bloated tummy, loose arms, and fatty thighs. You also know that apart from proper diet, regular gym visits will help you tone up your muscles and solve your current body issues. The problem here is – you are too lazy and uninspired to go to the gym. You just wish that there’s another way for losing weight and toning up muscles to become more engaging. – Recreational Activities for try.|
Fortunately, there is. You can skip the traditional gym and enjoy the process of achieving a well-toned body without feeling the struggle. The key is finding a vigorous sport or a recreational activity that would suit your lifestyle, interests, and fitness goals.
Best for: Arms
Are you aiming for arms as slender as Maria Sharapova’s or arms as muscly as Serena Williams’? Well, you should be inclined to a sport these two women have in common: tennis. Playing tennis is one of the best ways to sculpt your arms since it’s a mixture of a workout and an exhilarating activity. The racket sport tests your arm strength and coordination through movements that include slamming and throwing. Tennis is also aerobic, which means you can burn a lot of calories while toning your arm muscles at the same time.
Best for: Legs
Worried about cellulites? Move those lazy legs and start cycling. The activity forces your legs to pedal continuously in order to balance yourself and move forward, which results in beautifully toned hastrings, calves, and quadriceps. If you want to take the workout to the next level, you may try using toe clips which let you pull the pedal up and push it down for extra resistance. Stationary bikes are also ideal if you want to measure your speed, power, and heartrate. But if you’re craving adventure and fresh air, get out and pedal your way around the block.
- Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
Best for: Core
What if I tell you that you can have toned abdominal muscles simply by standing? Well, it’s still not as easy as it sounds. In SUP, you have to balance your body while standing on the paddleboard. SUP requires a lot of presence of mind and core strength in order to stay upright the entire time. Chris Freytag, a fitness instructor in Minneapolis suggests starting on your knees, which lowers your center of gravity yet still works on your core, and then moving up to standing gradually for maximum rewards.
Best for: Upper body
Though the sport is a low-impact workout, swimming can both burn fat and sculpt your muscles the same way other sports do. Swimming forces your upper body, even your underworked muscles to move vigorously in order to maintain your balance in the water. Pulling against the water helps with the resistance for your arms. The several strokes, on the other hand, test your shoulder and chest muscles’ strength and help you develop stabilizing muscles in your core and lower back.
Best for: Core, hips, and legs
So what if you’re born with two left feet? As long as you have the guts to dance and the motivation to tone your body, no one can hinder you from dancing. Twisting your way through high-energy dance routines helps shape your waist, build stomach muscles, and strengthen your core and hips. The great thing about dancing is when you enjoy the process, the workout will feel less of a work.
The result, just like in other forms of cardiovascular exercise, will depend on the type of dance you do as well as how often you do it. Certain dances like ballet, belly dancing, waltz, and swing dancing, are great options. For more intense muscle toning, you may try to incorporate small hand weights into the dance routine, like holding dumbbells while belly dancing.
- Rock climbing
Best for: Whole body
Tired of your boring, gym routines? Take your mind, body, and spirit with you and conquer the heights through rock climbing. According the a review published in the 2011 Journal of Human Kinetics, elite rock climbers often have increased handgrip strengths, lower body fat percentages, and lower body mass indexes.
Basically, all major muscle groups in your arms, chest, back, shoulders, core, and lower body, are engaged in a rock climbing expedition. So think about having stronger and more toned abs, obliques, delts, biceps, forearms, traps, lats, calves, and quads after a rough climbing experience.
Best for: Whole body
Many people associate running to extreme fat loss, but this activity works even better for your muscles. Running starts with the legs, toning the calves, shins, quads, and harmstrings. Apart from firming the lower body, running also engages your abdominal or core muscles to stay upright on track. The active engagement of your major muscles in running results in a healthier-looking body.
In addition, the dedication to this workout also helps with hypertrophy or growth of muscles. Running helps with your shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle flexion and extension, and hip and spinal stability. However, you should be mindful since this high-impact activity may harm your joints. If you’re a beginner, it is okay to switch between walking and jogging to refrain from injuries.
Best for: Whole body
If you’re mad at someone but you were raised to well to punch him or her, look for a pair of gloves, a punching bag, and start boxing. You can also use the stress-relieving and anger-releasing sport to improve your physique by losing fat and firming those loose muscles. In a vigorous boxing training session, every muscle in your body is involved, resulting in toned shoulders, chest, back, arms, legs, and core, which are common trouble spots.
Mina Salva Cruz has always been fascinated by how sports can improve one’s overall physical and mental health in a more pleasurable way. She shares her insights by regularly writing for StrungOut, a one-stop-shop for tennis enthusiasts in Australia, providing high-quality tennis racquets, accessories, and sportswear from world-acclaimed brands since 1992.