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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

TrainerTiff: Gym Alternatives to Stay Fit

Every now and then, I like to change up my workout routine. Now, of course I change my weight and cardio routines regularly, but I mean, change it all the way up.

For instance, ladies, take a pole dancing class.

Working out doesn't always have to be the same ol' same ol'. Make it fun.

Below I've listed a few alternatives--all things that will work those muscles and keep your heart rate elevated, helping you burn calories. You don't have to completely ditch your usual routine, in fact, don't. Just try to add in a new thing here or there. Once a week try something new.

See if any of these below peak your interest.

1. Boxing-Get in the ring and punch it out. It helps build muscles in the legs and arms. It is cardio intense, helping you maintain an elevated heart rate. You might even learn a few moves to defend yourself.

2. Roller skating-Let me guess, you haven't been roller skating in years? Well, get out there and do it. It is a great way to build leg strength and has a cardio benefit as well. It raises your heart rate as you use your legs to help push you around the rink.

3. Trampoline-Find a class or buy a small one for your home. There are trampoline fitness DVDs out there to help you through it. All the jumping is good for leg strength and keeping the heart rate up, not to mention, this is just fun!

4. Dance classes-I took a hip hop dance class for about a month and boy was that a workout! The fast-paced moves are a great cardio workout. There are all types of classes out there, just pick one that seems fun to you. Try out a pole dancing class for a total body strength workout.

5. Swimming-If you can swim, go for it. You will need to swim laps over and over for a certain amount of time, say 20 minutes or more. Or if you're new to swimming for fitness (as opposed to playing in the water), set a lap goal each time you get in the pool. Swimming allows you to work all of the muscles in your entire body while also providing a cardio workout.

6. Basketball-Excellent for cardio exercise! It's no surprise why the pros are all lean. During the course of a game, you burn lots of calories. Even if you're not a great player, just getting out there and running up and down the court will help you shed some pounds. Performing a series of drills will also provide the same benefits.

7. Wall climbing-This is a total body strength workout. You have to use your arm and leg strength to pull you all the way to the top of the wall. Your heart rate will be elevated giving you some cardio benefit. You can find these walls in community centers and sporting goods stores.

Adding something new and different to your usual workout plan can help prevent boredom. Boring workouts sabotage long-term fitness plans all of the time. Change things up a bit and have fun with it.

Tiffiany Moore is a certified personal trainer and NANBF figure competitor. Read more at Questions or comments? E-mail Follow on Twitter at

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