By Stephanie Guarda
Many of us twenty-somethings are now realizing that we will be sitting at desk jobs every day for years to come. And if you’re like me, you find running on a treadmill boring. I’ve put together a list of activities that will burn calories, but are so fun that you won’t feel right calling it a “workout.” Whether you’re athletic or just looking for something new to try, all of the below are welcoming to beginners.
Zumba is like having the best night clubbing without the hangover. 14,000,000 people do Zumba in 151 countries worldwide. It’s a dance fitness workout with easy-to-follow moves led by an instructor, typically in a one hour class.
I’ve always had a passion for dance, but I have stage fright. In Zumba, you simply mirror the instructor’s moves; there is no memorized choreography and I get to live out my Broadway dreams! I’ve tried classes with many different instructors, and the only basic is they encourage you to keep moving. No judgment, just keep moving – even if it’s walking in place!
Where can I find a Zumba class? Classes are held in dance studios, gyms, and community recreation centers, ranging from $5-10 per class. You can usually try your first class for free. Look up classes near you on Zumba.com.
Indoor Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is not just for adventure hounds. Anyone can learn to do it, and indoor climbing gyms are becoming increasingly popular. Trust me, when I saw an eight year old scale a wall in just a few minutes, I knew I could do it, too. You start with a belaying class to learn how to tie the safety ropes, and spot a partner who is climbing. The rest is like a life-size chess game. It’s goal-oriented because you can set new height and time goals for yourself! Part mental floss, part body strength, rock climbing is relaxing and a subculture all of its own.
Where can I rock climb? Your best bet is to Google it. Beginner lessons are available from $50-70 that you can complete in one day, and you can rent gear from the gym.
Weekend Walking Warrior
Find fun weekend events where you can walk around. If you’re there for a few hours, that’s a few hours less you spent on the couch watching “Say Yes to the Dress” (erm, I mean that might just be me…) Here are a few places I’ve recently discovered that my parents were never cool enough to take me to as a child:
- Renaissance fair
- Antiques fair or flea market
- Garden and flower show
- Traveling museum exhibits
- General pit admission at a concert (you can’t help but jump and dance!)
- Zip lining and outdoor adventure parks
Where can I find events near me? Sometimes you have to hunt a little to find local events, especially if you’ve moved to a new area. Take a look at your local newspaper or regional magazine, which often lists a calendar of events with prices. The website Meetup.com is helpful and describes itself as “neighbors getting together to learn something, do something, share something…” from salsa to knitting and everything in between.
If you have a woof, this is part of your daily life. If not…I highly suggest you borrow a friend’s or coworker’s pet and volunteer to walk and play with him or her. Why this is not crazy and is actually a fab idea: a) Dog owners, even with the best intentions, don’t walk their dogs as much as they should and will likely be more than happy for the help b) The dog will be super excited c) You will have a new fuzzy friend…that you can give back when the play date’s over. Win-win-win.
Where can I find a dog? You can of course adopt one, but that is a huge life decision! More easily, just chat with a friend or coworker who has a furry child. For some inspiration, check out Will and Eko’s blog Marking Our Territory on Petcentric from Purina.
This is me giving you a virtual high-five for considering something new to engage your mind and body. You might surprise yourself with how much it feels like play instead of work… a workout, that is.