Are you bored with the same old gym routine? While it seems that the health and fitness industry is booming all around, it doesn’t mean that hours on a treadmill or demanding insanity aerobic sessions are the only way to keep fit. Actually, it seems that even though more and more people are paying for gym memberships, the number of alternative ways to stay fit keeps growing as well. Doing an activity that is both physical and fun is a great way to stay motivated in the long run. Here’s a short list of alternative physical activities for women and girls.
Explore variations of basketball
Middle school can be a tough place to fit in for a lot of girls, and basketball with its more dynamic and fun variations is a great escape from that, but also an opportunity to meet wonderful new people. These sports teach girls to support their teammates and to motivate each other when the spirits fail. In addition, now there are basketball uniforms that you can design from scratch, choosing the cut, the colour and the logo of your jersey and shorts to boost the sense of unity and make the whole activity much more interesting. Apart from classic basketball, perhaps the most popular variation is the half-court, which is played in much less formal setting and requires less cardiovascular stamina, so it’s suitable for players who haven’t had a lot of sports experience as well. Invented by Phillip Bryant, beach basketball is played on a circular court with no backboard on the goals and the ball movement is done in passes or 2 ½ steps, as dribbling is impossible on a sandy court.
Get ready for beer yoga
Yes, you’ve heard it. Nothing like a cold one on a hot summer day. And what if you could combine beer and achieving a higher state of being, transcending the Self through yoga? After being popularized by Berlin hipsters, this unusual form of fitness is finding its ways to the farthest Australian shores, to a land where beer’s almost a religion, sometimes not in a good way. The founder’s website suggests that both components are “centuries-old therapies aimed at the mind, body and soul.” According to yogi Jhula, they take the philosophies of yoga and pair it with the pleasure of beer-drinking to achieve higher levels of consciousness. However, she admits that the idea of combining a stimulant like alcohol and yoga didn’t originate from her, but it was first seen at the American culture festival/desert apocalypse event Burning Man.
Empowerment through pole dancing classes
Before you cast a judgemental eye, remember that just like many now popular forms of dance for women, pole dancing has had a fraught history of seedy clubs and unsavoury spectators, which is a reputation that often discourages would-be dancers. However, with their persistence and positive image, pole dancing aficionados are bringing this physically demanding dance out of the shadows and into fitness studios, showing women how empowering it can be to twist, twirl and be irresistibly sexy, all while getting a great workout. Besides better balance, coordination and arm that would make Michelle Obama cry with envy, another great benefit of pole dancing is the confidence it brings.
A doggy + yoga = doga
It’s simply exhilarating when you can calmly sit on the mat with your pet, or when it approaches you because it feels your inner peace radiating. According to its founder, doga is an outdoor yoga practice that includes your dog. A complete contrast to owners who use the time spent walking their pets to talk on their phones or swipe on their screens while the dog runs around in a leash-free park, this form of exercise includes your pet as well. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from anxiety, depression and stress, so these calming yoga sessions that incorporate breathing techniques will relax both you and your dog.
Although traditional ways of staying fit are often easier to follow and take part in, to some of us they lack the fun and creative element that would motivate us to keep on doing them. Luckily, there are always enough people who think outside the box, so you’ll easily find partners and teammates whichever activity you choose.