Boring. Repetitive. Monotonous.
Are these words that you associate with your traditional gym workout? I hear you. Picking up heavy objects and putting them down can get boring. Running on a treadmill and going nowhere can seem pointless. Some days it just seems like there has to be a more fulfilling way to burn those extra calories off. Well, there are! Here are 4 ways to burn calories and lose weight without going to the gym:
Join a Recreational Sports Team
Sports are a great way to burn calories and joining a team is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable for your workout time. Many towns have their own leagues for traditional sports like baseball, basketball, or even ultimate frisbee. If you can't find a sport that you enjoy, start your own; now with Facebook or Meetup, it's easy to coordinate various games and activities in your area.
When have you ever seen an out of shape dancer? Not only is dancing a great cardio workout, but it also teaches grace, balance, and how to effectively express yourself physically. Have you ever fantasized about attending a swing night at an NYC jazz club? Or maybe you'd like to impress your partner with some sexy salsa moves. Prefer to go solo? Try some popping and locking in a Hip-Hop class; or get in touch with your inner ballerina with a ballet class. If you find yourself self-conscious about just starting out – I'm looking at you gentlemen – just remember that even the greats had to be beginners at one point. There are a myriad of great classes out there; so do a little research and get up on your feet!
I know this one is out of left field, but bear with me for a moment. An hour of drumming for someone weighing around 161 pounds results in burning, roughly, 219 calories. Furthermore, a study conducted by the University of Chichester shows that the heart rate of a drummer can reach up to 179 BPM (beats per minute); not too shabby for never getting out of your seat. In addition to a great workout, drumming is an great way to develop an appreciation for music and rhythm. Plus, if you get a band together, maybe you'll hit it big and burn even more calories on tour. Either way, you'll look good doing it.
Bike, Run, or Walk to Work
Commuting to work on your bike or with your own two feet is a great way to start the day, get the blood flowing, and burn some extra calories. Studies have shown clear health benefits to commuting to work in this way. The extra time that it takes to arrive at your destination can be used for catching up on podcasts, listening to music, or just enjoying the scenery around you.
Obviously, this option is somewhat contingent on how far you have to commute to work. If you have to commute 2 hours on the highway, then consider biking to the train station every once in awhile to switch things up. There are more options for healthy living then we realize, but they get lost in the shuffle of daily life. With a little consideration, opportunities will often surprise us.
There's nothing like a good bench press, but sometimes you need a change of pace. So get creative, and try something new for a few weeks. The gym will be there when you get back.