[Charles Smith | Contributing Writer]
Many of us have indulged in a plentiful amount of chocolates and sweets over the Christmas period and now that you are back to a normal routine, you have lost all motivation to keep fit. Sound about right?
You may keep telling yourself that you will start being healthy as soon as the last remains of your Christmas chocolate stash runs out , but who are you kidding. Chocolates and sweets are forever around us, if it’s not from Christmas, it’ll be some other occasion. It is time to put them to one side and get started with the new healthy you which you promised yourself on New Year’s Eve.
Exercise is often stereotyped with lifting weights or running on a treadmill until you become miserable; this is simply not the case. If you don’t like doing it, then don’t do it. Exercise is a way of getting fit and healthy. In order to reach that goal a healthy lifestyle has to be maintained – and the only way to achieve this is by exercising in a way that you enjoy.
However difficult it may be, these seven fun ways to keep fit will make your New Year’s resolution slightly easier and a great deal more enjoyable.
Rock Climbing is not just for those adrenaline junkies out there, anyone can join in and have fun. Quite different to that of running, it is an anaerobic exercise which builds your strength and balance throughout the body.
“Climbing is good exercise because it uses pretty much every muscle in the body” says Lucy Parker, Vice President of the University Rock Climbing Club, “it pushes your body to the limit and increases muscle tone”.
Not matter what your age or ability, work those muscles you didn’t know you had with Rock climbing.
Act like a kid again
Not in the nonsensical sense, but as a child you actually performed an array of beneficial exercises to keep you fit, without even realizing it.
Hula hooping is no longer just a 1950’s craze, it has hit the mainstream as an ideal 2015 exercise that will tone your stomach, arms, thighs and butt. This body toning workout only requires a hula hoop; a small child’s one will not do – you will need a large and heavy one to perform this activity for best results. According to health.com you can burn 300 calories in 30 minutes; a fun way to relive your childhood while keeping fit.
A common playground activity, skipping, or more technically known as jump roping is another easy way to get fit, “Jumping rope torches a ton of calories, builds athleticism and looks incredibly cool—if you do it right” says muscle and fitness.com, ‘“f you’re tripping yourself up on every rotation of the rope, you’re not likely to impress anyone. But you have to start somewhere and the best place, of course, is the bare basics”
Handstands are very much an underrated exercise, yet they are extremely beneficial for your health. Many people presuppose that they are unable to perform such an ‘advanced’ action. You don’t have to have been a gymnast or yoga practitioner; whether you do them against a wall or freestanding you will still reap the rewards. Not only will they bring out the inner child, they also improve your upper body strength and balance. Obviously you will have to have the strength to hold yourself up, even if it’s for only 5-10 seconds, as well as keeping control over your body to keep your body up.
These activities can be performed inside and out, perfect for any daily routine, no matter your lifestyle. You will be able to turn the clocks back and enjoy being a kid again, if only for a few hours a week.
Create or join a team
Fun exercise, which is relatively painless, is perfect for those who just want to keep active. The opportunity do so is through inter-campus football. You have the option for 6 or 11 aside; whichever you may prefer.
There are two ways to get involved: The first option is to assign yourself captaincy and gather together a few mates to create a team. The second option is to attend a ‘Get into football’ day where you’ll be scouted by team captains looking to fill their team. These sessions are held at the beginning of every semester; the next one will be on Wednesday 21st January from 12.30pm on New Gen 1, de Havilland campus.
“The structure of the Campus Football programme, alongside Active Students, also allows students to play a format of football every day of the week” says James Tierney, Sports Development of Officer at the University of Hertfordshire Athletic Union, “whilst gaining the health benefits, you also are building those social interactions”
With the University offering a vast array of sporting options, the opportunities are endless, so why not get involved and try something new. Work your cardiovascular system in a new way to your regular exercise, by part taking in exercises and sports that you may have never tried before; this will help with your endurance and keep fat burning at an optimum.
“It is about having fun, getting active, making new friends and building or learning new skills” says James Kent an Active Students activator, “one of our objectives is to encourage people that have not participated in sport before to give something a try.”
Whether it’s Tennis, Zumba, Gymnastics, Roller Skating or even snowboarding, active students is here to help you keep active, so why not take advantage on what they have to offer.
Expand your horizons
There is plenty to get exploring in the local area, so why not take a nice stroll – you never know what you may find on your adventures. If Hatfield’s not exciting enough for you, St Albans has some lovely scenery waiting for you to discover.
The cardiovascular exercise, walking, strengthens your heart and lungs. These are not the only health benefits as Dr Craig Williams a sports science lecturer at the University of Exeter says, “keeping a brisk pace at moderate to high intensity – can burn the same amount of calories as jogging or running. So it is useful for helping with weight loss”. Do not underestimate the health benefits of walking, so maybe it’s time to get out of your room and see where the road takes you.
For this year why don’t your try something new, something completely out of your comfort zone, something that you will have to strive towards. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…”
For those of you enthused to pushing your body to the extremes why not set your mind onto completing a Tough Mudder run.
At this University, there is a Tough Mudder society, so you’ve got one foot in the door to make those mental goals a reality. Tough Mudder runs are no walk in the park I might add. They are designed to test your body to the limits through a 12 mile endurance race catalogued with challenging obstacles.
Dominic Pollio, Chairperson of the University Tough Mudder Society, says “It’s an all over workout and a great way to stay functionally fit.”
Have a training buddy
Often going to the gym or training by yourself can be boring causing a lack in motivation. A simple solution to this could be to try and find a friend will similar goals to team up with so you can work together. Having someone to talk to will make the experience a far more enjoyable one.
Andy Rix, a health and fitness coach says: “When you come in with a friend, like buddy training, sometimes you just help motivate each other and bounce of each other whatever your training goals are… just to have that companionship and encouragement will help you get through certain pitfalls to achieve those goals that you want to hit.”
Let us know how you’re keeping fit @TridentMediaUK!