Alternative Activities for a New Year Fitness Boost*

The new year is a time where many people attempt resolutions and we try to better ourselves in one way or another. If you’re trying to improve your health and fitness in 2018, but aren’t motivated by conventional exercise, this post will show you some alternative activities — from paintball to martial arts — to get you in shape.

The chaos of the festive season is over, meaning that you’re back to reality and abundantly aware of the mountains of food you ate at Christmas. We’re all guilty of it! It’s for this reason that many people adopt a ‘New Year, New Me’ attitude in an attempt to lose some holiday weight.

If you’re one of those people and you’re worried that run of the mill (or treadmill) activities won’t be able to keep to engaged enough to commit to a long-term fitness plan, here are a few activities that offer a more exciting and adrenaline-fuelled alternative to the gym.

Rock Climbing/Bouldering

Although people have been climbing rocks for centuries, ‘rock climbing’ as a recreational activity has only been around for 40 years or so. The objective is simple: climb to the top of the cliff or indoor wall. Getting there, on the other hand, isn’t an easy task. With walls offering varied levels of difficulty, it forces you to use every ounce of creativity and strength to reach your goal. So, not only will you be breaking a sweat and improving upper body strength, but you’ll also be flexing your creative muscles.

Scared of heights? Maybe rock climbing isn’t for you, but bouldering is an ideal alternative that provides the benefits of climbing, without having to scale too far from the ground. The objective is to climb a ‘boulder’ shaped obstacle that offers a huge amount of difficulty and requires some serious thought to succeed. With no concerns about a high wall, you’ll be able to focus on technique and mustering up the strength needed to make your way across complex boulders. It’s safe to say you’ll burn plenty of calories, too!

Outdoor Paintball

When it comes to activities that offer a unique experience, paintball is undoubtedly up there with the best of them. While you may assume that paintballing is reserved for random weekends with friends, special occasions, and stag/hen do’s, playing paintball on a regular basis is actually a phenomenal way to keep fit. Plus, if you can find a company whose paintball prices aren’t too steep, it won’t be a costly venture at all.

A day spent immersed in expertly-designed paintball battlefields allows you to experience the excitement of authentic combat scenarios, but it also means that you’ll reap the benefits of a full body workout. Running after and away from enemies, dashing for cover, and other explosive movements will give you a hefty cardio workout. Meanwhile climbing obstacles, switching between various stances, and carrying a gun around all day is ideal for strength and endurance. You’ll be making yourself far fitter without even noticing!

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

In recent years, mixed martial arts (MMA) has become the most popular combat sport thanks to the UFC and stars such as Conor McGregor, but it has also rejuvenated the popularity of all martial arts as recreational activities. Two that have become especially popular for MMA training and fitness are  Muay Thai Boxing, which incorporates punching and kicking, and Jiu-Jitsu, which focuses on close combat on the ground.

Both of these sports are extremely good for you in regards to cardio, strength, flexibility and self-defence, as well as the social benefits of becoming part of a club. You may be hesitant to take on a sport where there is the possibility of being punched in the face, but don’t worry — unless you plan to fight competitively, this isn’t the case. The focus of training is fitness and technique, and you’ll also get to experience the excitement of sparring.

Five-a-Side Football

No matter if you’re an eager football fan who doesn’t miss one of your team’s games, or you have no interest in watching the sport at all, you don’t have to be a footy fan to enjoy the sport and its fitness benefits. Winter isn’t the ideal time to be stood outside in the wet and windy weather, on a muddy pitch, which is why five-a-side is the perfect indoor alternative.

Playing on a much smaller pitch encourages quick, precise passing, tactical play, and the lack of open space makes each game a very intense and fast-paced experience. Although your mileage won’t be as high compared to an outdoor pitch, you’ll find that there will be little time for standing around and you’ll always be on the move. This will keep your heart rate elevated, give your entire body a workout, and burn a tonne of calories in the process.

Are you looking for an alternative way to get fit in 2018? The suggestions above are just four of many that you could choose from, but if you are yet to find something that engages you, they are all fantastic for fitness and require no previous experience. So, whether you take on the lofty climbing wall, pick up a paintball gun, embrace your inner martial artist, or rally the troops for a game of five-a-side football, there are plenty of fun and exciting ways to get in shape!

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*this post is sponsored