The topic of maintaining health is one that consistently finds itself at the centre of constant discussion. From fuelling our bodies with the right foods and plenty of water for hydration, to taking the right vitamins, minerals, and supplements (think Ashwagandha or fish oil, for example), health has become a global trend that everyone is registering the inherent value in. One major contributor to a healthy lifestyle is exercise. The gym is a fantastic space to motivate and improve constantly, but for some people the gym feels boring and too stuck on routine.
The modern healthy lifestyle does not have to exist exclusively in the gym. In fact, the modern healthy lifestyle does not have to exist in the gym at all. While of course the gym does work wonders for many people, there are others that it has little to no effect for, simply because they feel uninspired, even bored. Gym is fantastic for routine management, but it can begin to feel too familiar, too bland. Thankfully, there are multiple ways that an individual can maintain a healthy lifestyle without having to solely rely on the gym – if they even want to go to the gym at all.
Hiking is the ultimate form of cardio
The fantastic thing about hiking is that nature provides the setting, and even if you walk the same track every week (or every other day, for that matter) it feels like a whole new place to explore. Contributing factors to this association with adventure include weather, time of the year, and natural shifts (like wildlife behaviour or the natural ebb and flow of water systems, for example) make hiking feel like an adventure of new proportions every time, and your body gets a decent whole body workout as it navigates the natural twists and turns of the environment around it during said hikes.
Resistance bands take the gym outdoors
Strength training is an important part of maintaining physical health, but sometimes lugging weights, medicine balls, and kettle bells around outside proves to be frustrating, to say the least. And this is where resistance bands make all the difference. Resistance bands are all about using what is around you to your advantage. With a resistance band, you can tie it to a tree, a pole, a boardwalk, anything in sight that gives you room, and adjust it to be as strong as you want it to be, and off you go. While slightly different from your traditional weight training in the gym, resistance bands are a great way to train the body, strengthening it time and again, allowing it to improve.
Riding a bike to work instead of driving
As well as being fantastic for the environment, opting to ride a bike around town, to work, or just for your daily half an hour of exercise is fantastic for one’s physical fitness. Running is great, but when you have errands to run it can be difficult to run comfortably with bags and the like. Riding a bike means that you get your hit of physical exercise while enjoying the scenic routes that take you winding along. Additionally, biking is easier on the joints (including the knees) than running is, meaning it is an effective form of cardio without the aches and pains that running incites.
Pick up boxing gloves and punch your woes away
Studies show that those who are actively engaged in a sport of their choosing are more prone to being fit. Instead of forcing oneself to hit the gym and exercise, those with a passion for a certain activity, be it tennis, swimming, football or martial arts, are more motivated to head out the door to learn and practice. Boxing is a great form of exercise because it’s multifunctional. Not only does one learn how to defend oneself, it is also a good stress reliever and will help alleviate one’s mood. Furthermore, it burns 400-600 calories per hour and builds on muscle strength, giving the boxer a lean physique.
It’s all about the diet
Of course, neither of the above would matter if one’s diet is completely unhealthy, filled with fatty, greasy staples and late night snacks, following nights at the bar. Alcohol and grease are an epidemic hidden in plain sight. It has become so commonplace to have happy hour with your colleagues or friends after work (which popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother strongly perpetuated) that nobody bothers thinking about the consequences. Being aware of what is entering the body is a responsibility that everyone should learn to shoulder.