This time of year, a lot of us are starting to think about how we can get fit in preparation for the summer and the prospect of squeezing ourselves into swimsuits on the beach. Although the best way to get your ideal bikini body is, in fact, to have a body and to put a bikini on it instead of worrying too much about what other people think, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to get in shape and to feel a little healthier. Here are some tips that might just help you decide which type of exercise is for you.
FOR YOU: Most of the time, people who use the gym on a regular basis do so for convenience – if there’s a gym near your place of work or your house then it might be easy to pop in there a couple of times a week to use the machines or work with a personal trainer. Being a member of a gym is a great way to motivate yourself towards getting fit if it doesn’t come particularly naturally to you.
NOT FOR YOU: The number one problem with the gym is how much it costs. Although you might be able to get a relatively inexpensive trial period, in the long run the monthly costs of being a member of your local gym might be pretty prohibitive, meaning that it just isn’t financially feasible, particularly if you don’t end up going as often as you thought you would!
FOR YOU: If you want to get fit in a way that’s sociable and fun, zumba is for you. It’s a mixture of aerobics and dance moves set to a thumping Latin beat, and classes are great fun even as you might end up getting very sweaty and out of breath! There are different levels of classes but you’ll probably be able to keep up at most levels – and remember that everyone was a beginner once. The most important thing is to throw yourself into it and enjoy it.
NOT FOR YOU: If you’ve never been particularly confident when it comes to dancing, you might feel self conscious if you decide to take up zumba classes and you might not end up enjoying it very much. If that’s the case for you but you’d still like to try it out, you could always persuade a friend or family member to come along with you so that you can have a laugh together.
FOR YOU: If you want to achieve mental and emotional health as well as physical health, then yoga is the pastime for you. It’s a practise that is thousands of years old and originated in India, and is made up of a series of stretches alongside breathing exercises that will help you to become more flexible and limber, to develop more core strength, and to improve your balance. No matter what other sports you play or other things you do to stay healthy, yoga can be done alongside them to improve your general fitness.
NOT FOR YOU: If you find it hard to stay still for a long time then yoga might not be for you – it involves focusing on what exactly your body is doing in almost a meditative way and not everyone will feel comfortable with it. If you’d like to do it but you aren’t sure where to start, check out Yoga With Adriene on YouTube for some pointers.
FOR YOU: If you want to get fit doing something a little more zany than the norm, then inline skating might just be for you. It helps tone your muscles and improve your balance and it’s a little less rough on your joints than running is. If you want to get out and enjoy the outdoors while moving along at a fast pace, then skating might just be for you. Look online to find the best inline skates and other equipment for you.
NOT FOR YOU: Let’s face it, skating isn’t for absolutely everyone. You need to make sure that you have a helmet along with elbow and knee pads in case you fall over, to prevent any injuries – if you don’t have very good balance then it might not be your kind of thing. In addition, you need to make sure that you have a public space near you with wide pathways that you can skate on, without too many potholes – it really isn’t very sociable to do it along your local high street!
FOR YOU: If you love the great outdoors and you don’t fancy the idea of trying to get fit inside the four walls of a gym then hiking might be the fitness activity that you’ve been searching for. Walking will tone your muscles and improve your stamina, and you’ll be able to enjoy the natural beauty of your local area at the same time. You can always persuade family members and friends to come along with you so that you can enjoy a chat while you’re walking, and if you have a dog then you have built-in company!
NOT FOR YOU: If you don’t particularly enjoy getting outside and you’re more focused on doing a few quick blasts at the gym every week, then hiking probably isn’t for you – it’s really more of a lifestyle and hobby than fitness pursuit at the end of the day. The toned muscles are really an added perk of getting to explore nature.
FOR YOU: If you have sore joints from running or cycling or if you’re overweight or arthritic, swimming is a great way to get fit because the water will support your body weight, meaning that you won’t be putting too much pressure on it. The warm, wet atmosphere of a swimming pool will also be good for anyone who has asthma and finds other sports a little too hard-going.
NOT FOR YOU: A lot of people feel a little too self conscious in a swimsuit to feel good about going swimming, but it’s important to remember that no one’s nearly as focused on you as you are!