No matter what your 2020 fitness goals are, chances are you’ve got a plan in place to reach them. And chances are, this plan involves a gym or running shoes. After all, not only is it the beginning of a new year, it’s also a whole new decade. It’s a promising feeling, like we’ve got a clean slate, a fresh new chapter, a chance to reinvent ourselves.
And while gyms are a great place to get fit (obviously, doing the same workout over and over can get a little boring. The key to kicking your fitness goals and sticking to your routine is to find something fun that you fall in love with – something that makes you feel like you’re not even exercising at all.
Here are our top ten out-of-the-box ways to work out and have a damn good time while doing it.
Learn to dance
Dancing has to be one of the best ways to get a sweaty workout without even realising it. And there are so many ways to do it: at the club, in your bedroom, at a class, with your mates, even on your own.
Choose a style of dance you’ve never tried before, like salsa or hip-hop, and see if there’s a regular class near you. It doesn’t matter if you’re good or bad at it, you’ll be surrounded by strangers who are way too busy trying to dance to be able to judge you. Chances are you’ll make some new friends and gain a whole new level of fitness.
If going to class isn’t your thing, have a look on YouTube for dance tutorials. There are a ton of virtual classes and lessons out there that’ll give you a great workout without even having to leave your lounge!
According to a NASA study, just ten minutes of jumping on a trampoline can burn as many calories as a 30-minute run (that’s why astronauts do it in space!). Not only is trampolining super fun and a great stress reliever, it will give you a full-body, low-impact workout that’s great for your bones. The bouncing helps oxygen move through your body, which can make you feel more energetic and mentally alert. The benefits just keep on coming!
And wanna hear the great thing? You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy a good ol’ trampoline sesh. Let’s relive the good days of childhood when you’d go over to your friend’s place and spend the whole afternoon bouncing in the backyard.
Don’t let the fact that it’s winter put you off. Indoor trampoline parks have soared in popularity and are a great place to get in a workout and work on your 2020 fitness goals without even feeling like you’re exercising.
Most trampoline parks have huge areas where you can bounce and work up a sweat, as well as big foam pits you can dive into or practice your flips. (Maybe just avoid them on Saturday mornings unless you want to get caught up in a ten-year-old’s birthday party.)
Some parks even hold fitness classes - they’re kinda like aerobics, just with a lot more bounce.
Pole dancing is one of those strange fitness trends that has taken the world by storm. While it sounds like a fun class to take with friends, it’s actually one of the most intense forms of exercise.
Anyone who’s taken a class will tell you that it’s an addictive workout: it makes you feel amazing and does wonders for your body. It takes a serious amount of strength to keep yourself steady up on the pole, so every class is an epic core workout.
Doing regular pole classes will give you toned arms and legs, not to mention incredible flexibility and balance. It’s not an easy skill to master, and your first class might feel a little sweaty-palmed and frustrating. But once you get the hang of it and start nailing your moves on the pole, the rush of endorphins is incomparable. It’s a great confidence builder as well. If you had to design a perfect workout for women, pole fitness would probably be it.
Lacing up comfortable shoes and getting out and about in nature is one of the best ways to exercise your mind and body. Any avid hiker will tell you about what a great impact it can have on your mental health. Being alone with your thoughts while being immersed in nature and rewarded with amazing views is extremely therapeutic. The benefits aren’t just physical! That’s why hiking had to be on our 2020 alternate workouts list.
Getting your blood pumping while breathing in fresh air and getting away from the traffic noises of the city is such a treat. It’s a great way to get out and explore your area while getting your heart pumping. Don’t worry, you don’t need to hike up a mountain or do a multi-day walk trek off the bat. Find some flatter or shorter walks to start off with, and build up to the big stuff if you feel like it.
So, whether you go with a friend, with your dog, or just with a good podcast or playlist, try to incorporate a hike or two into your monthly calendar to help reach your 2020 fitness goals.
Stand up paddle-boarding
Now is the perfect time of year to try your hand at stand-up paddle-boarding (or SUP, as the cool kids call it). While you could technically SUP year-round, it’s undeniably way better in summer.
In the last couple of years it has soared in popularity, probably because it’s so fun and relaxing that you don’t even feel like you’re working out. Go by yourself in the morning as a great way to clear your mind and start the day. Or turn it into a fun group activity with your mates, followed by drinks on the beach.
Not only will you get a great arm workout, you’ll probably work your core as well from laughing while you all try to balance and inevitably fall off. It’s certainly a better way to make the most of a warm day than just lying on the sand.
There’s no need to invest in a pricey board and paddle, most cities and beach towns have places where you can rent them for a day. Once you get comfortable on the board you can progress to SUP yoga, which looks very impressive if you can master it.
Schedule Walking Catchups
One of the easiest ways to hit your fitness goals this year is by simply incorporating activity into your regular life. Next time you’re trying to plan a hang-out with a friend, don’t schedule drinks or dinner. Instead, go on a walking date.
Find a scenic route and spend an hour or two pounding the pavement while catching up. You’ll be getting fresh air and sunshine while getting your body moving - way better than sitting in a dark bar having to yell to hear each other. Plan your walk so you pass by your favourite cafe and grab a coffee as a mid-way break. Or end at a cute brunch spot and reward yourself with a big meal after your walk.
Walking is one of the best ways to get exercise. If your friend isn’t up for it or everyone’s busy, download a couple of episodes of your fave podcast or an audiobook you’ve been meaning to read. Plug in your earphones, let yourself get lost in the story, and go for a wander.
What sounds better: starting your weekend with a wholesome morning walk, or with a blinding hangover? It’s up to you!
Self Defense Classes
In this day and age, if you’re not multitasking then what are you even doing? Well, self-defense classes are a great way to get valuable life skills while also working on your fitness.
There are plenty of different types and classes you can try out, and Krav Maga is one of the most popular. It’s a self-defense and fighting style that combines techniques from boxing, wrestling, judo, and karate. While it was originally designed by the Israeli army, it’s been adapted to be useful in normal life. The core purpose of Krav Maga classes is to learn essential self-defense skills that could potentially be life-saving, and is a great workout for your body as well as your mind.
Some studios also incorporate cardio and fitness aspects into their classes, as well as training to help make your body more flexible. It might sound a little aggressive, but even if you’re more of a lover than a fighter you’ll get something out of the class.
It’s not about violence, moreso awareness and prevention. It’s a great way to build confidence and self-assurance, while also getting super fit at the same time.
Make yoga fun
For some people, yoga is a great exercise. You get an hour of peace and quiet, time to meditate with your thoughts. For others, that sounds like hell. If you’re in that second camp, there are plenty of ways to make a yoga workout way more enjoyable.
There are more and more “alternative” yoga classes popping up at studios around the country. How about hip-hop yoga, where the fast-paced flows are set to beats like Kanye and Beyonce. Disco yoga has fun ‘70s jams and confetti, and cat yoga studios are filled with...well, cats. Anti-gravity yoga is done in a hammock-like sling that allows you to hang upside down, while some studios have amazing projections on the wall that’ll transport you to another world.
Basically: there are all types of yoga for all types of people.
On a budget? You don’t need a fancy studio to get your yoga fix. There are thousands of videos online that’ll guide you through all different types of at-home flows. Just clear a space on your living room floor and get stretching!
There’s something about salt water that is so wholesome and healing. Everyone knows that a hangover can practically be cured with a beach swim, and splashing about in the ocean is miles better than swimming in a chlorine pool.
Swimming itself is a great workout, no matter what level you’re at. It’s super low-impact, so won’t cause any joint issues like running sometimes can. It’s also a full-body workout and it can be pretty therapeutic to spend half an hour exercising with nothing but your thoughts.
So, skip the local pool and instead head down to the beach and swim some lengths in the salty water. It’s actually easier to swim in salt water, thanks to the buoyancy. If you’re a beginner and a bit uneasy about the waves, find an ocean pool that’s protected by a rock wall. Once you build up your strength and confidence, you could even enter a group ocean swim.
Join a race
It’s always easier to achieve a goal if you have a specific date or event to work toward. Instead of making your 2020 fitness goals something vague or general, why not find an event which you can train specifically for. If you like running, maybe aim to complete a 10K or a half-marathon.
There are plenty of online apps and programs that can help you break up such a big goal into achievable chunks to work toward each week. Or round up some friends and enter the Colour Run. It’s a yearly 5K event that really puts the “fun” in fun run - at each kilometre mark everyone is covered with a different colour of powder. It’s probably the most Instagram-worthy way to exercise.
If you’re up for a challenge, try something like Tough Mudder, a notoriously difficult race and obstacle course. It’s team based, so you can get a training group together and all keep yourselves accountable. Have a look for events coming up that will motivate you to prepare for. Put the dates in your calendar, tell all your friends, and book tickets so you can’t back out.