Living in the urban metropolis we call Auckland, it can sometimes be hard to think of a workout that doesn’t include the gym. And, although there are some people who absolutely live for the gym, there are many who prefer their workouts....differently.
If you’re a gym hater looking for an exercise alternative, you’re in luck. Here are some fun-filled work out suggestions from The Urban List, with love.
For those of you who really hate exercise, we’ve found a solution. For just 20 minutes a week you can get the work out of a life time, thanks to the new technology of EMS, which sends electricity down your body, increasing the work out results and making your 20-minute session equivalent to an entire hour of exercise! The best part is you don’t even need to turn up with a gym bag as all the equipment, including special clothing, is provided to you by the studio! Talk about exercise on the go.
Equal parts exercise and socialising, hashing is often described as a “running club with a drinking problem”. The concept is based on the childhood game of Hares and Hounds, with the addition of glorious, refreshing beer at the finish line. A member designated ‘the hare’ is given a head start to run through the city streets making a trail for the rest of the group, ‘the hounds’, to follow. The hare leaves a ‘scent’—this can be a trail of paper, flour, chalk, etc. The trail features occasional dead ends, false trails and splits, allowing time for slower runners to catch up as the front runners figure out where the trail begins again. Eventually, the track ends in a pub, where the runners share a pint of beer and socialise. Open to all fitness levels, hashing is a non-competitive sport perfect for all those who love to drink!
Popularised by 2009 movie Whip It, roller derby is a contact sport played on roller skates by two teams of five, skating in the same direction. A designated member of the team (usually the fastest skater) called a ‘jammer’ laps circles around the other team, scoring points as the opposition tries to take them out by blocking and tackling. Roller derby is an all-inclusive, pro-female sport, encouraging body positivity. Members come in all shapes in sizes and usually have a derby name, encompassing their alter ego. Although teams usually have a uniform, players often spice it up with funky socks and tights—pop on a pair of skates and you too can look as cool as Ellen Page! Have fun, relieve stress and build confidence meanwhile learning about strategy and the importance of teamwork.
Invest in a hula hoop and burn calories while having fun! Join a class or learn by yourself with the help of YouTube and you’ll be able to impress your friends in no time! Not only is hula hooping open to the most un-sporty of us, it’s extremely enjoyable with plenty of tricks to learn. Aside from the usual waist hooping there’s knee hooping, shoulder hooping and lots of neat tricks like isolations, vortex’ and barrel rolls. Hooping burns a crazy number of calories leaving you with a sexy, slim waist and hour-glass figure, as well as increasing all-round flexibility. Invest in a glowing LED hoop and put on an artsy performance against the night sky or if you’re a bit of an adrenaline junky and pyromaniac—opt for a fire hoop and feel the heat!
Want to impress your other half? A bit of foreplay featuring the Family Bar pole and a lot of flexibility between the sheets is what’s in store for your special someone once you’ve made a few visits to a pole dancing studio and nailed a couple of tricks. Not only is pole dancing great for your core, strength and flexibility, but it’s also known to increase self-esteem and improve the sex life, too. Basically, super rewarding all around. Work that pole and you’ll have a bangin’ bod in no time!
If you’ve ever wanted to run away with the circus, this is your chance! Suspend yourself from a piece of fabric, perform wraps, swings and dramatic drops meanwhile increasing your flexibility and strength. You won’t even notice the workout with all the fun you’re having!
Yoga is all the craze. Not only is it super good for your physical health and capabilities, but it’s great for your mental health, too! Burn calories, increase flexibility and clear your mind all in one. If you’re not convinced and think yoga’s not for you, you’re wrong. There’s so many types out there, you’re sure to find something! Seriously, apart from regular yoga and bikram, there’s cat yoga, laugh yoga, beer yoga, hip hop yoga and many, many other types!
Climb the Auckland Volcanos
As Aucklanders, we’re lucky (yeah right) to be living on a landscape full of hills and mountains, thanks to the volcanic plateau we’re sitting on. Every time you take a walk you’re burning calories from all the hills you’re tackling. If you want to get a free exercise and take in some nature, start ticking off those volcanic cones! One tree hill, Mount Eden, Three Kings, Mount Victoria, the list goes on and on! Work on your booty and enjoy Auckland from every angle!
As we know, the good people at Auckland Council have been spending many a dollar on building cycle lanes all over the city. Well, it’s time to get your tax payer’s worth! Get on ya bike and explore the various routes, including Nelson Street’s pink cycle lane and the new rainbow lane in Mount Albert!
Swim in the Pools
Speaking of getting the most out of your tax payer dollar, why not swim in the public pools? Swimming is a great way to tone the body and relax the mind. Plus, you’ll be able to soak your bones in a spa pool and sweat out toxins in a sauna or steam room as a leisurely, post-exercise reward.
If you’ve always dreamed of being a ballerina, barre is for you. Get a ballerina’s body through a workout combining ballet poses with Pilates and yoga to give you lean muscles, flexibility and core strength.
Swim the beaches
Lucky enough to live on island, us Aucklanders are spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches. Urbanised city beaches, north shore or black sand west side—all are perfect for a relaxing dip and hardcore swim workout. And of course, the bonus is you can always bronze up in the sun afterwards!
If fun is a huge factor in your choice of exercise, then perhaps you should try surfing. There’s nothing quite like manoeuvring a surfboard through the ocean waters, chased by giant wave reminiscent of a concrete wall, curling down right behind you. Talk about connecting with nature and getting an adrenaline fix simultaneously! If that sounds like a bit of you then tuck that board under your arm and hit some of Auckland’s best surf beaches.
If you prefer asphalt to waves and aren’t afraid to graze those knees, opt for skating. Equally as fun and adrenaline-fuelled, skating satisfies a need for speed and can be super impressive for onlookers to watch. Although some prefer to skate around the suburbs and terrorize the cityscape, we suggest you go for the more citizen friendly designated skate parks, filled with necessary equipment and designed with safety in mind. Thankfully, Auckland is big on skating and there are many parks around the place. Show off your moves at Victoria Park in Freeman’s Bay or Nixon Park in Kingsland to skate the city fringe, Lincoln Road to skate west Auckland or Devonport to hit the shore.
Have you ever seen those YouTube videos of people jumping from the roof of a skyscraper to a neighbouring building’s balcony and into yet another building’s window all within a split second? Well, that could be you! If you hate the gym, why not make the cityscape itself your workout studio? Scale buildings and other city structures with nothing other than your body. Learn to do a bunch of tricks and you’re on your way to become a stunt double! Note before: adrenaline rush and occasional bails unavoidable.
Image Credit: Reebok