Are you the king of rationalization when it comes to explaining why you can’t exercise? Does this sound like you? I missed my run because it rained; I didn’t make the gym this morning because I got a late start.
Many people miss workouts because they’re in a rut. They use even a small break in their normal routine as an excuse to skip exercise. They have trouble adapting and improvising to changing conditions. If you are one of these people, it’s time to expand your horizons to include other kinds of physical activity. Around you is a veritable smorgasbord of sports, exercises and opportunities for movement.
Summer and beach season is here, but you still have time to burn off those last few pounds if you are carrying some excess baggage. You lose weight when you metabolize more calories than you take in. Starving is not the answer to a thinner you because you could end up looking like you’ve had Lyme disease or mononucleosis. Rather, exercise and you will look ripped, fit and more muscular.
This two-part article will fill you in on 50 ways to burn more calories and get the exercise you need. No more excuses— if one idea doesn’t work for you, perhaps 10 or 20 of the others will. Use a little imagination and you can burn more calories almost anywhere.
- Walking: This is the mother of all exercises. Most people can walk safely. Walk for one hour a day if this is your main form of exercise. Pick up the pace if you want faster results.
- Running: Running will burn at least twice a many calories as walking. Build up gradually, because running can cause joint and muscle pain if you do too much.
- Cycling: This is a wonderful way to exercise, particularly during the late spring and early summer. Ride in a safe place and wear a helmet. Buy a good-quality bike that serves your needs.
- Swimming: This activity is not as good as running or cycling for losing weight, but it does build muscle and it makes you feel good.
- In-line skating: This type of exercise burns plenty of calories. Wear a helmet and pads to avoid road rash.
- Skateboarding: This is a good alternative activity when you can’t jump out of airplanes, bungee jump, hang glide or snowboard.
- Rowing: This activity used to be the purview of wealthy preppies at Harvard, Oxford and Yale. Now, ordinary men can punt down the Thames or even the East River.
- Wild sex: Long, passionate, wild sex is a great fat-burning and cardio workout that has many other fringe benefits. Remember to practice safe sex.
- Horseback riding: Riding with an English saddle builds leg muscles better than almost any activity. Riding is a fun skill, but don’t use it as your primary means of exercise.
- Hiking: Even large cities, such as LA, Chicago and New York, have hiking trails that let you get some exercise in a tranquil setting. Look online for local hiking trails that can make your outings varied and interesting.
- Backpacking: If you like the great outdoors, backpacking is a great fat burner. Load your pack with a sleeping bag and food and take off for a few days in the nearest wilderness area. A few days in the backcountry will leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and thinner. With backpacking, anything you eat you have to carry, so there’s an incentive to travel light and eat less.
Sports and Games
- Basketball: Shooting hoops is a great way to get a workout and cut fat. Leagues are springing up around the country.
- Tennis: It’s tennis time— the sun is out and the wind has died down. Tennis builds aerobics capacity and muscle and is an excellent way to get in better shape, whether you play in a league, hit forehands and backhands with a friend, or volley against a backboard.
- Volleyball: Play this sport in a gym or on grass or sand. Sand volleyball gets you out in the sun and is a terrific leg burner.
- Golf: You don’t have to play like Tiger Woods to enjoy a round of golf at the local course. Take a few lessons from a golf pro and you will soon enjoy sunny days on the links. Walk the course and you will burn more than 500 calories.
- Soccer: Leagues are available for men of all ages. Running up and down the field dribbling a soccer ball is good for fitness and soccer skills.
- Softball: Almost every town and city in America has men’s and mixed-gender softball leagues. You don’t have to be a pro; opportunities exist for beginners and older adults, as well as more skilled and serious players.
- Waterskiing: All you need is a boat, some sunshine and a few friends. This is an expensive sport, but even rich folk need several people to observe and ride in the boat, so getting an invitation to go waterskiing isn’t that difficult.
- Windsurfing: This is one of the fastest growing summer sports in the United States. A basic board and sail is relatively inexpensive. Combine wind and flat water, and you can learn this exciting sport in a hurry.
- Badminton: Contrary to popular belief, badminton is a fast, rigorous sport that requires quickness, skill and agility. Purchase a badminton set at any sporting goods store or online. Better yet, find a badminton league through your local recreation department or university.
- Ultimate Frisbee: This new-age game is a cross between soccer, rugby and football. It’s played on a football field and involves teams defending and scoring goals with a Frisbee. Teams are usually mix-gendered.
- Bowling: Give bowling a try if you haven’t played lately. Gone are the days of dingy bowling alleys filled with smoke. Bowling is fun and takes a lot of skill. You won’t burn many calories, but it’s better than staying home and watching television or checking your Facebook posts.
- Surfing: The Beach Boys and the old beach movies of the 1960s first popularized this sport. Technology has made surfing more accessible to the average man, just as it has golf, tennis and skiing. Nowadays, you don’t even need an ocean; artificial wave parks have sprung up across the country. Go to your nearest surf shop and rent a board first to see if you like the sport.
- Dancing: Why not have some fun and get a terrific workout at the same time? Dancing lets you get as much or as little exercise as you want. This is a great activity for mixing exercise with your social life.