Fun alternatives to a regular workout

zumbaDespite being a huge advocate for a good, sweaty session in the gym, there are days when I find myself dragging my feet to the place and dreading the time I need to spend there. I am told I am not alone in feeling the way I do. Read up any celebrity blog and there’d be many who say the same – going to the gym day in and day out for months on end can start to feel like a blighted chore.

Will I let my diminishing mojo for the gym affect my fitness levels and the abs I have worked so hard to achieve? Most definitely not! And with so many varied and fun options available, there is no reason why I should let a small hiccup in my love affair with weights and bench presses take me from fit to flab.

Here are a few things to try when on a break from the gym –

Zumba – Also a pulsating, dynamic and effective workout for the entire body, Zumba is a form of dance that blends Latin dance forms such as salsa, samba, tango, cha cha and meringue with contemporary, fast-paced international music. The pace and the varied movements employed in Zumba ensure it maintains cardiovascular health and tones and strengthens one’s body at the same time. This form of dance originated in Columbia and was introduced by Alberto Beto Perez. With many dedicated Zumba studios strewn around the city, it has already been accepted in the fitness circles of London and it’s only a matter of time before smaller towns and cities adopt it. An hour long session of Zumba burns as many as 500 calories!

Belly Dance – As a form of dance, belly dancing has been in existence for many centuries but as a form of workout, it is relatively new. However, that is no indicator of its popularity as ladies across the globe seem to be waking up to this beautiful and sensual form of dance. I love everything to do with belly dancing, also known as Raqs Sharqi, be it the exotic costumes or the intricate moves. Apart from teaching isolation of muscle groups and balance, this form of dance lends the learner exquisite grace.

Local Folk Dance – While the imported Zumba and belly dancing are both fun and great workouts to boot, there are few local dance forms that can give them both a very tight competition to the finish line. Morris dancing and Irish dance are slowly and steadily gaining popularity with many youngsters showing a keen interest in their own folklore. Learning these folk dances doesn’t just preserve ancient traditions; they are also high intensity and high calorie burning workouts.

Go ahead, take your pick!

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