Sticking to a regular fitness regimen is a worthy goal, but sometimes it can be tough. Human beings have a natural tendency to look towards the interesting and novel, and doing the same things every week can get boring. One way to keep yourself interested in fitness is to vary up your routine from time to time by adding a new element. Here are four extreme sports that can be used to add spice to any fitness regime.
Indoor Rock Climbing
Climbing gyms are becoming incredibly popular. You don’t have to own any special equipment and you don’t need to be an expert, to climb safely indoors. An indoor climbing center can provide you with expert instruction and all the necessary gear. Kids starting from five years old can climb in gyms also, so don’t be afraid to give it a go.
In addition to the huge adrenaline rush, indoor rock climbing provides an excellent upper body and core muscle workout. Do it regularly and it will also help improve your balance and flexibility.
Again, you don’t need to go out and buy an expensive mountain bike. Head to your nearest outdoor mountain biking center, and rent one. They should have a selection of good bikes with suspension, grippy tires, and heavy duty brakes. Plus you wouldn’t have to get your own bike covered in mud.
Mountain biking will help strengthen your calves and thighs, and it is a great form of high intensity cardio training. Most mountain biking centers offer a wide range of routes, ranging from the very gentle, to the insanely difficult, so start out easy and work your way up.
Another name for hill running is fell running, this is the art of getting away from the city streets and shifting your run to somewhere gorgeous and unspoiled. Find a map of your closest State or National Park, pick a hiking track that doesn’t include many steep sections, and away you go. Pace yourself and enjoy the views.
You’ll get the cardio benefits of a normal run, plus a little more from the inevitable undulations in the path. However, do be careful; hill running can take you away from cell phone reception, and most runners don’t like to carry much extra clothing or emergency food. When you are starting out on the hills, it is recommended to have a workout partner, and run as a pair.
Surfing is pretty relaxed and doesn’t take up much energy, right? Wrong. Paddling out beyond the breaking waves, takes energy and determination. Only then, comes the relaxation, along with the pleasure of catching a wave. A couple of hours of surfing can burn up to 1,000 calories, or even more, depending on your fitness level, the size of the swell, and the water temperature.
Surfboards can be hired from tens of thousands of beach-side businesses, on almost every coast. Surf courses aren’t hard to find either, so this is one sport you should try if you are looking to spice up your workout with extreme sports.
Jess Spate is an outdoor sports enthusiast, and is particularly keen on climbing and surfing- the mountain biking and hill running are for rainy days with poor surf! She writes for Appalachian Outdoors, and edits a British outdoor clothing website.