4 Activity-Based Workouts that are Perfect for Summer
Let’s have a chat about physical health and fitness, shall we? It’s a well-known fact that the more physical fitness you do, the better off your physical and mental health will be. The two are directly related, there’s just no two ways about it. That said, because they are so closely linked to each other, sometimes one can get in the other’s way.
Lately, I’ve been stuck in this loop:
I don’t have the motivation to work out ➡ so my mental health becomes diminished ➡ and then I don’t feel good about my body ➡ I don’t want to go to the gym because I feel insecure ➡ so then I don’t work out ➡ and I make myself feel guilty about not working out…. and so on, and so forth. It’s extremely self-sabotaging.
However, I’ve decided to pull a Daenerys Targaryen and not only stop the wheel, but break the wheel instead. If you haven’t seen Mel Robbins’ TEDtalk on the 5-Second Rule, you better stop what you’re doing (or finish reading this post, and THEN stop what you’re doing) to go watch it. It’ll give you a better understanding of where I’m at, and what I mean when I say it changed my life.
Keeping this 5-Second Rule in the back of my mind, I’ve been getting better at bringing myself to get to the gym whenever I can. Although there are days where that is the most difficult task in the world.. Still, this has helped to make me extremely self-aware, and I’ve learned things about myself and my relationship to fitness that I never knew before. The biggest thing is that, while I do enjoy weight-lifting and being in the gym, I DEFINITELY prefer activity-based workouts. They are better at keeping me engaged, motivated, and excited for more!
So, if you’re struggling to get motivated, try one of these 4 activity-based workouts and see how you feel. It may completely change the game for you like it has for me!
1. BOXING (DUH)
ICYMI, I’ve taken up boxing. And not just any boxing; it’s the hard-core, tough love kind of boxing that real-life boxers use in order to get and stay in shape for a match. If I’m being honest, it’s kind of masochistic. These workouts are KILLER, but the satisfaction I gain and gratitude I have for my body for carrying me through the workout outweighs all the pain and suffering in the moment. Everyone’s panting and sweating, but we’re all doing it together. There are obviously a variety of difficulty levels when it comes to boxing, and these types of fitness studios are popping up all over Toronto. Make sure to do your research and participate in a drop-in class or two in order to feel out if boxing is the right activity for you. But, if you want to come kick some butt with me, I’ve been frequenting Studio K-O on King West. They’ve managed to get me excited about getting fit again!
Summer is a great time to take up swimming. There are tons of community pools, and even gyms that are well-equipped with Olympic-sized pools for you to get your breast-stroke on. It’s a great full-body workout and cardio all wrapped into one activity. When I was in Hawaii this year, I did my best to swim laps for 15 minute every day, and boy was I tired after the first 5.. To take it one step further, my mum does water aerobics to build some extra strength as well. Participate in classes at your local community center, or find a workout online. They’re everywhere, and can be easily modified to fit your personal fitness goals. Plus, who doesn’t like jumping into a refreshing pool on a hot summer’s day?
Biking is great because it can be a solo workout or a family-friendly activity. Now that the weather is nicer, head out on your bike and challenge yourself to push your limits, or pack a picnic in your backpack and bike out to the other side of the city for a fun adventure and delicious lunch! This is also a great way to see different parts of your city that you may have never seen before. I’ve been valuing easily accessible group fitness like this a lot more because it can be really motivating to see someone working hard along-side you. There are even rent-a-bike services all over the place now, making it even easier to make biking a regular part of your fitness routine. Another similar alternative to this is hiking.
Just like boxing, dance studios have appeared all over, and are gaining popularity at a rapid speed. It seems as though more and more people are motivated by these activity-based workouts, especially the ones that can teach you some moves to bust out at the club! Choose from a variety of different disciplines and genres, because even ballet can be a major sweat-sesh. My fave studio as of late is The Underground. And for those of you who think dance is not the activity for them, just think about channeling your inner Justin Timberlake or Bruno Mars for some added swagger. I guarantee you’ll be sore the next morning!
Not only are all these activities extremely engaging, they’re great opportunities to utilize some of the muscles that you don’t use on a regular basis. I’m talking balance, core-strength, and even your mental muscles to keep you powering through. You’d be surprised at how much your body can do when you put your mind to the task.
If you’re like me, and you’ve been having a hard time getting motivated, try one of these 4 options and let me know what you think. Be sure to share with me your favourite activity-based workout in the comments, and follow along with me on my boxing journey over on my social media! Oh, and..