Does even just the thought of going to the gym make you feel a bit terrified? With all those complex machines and macho men and ladies with bodies out of magazines, it’s easy to feel a bit intimated. Especially when it feels like you’re the only one who has no idea what they’re doing. Don’t worry though, because a) you are actually not the only one in there who feels that way and b) if you really don’t want to be there and still get a good workout, there are plenty of other ways to exercise. Below I give you some top tips of alternative, easy exercise work-outs outside the gym.
It really is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other- you do it every day anyway, so why not take out an hour to go for a walk? Whether you grab a friend to chat the time away or put together an awesome playlist, walking is a quick and easy way to burn kilojoules, strengthen your heart as well as reduce the risk of various diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and asthma. What’s even better is that the endorphins you release after a workout reduce stress and quite literally make you happier.
If walking is a little too slow for your liking, jogging is definitely taking it up a notch. You can still get all the benefits of walking, but jogging requires a little more endurance and dedication if you want to get fit. It’s a great way of testing your mental fitness as well, giving you a kind of natural high from all the endorphins you will release.
It’s another way to exercise without doing anything but move forward, but the pay-off at the end is both physical and mental. Taking some time out to get outdoors and appreciate nature is a great way to not only improve your general health and fitness, but getting to immerse yourself in the natural beauty your environment has to offer you can decrease risks of depression or even just a really bad day. Especially here in Grahamstown where hiking spots up to Toposcope and Dassie’s Krans are full of beautiful adventure. If you don’t have a friend to chat the time away with, here are some songs to get lost in.
Nick Bloom, an Honours student at Rhodes University, body boards regularly in Port Alfred or Kenton, the closest beaches to Grahamstown.
When did you first start body boarding?
I started body boarding around the age of 15 properly however I had been surfing since I was about 7 or 8.
What exactly is it?
Body boarding is an extreme water-sport consisting of riding a polypropylene like foam with a slick fiberglass underside. It is a wave riding craft that pushes riders on to waves at greater speed than if an individual attempted to body surf a wave. It consists of the board and swimming fins used for propulsion in the water.
What do you love the most about it?
I love everything about it, I love the adrenaline rush of pushing yourself to drop later in to bigger waves and go for more radical manoeuvres in heavier sections of waves. I like the fact you are always pursuing the perfect wave but will never know once you have caught it. It is the only sport where once you have achieved the pinnacle of the sport (tube-riding) you immediately want to get out of the situation. I love the tranquillity of paddling out early on a winters morning with your friends, as the sun rises with a slight land breeze blowing on to a large South swell, that results in perfect 4-6ft waves where as you duck dive (go under) the wave you emerge to see a huge rainbow trailing behind the wave from the spray off the lip.
What advice can you give to beginners?
If you are just beginning, respect the rules of the water, respect the ocean and always pull in to a close out. Don’t pull out if you are scared, always push your nose of the board down and complete the bottom turn, you never know what you are missing out on if you refuse to take-off.
Yoga It’s an age-old way to improve flexibility, posture, muscle strength and blood flow as well as de-stress you and help you to sleep better. For those who assume that yoga is for those “airy-fairy hippie types”, yoga is in fact becoming a popular exercise among athletes such as basketball, football and rugby players. What’s even better is that you can do it almost anywhere, and if you want to get a really great workout, why not go for a hike/walk/jog and end it off with a sun salutation?
Download the Daily Yoga App on your iPhone or Android Benefits of Yoga.