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Six Alternative Workout Choices beside Fitness Centers

By Tony Gillis

Doing the same exercises daily at the gym can often feel mind-numbing. For most people, just being at the gym can feel repetitive and discouraging in the long run. It has been scientifically proven that one of the strongest deterrent for fitness goers is the lack of fun and encouragement. So what is the answer? The best way to solve this problem is to make exercising entertaining and make it something to look forward to. The best way to build muscle is not necessarily going to the gym and hitting those bench presses. Take a chance, go out and try a couple of these interesting fitness class/activity. The following is my list of top six activities that can brighten up your workout routine:

1) Krav Maga

Krav Maga is the Israeli military's self defense martial arts. The meaning of the word Krav Maga in Hebrew denotes "contact combat". Essentially, it is a neo cut-throat tactical self defense system which can be figured out in a few months. Many people feel that the best quality of Krav Maga teachings is that it is far more functional compared to just about any sort of fighting methods. This is because it focuses on street combats along with confrontation against multiple adversaries with weapons. Krav Maga focuses on endurance training, along with strength training. Practice fights may have participants fighting for 5 minutes or more. Each student will grapple, choke, and attack their opponents using different means. In the end, you will get great workout, as well as the know-how on functional self defense.

Where to Learn: Krav Maga training classes are usually offered in specialty gyms that do Crossfit, Zumba, or other martial arts (Kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu, etc.)

Did You Know?: Training involves simulating fights in the a nightclub or bar. Students have to defend from attackers with the lights off, a strobe light on, and with noisy music in the background. Students also have to twirl in the same spot before the fight to simulate the drunkenness.

2) Breakdancing or Hip Hop dancing

Breakdancing (AKA b-boying) and Hip Hop dancing are quite well known worldwide and require no explanation. If you witness TV shows such as "So You Think You Can Dance" or "America's Best Dance Crew", while the contestants are standing in front of the judges, one can see the sweat soaking through their shirts. Dancing is a difficult activity, and it demands superb flexibility, strength, and coordination. Break dancing particularly, is one of the best body weight exercise available. There's no requirement for extra weights when one is attempting to hold their body upside down and balance on one hand. I suggest everyone to take a hip hop or break dance class, just so you can experience the thrill and excitement of dancing to music.

Where to Learn: Reputable studios are quite common throughout any city. They often offer free first time beginner classes.

Did You Know?: Break dancers are so fit because they practice moves like their "Freezes". These are arguable the best exercise for the upper body.

3) Hot Yoga

Years ago, when we hear about Yoga, we believe that it is old people mediating to Buddhist music. That is completely not the case anymore. Current day yoga is actually quite difficult even for an athlete. Yoga is a great way to bring balance to your fitness routine. It works on increasing your flexibility and on strengthening your core muscles. Hot Yoga is a more challenging version of regular yoga. The room is heated up so that you will sweat intensely while in yoga poses. The toxins in your body is naturally sweated out. If you try out yoga, you will see a huge difference in your flexibility in a short period of time.

Where to Learn: One can find yoga studios in most urban centers. The famous Bikram Yoga is famous for its 26 standard poses, and therefore is the one recommended.

Did You Know?: Other than weight loss, muscle toning, and enhancing flexibility, stress relief is also one of the main focuses of yoga. The breathing patterns and mindful concentration allow your body to cure itself. Yoga has been proven to provide benefits for curing depression, back pain, and other stress related disorders.

4) Pole Dancing

When we think about pole dancing, we often have erotic images in our head. We imagine sexy women dancing on a pole in a strip club. Not many of us would think that this sort of dance is an actual fitness exercise. Men and Women are now taking up pole dancing as part of their fitness routines. This sport requires immense stamina, strength, and flexibility, and mastering this art takes years of dedication.

Where to Learn: There are specialty schools that teach pole dancing in many cities. Some dance studios offer it as well.

Did You Know? International pole dancing competitions are hosted worldwide. Children as young as seven compete in these challenges.

5) Capoeira

Capoeira is a Brazilian style martial arts, with its roots coming from Afro dance. Legs sweeps, quick movements, and impressive flips are what Capoeira is famous for. In this sort of exercise, the fitness levels for the dancers are very high due to their constant training on strength and balance. This exotic dance fighting will definitely make your workout much more exciting.

Where to Learn: Capoeria studios are found in most urban areas.

Did You Know? Capoeira dancers perform in such fluid motion as to avoid hitting each other. Though considered a martial arts, their style is not to fight one another, but to provide support for one another's flips and leg sweeps.

6) Dodgeball

For a fun, engaging, and surprising intense sport, try dodgeball! The mixture of throwing and dodging makes dodgeball a functional fitness exercise. Agility, quick step movements, and strength is focused here. The game is best played with friends. There are days where dodgeball becomes my workout routine. I can have fun while getting a full workout.

Where to Learn: Dodgeball is very easy to learn, the more difficult part is finding a good team and league to play in the city.

Did You Know? The current world record is 6084 people, for the most number of players in a dodgeball game. Fun to know fact.

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