It’s not yet mid-year and I’ve already given up on half my fitness resolutions. I have no problem following through on self-improvement projects, but when exercise begins to feel like, well, exercise, that’s when you’ve lost me.
Celebrities like Olivia Wilde and Lady Gaga may have found the right motivation to keep your training on track – have fun while exercising. Here are a few ways to trick your brain (and butt) into getting up off that couch and burn those calories.
HIT THE DANCE FLOOR
Forget fist pumping until 4am every weekend, instead sign up for Zumba or belly dancing classes. An hour-long Zumba session burns between 500 and 1000 calories. But if you need more proof that it works, Shakira’s hips really don’t lie – how else do you think the Lebanese-Columbian singer maintains those curves?
If shaking your moneymaker to Latin tunes isn’t your thing, why not try ballet and jazz dance classes for adults. Glee’s Dianna Agron studied ballet as a kid, but moved onto other types of dance like hip-hop and jazz.
HIT THE OCEAN
When the surf’s up, Lady Gaga whips out her surfboard. Supermodel Gisele Bündchen, on the other hand, opts for windsurfing. Surfing is a great total body workout as all your major muscle groups are targeted at some point. Your upper back and neck muscles help keep your nose off your board, your triceps and chest muscles are used to paddle and push yourself quickly to your feet, your lower back kicks into gear for support and your legs help you to get your feet and carve through the waves. Rounding it up is your core, which holds it all together as your muscles work in unison to keep you on the board.
HIT THE MOUNTAIN
Olivia Wilde, Reese Witherspoon and Natalie Portman all head for the hills when they’ve got a spare moment in between their shooting schedules. Natalie Portman even takes her baby boy, Aleph, along for some mommy-and-me time. While hiking mainly works your lower muscle groups (quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, you get the point), the amount of calories burned naturally depends on how long you’re hiking for, the terrain and your weight. But you could burn anything from 400 to 600 calories an hour.
HIT THE SLOPES
If you’re planning a family holiday, take notes from supermodel Heidi Klum, and head to the ski slopes of the Lesotho Eastern Highlands (Club Maluti) or South Drakensberg (Sani Pass). Heidi prefers to take it easy sledging with her kids, but if you’re looking for something more challenging, then try skiing like Elle Macpherson. Cross-country skiing burns 500 to 800 calories an hour and downhill skiing 350 to 700 calories an hour.