Another new year, another new fitness goal.
Rather than renew your dusty gym membership or make another annual attempt at outdoor running, try something new, something adventurous. The following unique activities can motivate you to get into shape and simply move more. Ditch those 60 boring minutes on the stationary bike and make a New Year’s resolution to get fit with any of these three ideas.
Build an Obstacle Course
Imagine building strength and cardio endurance right in your backyard. With some DIY skill and basic materials, you can transform your backyard into a course-crazed personal training ground for ramping up your workouts, American Ninja Warrior style. Start with these tire-inspired ideas for your outdoor obstacle course:
- Tire Ladder: Connect rows of ladders to wall boards and build a gravel pit for landing. Build a wooden wall to increase the level of difficulty of climbing the tire ladder.
- Tire Run: Line up two rows of tires and position one row slightly ahead of the other. Running through the tires (with one foot in either row) promotes balance and coordination while increasing your heart rate.
- Balance Beam: Use one tire or stacks of two or three tires to create balance beams of different heights using long pieces of wood.
You can also build a pull-up bar in your backyard using wooden posts and a steel tube for practicing pull-ups, training for muscle-ups and developing epic grip strength. Add other obstacles like plyometric boxes, rope climbing, hurdles and wooden stakes wrapped with yard string for a low-to-the-ground belly crawl.
Try a Playout
“Playouts” or “play workouts” are all about having fun and playfully working out. Spider Man powers allowing the superhero to climb walls, swing from skyscrapers and flip around bad guys inspired playouts—using “play” to explore physical abilities in creative and empowering ways.
This unique approach to exercise focuses on determining how to optimally interact with the environment to meet fitness goals, describes Khaled Allen on Nerd Fitness. You’ll overcome obstacles with multiple movement patterns while exploring, improvising, problem solving and having fun. A playout makes you think differently about exercise. You’ll interact with varied environmental elements to overcome challenges and push abilities. Check out The Amazing Spider-Man Workout on Nerd Fitness and start the new year off with this cool new workout regimen.
Roughhouse With Your Kids
In a household full of boys, “stop wrestling!” can reverberate off the walls 24/7. Next time you’re about to say, “stop wrestling!” think twice. Roughhousing increases your family’s physical activity, allows your children to release built-up energy and helps them develop a resilient spirit. Kids learn to adapt to unpredictable situations, manage minor pain and bounce back from failure—while you also move and get your heart rate up. Along with other benefits like social intelligence, morality and bonding, roughhousing fosters an active lifestyle. The Art of Manliness (advocate of roughhousing) shares how running, tumbling and tackling can actually help build strength, flexibility and coordination for your kids and even yourself.
On days the weather’s nice and the kids feel cooped up inside the house, play tag in the yard with neighborhood friends or head to the park for a childhood game of capture the flag. These old school activities burn calories and break a sweat while you get to spend quality time with your family.