Workouts don't have to be dull-try these fun alternative
workouts to feel like a kid again
KIDS. THEY'RE SPUNKY little tornadoes of nonstop
energy. You watch them make a game out of running circles around a
stump in the backyard and think, "But they don't even drink coffee
… how is that possible?"
The truth of the matter is, their boundless enthusiasm for
exercise isn't just related to their age or the fact that they're
not old enough to have discovered happy hour yet. They're running
around because it's fun. As adults, fun can become an elusive
concept in our ever-busy, oh-so-responsible lives. Especially when
it comes to exercise. "Fun" got eaten up by the dusty treadmill in
our basement and the workout video where that woman with abs of
steel yells at us.
It's time to take back the fun. Use your next workout to channel
your inner kid again. Giggling is optional.
TRY THIS: HACKY SACK
FOR REAL? It's a recently renewed phenomenon, says
exercise physiologist and American Council on Exercise spokesperson
Alice Burron. The Hacky Sack has been around since the '70s, but
Burron says it's catching on with adults again. The game involves
constantly kicking a small bag to keep it from touching the ground.
"You're kicking with the inside of your foot, the top of your foot
or your knees " says Burron, who adds that, as an exercise bonus
for those who aren't very good, there's also a lot of bending over
to pick it back up.
CALORIES BURNED: 300 per hour
ON PAR WITH: Playing volleyball for an hour (292
TRY THIS: DANCING, SPECIFICALLY ZUMBA
FOR REAL? Sure, just dancing around your living
room to Madonna is going to burn calories, but if you want to join
a class, Burron says the Latin dance craze Zumba is a surefire hit.
"You don't even realize an hour has gone past," she says. Bonus:
The rapid hip movements strengthen your core and tone your
CALORIES BURNED: 500 per hour
ON PAR WITH: Playing racquetball for an hour (511
TRY THIS: PINGPONG
FOR REAL? Not only does the on-your-feet constant
motion burn calories, but pingpong is also great for brain health
and improving hand-eye coordination, Burron says. "It's a really
good one for older people. It helps keep their brains sharp."
CALORIES BURNED: 180 per hour
ON PAR WITH: Walking for an hour at roughly 2 mph
TRY THIS: JUMP ROPE
FOR REAL? "This is my favorite," Burron says. "It
makes your heart rate skyrocket within a minute. It's so good for
your heart." Though, just a warning, adults, it may not be as easy
as you remember. "Do one minute, then two," she says. "Work your
way up to 10 minutes-it's tough."
CALORIES BURNED: 121 calories in 10 minutes
ON PAR WITH: Water aerobics for 30 minutes (146
TRY THIS: MINI-TRAMPOLINE
FOR REAL? Turn on some music and Burron says the
exercise possibilities are endless. "You can do the twist, bring
your knees up in the air, do a cross-country ski motion, butt-kicks
or jumping jacks." She recommends picking five or six different
exercises and doing two minutes of each. Before you know it, a
30-minute workout is complete.
CALORIES BURNED: 182 calories in 30 minutes
ON PAR WITH: Low-impact aerobics for 30 minutes
-By Amanda Myers