How to Get Fit – The Different Types of Fitness Activity
Choosing the Right Fitness Activity for Your Goals
The number of different options available to get fit has exploded over the last 10 years or so. This part of Fitness Review provides guides, articles, links and insights that will show you what kind of options are available and what are the best ones for your goals.
Gyms are not everyone’s cup of tea. While some activities are great in groups (or require a range of equipment which would not be practical to have at home), many can be completed in in the comfort of your own home. I have started the list below by covering the 3 main types of home fitness. After that you’ll find group activities – and then outdoor pursuits. Remember that this site has new articles going up several times each week, so don’t forget to bookmark us soon.
Choosing Fitness Activity #1 – Home Fitness Options
There are 3 broad categories when it comes to getting fit at home. These are by buying an exercise machine, weight training equipment or doing workout routines which involve body weight, movement or smaller accessories.
Exercise Machines: The ‘Big 5’ are Treadmills, Cross Trainers (also called Ellipticals), Exercise Bikes, Rowing Machines or Steppers. All of them provide a cardio workout and will burn through calories reasonably fast. You can choose the intensity level of your workout, and the specific body area you will be ‘toning up’ as you go. Prices range from super-budget to equipment aimed at commercial fitness rooms. Examples of popular brand options can be seen on my (super-detailed) guide to the Best Nordic Track treadmills.
Weight Training: Here the main choices are benches and racks (along with free weights), multi-gyms or Smith Machines (a type of multi-gym which encloses the weights). Options range from very simple setups to some very complex ones costing £1000’s. These are often not the easiest pieces of equipment to move, making a dedicated space a must.
Other Home Fitness Activities: There is a long list of alternatives here. Abs workouts are very popular, with rollers, machines and sit-up benches all very good value. Free weights, pull up and kettlebells are also used for working out at home. I would also include aerobic activities which used to be carried out in the gym in this list, plus variations on yoga and Pilates. Body-weight exercises including push-ups and sit-ups are also great options.
Choosing Fitness Activity #2 – In the Gym
With all these home options, going to the gym can seem like an unnecessary effort and expense. Not so fast! There are still many great reasons for renewing that membership.
More Machines to choose From: Unless you have a lot of space and money, your home gym will likely be restricted to one or two items. In most gyms you can set a routine involving a run on a treadmill, cross-training session, spin on a bike and then a stepping workout (or whatever combination of others you prefer). You can also use benches and weights equipment and mix this in.
Classes and Groups: If you don’t feel particularly motivated to kick off that YouTube video and so an aerobic session on your own, then a class might be just the trick. Of course there are a lot of entertaining variations these days. Think Kangoo, Fight, Circuit Training, Boxing themed workouts and many more besides. You can also do group exercise bike workouts, known as ‘Spinning’ classes. If you are very dedicated to group fitness activities, why not check out CrossFit too.
Choosing Fitness Activity #3 – The Great Outdoors (plus swimming!)
There are plenty of ways to get fit enjoying nature. While I’d love to be recommending yoga on the beach, this is not going to work for most of us!
Running is one activity which has seen a big boost from technology over recent years. Running apps, tracking watches and communities which share results and goals have all contributed. There are even dedicated running play lists available at popular music streaming sites like Spotify. You do not need to be a marathon runner to enjoy this activity these days. Many local events and running clubs have races of many different lengths.
Swimming has the advantage of giving you a thorough full body workout. While this does involve a trip to the local pool, some careful consideration to the timing of your visit can make sure your fitness routine is not too disrupted by dive-bombing children!
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