Lifestyle

OPINION Take the “work” out of workout

A culture of one-upmanship exists in the fitness world. It seems gyms and fitness centres are locked in an eternal battle to have the newest and wildest workouts.
Already bored of zumba? Try aqua zumba!
Regular yoga not exciting? Hot yoga still not hot enough? Try naked yoga!
And if your spin classes no longer turn your crank, you can always sign up for a hydro-cycling class (riding a stationary bike in the pool).
Why are we so easily bored? Perhaps it’s because working out is not natural, or even good for us. The approach is wrong.
We live sedentary lives. Technology and changes in the workforce see us using our bodies less and less. It’s obvious we need to do something to counteract the effects this lifestyle has on our health. So our solution is a workout? It starts with the word work. How fun is that?
We even approach it like work. We look for maximum returns with minimum effort, search for new ways to improve our productivity, and streamline our routines. We even read magazines that tell us how to do it better.
But all that seriousness is getting in the way. We are bored because we make exercise boring. We’ve lost sight of the fact that being active is just about doing things. The best exercise is the kind where we forget we are getting exercise and simply having fun.
Why pay to go “dance” at a gym when you can grab some friends and go dancing? Instead of making a resolution to “work out more” or “get in shape,” let’s resolve to join a hockey team or sign up for a badminton league. Instead of driving to the gym to run on a treadmill, why not throw a Frisbee in the park. Or take your dog for a walk. Or play tag with your child.
In the end, our goal is to be healthy, active people who look good and feel great. So when we find ourselves in a rut and wonder what to do to spice up our fitness routine, let’s break the cycle. Abandon the confines of “exercise” and redefine our active lifestyle as one where we measure our activities for their enjoyment instead of calories burned.

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