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Unusual Exercise: Sports Ideas for the Creative and Adventurous
Article Index
Unusual Exercise: Sports Ideas for the Creative and Adventurous
One Month of Creative Workouts
Contributing Experts
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passion_exercise_page_1.jpg Here’s the truth of it: Some of us just plain don’t like jogging, and gyms give us the heebie jeebies. There. We said it.

Nonetheless, our bodies rebel against our adamant decision not to move. For some strange reason, muscles think they have to contract, the heart thinks it has to pump, and fat insists on activity before it will go away already.

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If you’re looking for something that motivates your brain and excites your passion while incidentally working that body like there’s no tomorrow, boy have we found it—lots of its!

Here are four exciting sports we bet you’ve never tried, plus dozens of other ideas. If you see something you find intriguing, keep in mind that many gyms let you attend a class for free the first time to see if you like it.

Getting and staying fit can be a blast! Make exercise your new passion, and watch your body thank you for years to come.

Don't miss a thing! Click here to get new articles delivered once a month—free!


FENCING
2008-5-findyourpassion-thumb.jpgA mix of endurance, balance, precision and strategy, fencing is a game worthy of athletes and chess players alike.

Who likes it: People who enjoy competing one-on-one and like a mental challenge, as well as a physical one.

Benefits: “Great work for hand-eye coordination, motor skills and agility,” says certified fitness instructor Charla McMillian. It’s also a good cardiovascular, leg and butt workout and great for all ages.

Beware: Lots of lunging is involved, so be sure to learn proper technique.

For More Info:


ULTIMATE (A.K.A. ULTIMATE FRISBEE)2008-6-findyourpassion.jpg

Run, catch, and, quick! Pass the disc! Work with your team to get the Frisbee to the end zone.

Who likes it: People who love team sports and the outdoors—and have good (or passable) hand-eye coordination.

Benefits: Gets your whole body moving. “As long as you can grab and chuck a disc, you’re an asset to the team,” says McMillian.

Beware: “Jumping and fast changes of direction can be hard on the knees,” warns certified personal trainer Ben Quist. Injuries are not uncommon in this intense sport. Pace yourself!

For More Info:


CARDIO KICKBOXING (WITH A BAG)2008-6-findyourpassion-kick.jpg

There’s nothing like wailing away on a large heavy object that, if you imagine really hard, oddly resembles that person who cut you off on the freeway this morning.

Who likes it: People who relish competing against and pushing themselves.

Benefits: Fantastic cardiovascular and full-body workout. Plus, it’s an amazing stress reliever.

Beware: Not good for people with joint or back problems. Also, “Don’t worry about the choreography and getting all of the kicks and punches right,” says certified personal trainer Lisa Corsello . “It’s challenging for anyone the first few times.”

For More Info: Check with gyms (including martial arts ones) to find classes.


ASIAN MARTIAL ARTS2008-6-findyourpassion-box.jpg

Martial arts are great for all ages. In fact, studies have shown that the gentle tai chi can lower blood pressure and help people with arthritis.

Who likes it: Folks who like to compete with themselves and, for certain techniques, one-on-one. Also great for disciplined people who like to learn a skill while exercising.

Benefits: Increased balance, flexibility and strength.

Beware: Talk with your instructor about any health issues you have to make sure the technique won’t aggravate them.

For More Info: Check with gyms (including martial arts ones).

NEXT PAGE: One Month of Creative Workouts!

See comments on this article here.

You May Also Be Interested In:


Last updated and/or approved: July 2011.
Original article appeared in spring 2007 former print magazine. Bios current as of that issue. This general health-care information is not meant as individual advice. Please see our disclaimer.

One Month of Creative Workouts
Add some variety to your routine!

If you’re not ready to jump into a new sport, that’s just fine, say our experts. In fact, they prefer that people not used to exercising regularly start slow, thus hopefully avoiding injury, major muscle soreness and burnout.

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So, to ease you into the routine, we’ve put together an entire month of fun low- to moderate-intensity workouts, with the help of certified personal trainers Murray Hicks and Ben Quist, D.P.T. You may even find some activities you want to keep up for the long run!

If you don’t want to start with five days a week, pick your three favorites instead. And don’t forget to warm up first!

WEEK ONE2008-6-findyourpassion-w1.jpg
Monday: Play catch with your kids or a friend. Throw the ball so the catcher has to chase it.

Tuesday: Put on your favorite fast record or music video television station, and freestyle dance in your living room!

Thursday: Try out a water aerobics class at a YMCA or gym.

Friday: Hit a tennis ball off a wall. Try to hit it at an angle so you have to chase it.

Saturday: Clean your basement or garage. (Maintain a good pace and good lifting posture.)

Don't miss a thing! Click here to get new articles delivered once a month—free!

 

WEEK TWO2008-6-findyourpassion-w2.jpg
Monday: Play racquetball. Forget about the rules, and just try to hit it before the second bounce.

Tuesday: Wash your car. Use your off hand, and scrub in the opposite direction you’re used to. Same thing with drying. If you’re really energetic, hand-wax.

Thursday: Try a beginning yoga class at a yoga studio.

Friday: Shoot basketballs at a park. Try to get each miss before the third bounce.

Saturday: Go shopping! Park as far away as you can, and then walk briskly around the mall for at least 30 minutes, scouting out the stores you want to visit.

 

WEEK THREE2008-6-findyourpassion-w3.jpg
Monday: Go for a swim at a YMCA or community pool. Reward yourself by relaxing in the hot tub or sauna.

Tuesday: Do jumping jacks, pushups and crunches while watching TV. Walk up and down the stairs during the commercials.

Thursday: Go skating (in-line, roller or ice).

Friday: Get a large group of friends together, and go on a night hike. Remember to bring flashlights, and never get off the trail! (You may also want to tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back.)

Saturday: Pick a new destination to which you can walk from your home, like a local coffee shop, and go have fun!

 

WEEK FOUR2008-6-findyourpassion-w4.jpg
Monday: Jump rope to music.

Tuesday: Kick a soccer ball with a friend. Get far apart.

Thursday: Give that piece of dusty exercise equipment a spin.

Friday: Go to a park with a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee, and play! Bring a flashlight to keep it glowing.

Saturday: Plant flowers or vegetables, pull weeds, mow the lawn … make your yard the envy of your neighbors—and show off your newfound energy and endurance.

 

Last updated and/or approved: July 2011. Original article appeared in spring 2007 former print magazine. Bios current as of that issue. This general health-care information is not meant as individual advice. Please see our disclaimer.


 

These are the folks who provided their advice and ideas for this article.

Lisa Corsello, A.C.E.-C.P.T.corsello.jpg

San Francisco-based personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise; owner, Equilibrium Personal Training.

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Murray Hicks, N.A.S.M.-C.P.T.2008-6-findyourpassion-thumbnail1.jpg


Tucson-based personal trainer certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine; athletic performance director, Desert Speed School.

 

Joan Manley, Ph.D., A.C.E.-C.P.T.2008-6-findyourpassion.thumbnail2.jpg

ACE-certified personal trainer; assistant professor and sociology program leader focused on weight-loss and fitness industries, Florida Gulf Coast University.

 

Charla McMillian, J.D., C.S.C.S.2008-6-findyourpassion.thumbnail3.jpg

Boston-based fitness trainer certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association; owner, FitBoot: Basic Training for Professionals, using exercises adapted from those she learned as a U.S. Marine Corps officer.

 

Ben Quist, D.P.T., N.S.C.A.-C.P.T.2008-6-findyourpassion-thumbnail4.jpg

Doctor of physical therapy and NSCA-certified personal trainer; owner, Form and Fitness , Mequon and Grafton, Wis.

 

 

 

Last updated and/or approved: July 2011. Original article appeared in spring 2007 former print magazine. Bios current as of that issue. This general health-care information is not meant as individual advice. Please see our disclaimer.
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