The higher your heart rate is, the more calories you burn and the more weight you lose. It seems pretty simple, right? For many of us, that means making sure we hit the gym for some strength training, CrossFit, and a few miles on the treadmill or elliptical machine. But what if that’s not your thing? Or even if it is, what if you don’t have time to go to the gym this week or simply need a break from the normal routine?
Luckily, there are plenty of alternative activities out there that can keep your heart rate elevated and improve your cardiovascular health. Here are a few alternatives to consider as we enter a new year:
Even though we are in Texas, there are places like the Galleria or the Children’s Health StarCenter that not only offer a great experience for the family but also help you get in a killer leg and cardio workout without even realizing it. Ice skating is great for joint and muscle health, improved balance and coordination, and stress management.
STROLLER SPEED WALKING
It can be difficult for new moms to find time to get to the gym. Stroller speed walking is the perfect alternative; simply put the little guy or gal in a stroller and speed walk around the neighborhood or a local mall? Believe it or not, this is a form of high-intensity interval training that pushes your heart rate into the fatburning range.
To piggyback off the previous alternative workout, there are tons of gyms in town that offer everything from a simple punching bag to go a few rounds with or a full-blown boxing and kickboxing cardio workout.
If you do have time to get to the gym but crave something different, consider yourself blessed if they have a rock climbing wall. Places like Summit Climbing in Denton or Lifetime Fitness offer indoor rock climbing, which is perfect for cardio along with improving grip strength, coordination, and strength. Plus, it’s just fun!
Swimming is a highly underutilized form of cardiovascular exercise to get your heart rate up. Swimming is also great in terms of recovery from a tough workout. Several places in town offer an indoor pool experience so that you can still get your swim on without having to make an icy plunge.
PLAY BASKETBALL WITH THE KIDS
For the competitive dads in their 40s and 50s, there is nothing like trying to recapture your youth by trying to beat your 12-year-old son or daughter in a game of pickup basketball. The cardio benefits are numerous, not to mention the ability to regain some of that long-lost endurance and coordination.
Take a dance class or bring your spouse out for a night on the town. If you’re planning on attending a wedding, get out on the dance floor and cut a rug. There are even interactive dancing games you can play with your kids on Xbox or Playstation. Bottom line, dancing is perfect for getting your heart rate up and requires zero workout equipment.
This is just a shortlist of alternative ways to get your heart rate up and keep it in tiptop shape. Remember that as you keep your heart rate up, you are naturally burning calories, improving stamina, and even building yourself a strong immune system. Did we leave anything off the list? What are your favorites?
Please share with us so that others can join in on the fun.