We all struggle from time to time maintaining the necessary level of exercise required to keep ourselves fit and healthy. Sometimes the thought of other thirty minutes on the cross trainer or another lap on our morning run can be too much to bear!
However, sport can provide a great way to exercise and have fun at the same time – and if you’re looking for so much fun that you forget you’re exercising at all, why not try out an extreme sport? Here are a few of the best action sports for fitness depending on what sort of exercise you’re looking for.
Flexibility and Balance: Snowboarding
Grab your board and take to the slopes – snowboarding is a great way to workout, improve your fine muscle control and get more flexible at the same time. While gravity does the hard work, you can concentrate on working those leg muscles to control the board, while your whole body must strain to keep yourself balanced – a great way to improve flexibility from head to toe. A two to three hour session will burn upwards of a thousand calories as well, so it’s a great way to keep yourself trim as well.
Just make sure you’re suited and booted with the right protection – High Octane provide a great selection of helmets from premium manufacturers Bolle.
Upper Body Strength: Rock Climbing
Whether it’s traditional climbing, sport climbing or bouldering, climbing is a great way to boost muscle strength, either by itself or combined with weightlifting at the gym. After a good session at your local climbing centre, you’ll find yourself with that great drained feeling across your body that lets you know you’ve pushed yourself to your limits. And it’s no wonder: just staying in one place and clinging on to the wall burns a ton of calories – especially for bouldering – and pulling yourself up through a problem or route is a great way to work the muscles on your torso and arms.
Cardiovascular: Mountain Biking
In terms of cardiovascular workouts, it’s hard to beat the sheer exertion required for mountain biking. All that climbing really works the heart and lungs, not to mention the leg muscles – you can easily burn over 400 calories an hour. When you’re travelling over rough terrain, you’ll also find your coordination and muscle control improve as well to keep yourself stable. By its nature – short bursts of powerful uphill cycling mixed with gentler flat or downhill runs – it’s also great if you’re looking into interval training to improve your all-round fitness.