Fun Ways to Keep Fit in the New Year


Many of us like to overindulge in food around the end of the year what with all the annual festivities. Naturally, it's very hard to resist treats like apple strudel from the local German market, freshly baked mince pies and other goodies served at occasions like your staff night out, the children's annual school concert and your friends' parties.

As a result, January is the month during which we begin to suffer the consequences of our feasting and when many of us promise ourselves to lose the pounds we've gained.

Traditionally, New Year's resolutions tend to include buying a gym membership and working out at least a couple of times a week but it seems fair to say most of us don't follow through with this promise to ourselves.

It's much easier to keep fit in the new year if the chosen form of exercise is really fun as well as good for you and your body.

Indoors

A great way to exercise indoors is yoga, of which there are many different types such as ashtanga and bikram. Whilst some are very slow-paced, others involve a lot of brisk movement so everyone can find a style that suits.

One of yoga's big benefits is that you don't necessarily have to spend money on attending classes. There are many videos, books and websites which you can use to teach yourself positions and carry out basic routines at home.

Another indoor hit is zumba, an exercise class which mixes elements of Latin American and African dance with hip hop and other styles. It's a very fast-paced class but emphasis is put on having fun and feeling comfortable, not getting the moves right every single time. It's hard to leave a class without smiling!

Outdoors

A new craze that's been getting the nation talking lately is the outdoor boot camp which doesn't necessarily involve a residential stay as the name would imply.

Boot camps are usually held in cities and are an intense outdoor work out that involves running, skipping, jumping and other disciplines, depending on the weather, safety factors and setting.

For example, in Edinburgh boot camp trainers make use of the vast amount of stairs in the city leading up to the Royal Mile and castle attractions. Make sure you have a cosy hat and scarf to protect yourself from the wind chill.

Does that sound a bit too fast-paced for your liking? One of the most natural and enjoyable means of exercise is walking. In the winter the air is at its freshest so there's no better place to be than the great outdoors, provided you're all wrapped up in warm clothing, socks and sturdy snow or welly boots to keep your toes dry and toasty.

Find a route near your home or venture further afield by car. There are so many great walks to discover in the UK through hills, along the seaside or in the grounds of an old manor house.

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