Fitness

How to break out of an exercise rut

Nadia fitness expert Kat Stanley suggests five ways to add more fun and adventure to your workout routine

By Kat Stanley

Dive into water sports

Now that it's warmer, water sports such as kayaking, surfing, water skiing, sailing and stand-up paddleboarding are fun ways to get fit. Take lessons, borrow or rent gear and give it a go.

All these activities burn an average of 300-900 calories an hour and are a lot more fun than being stuck in a gym. Kayaking, for example, gets your heart rate up, abs working and muscles burning.

Join in the fun with the kids

Kids are itching to find the nearest place to scale the walls, hang from the monkey bars and go on the swings. If you know any little people, scout out some local playgrounds and take them with you.

There are also a number of playgrounds and parks that have exercise equipment for adults. For the more curious, there are a plethora of trampoline parks, high ropes and obstacle courses, providing thrills, laughs and adventure while building confidence and improving agility, balance and strength.

Check out Tree Adventures in Auckland, Taupō's Rock 'n Ropes, and Adrenalin Forest in Wellington, Christchurch and Bay of Plenty.

Get the adrenaline pumping

Kick-start your activity levels with adventure sports such as caving, canyoning, rock climbing or mountain biking. Canyoning combines abseiling, cliff jumping, swimming, sliding and climbing. Book a trip with the pros and if you get a taste for it, join the NZ Canyoning Association.

Closer to home, dust off your bike, grab a buddy and head to a mountain-bike track near you. You'll be surprised how much you sweat

Make the most of your local maunga

Climb the nearest mountain and drink in the views. Many towns in New Zealand boast fantastic volcanic landscapes.

Or investigate some DOC (Department of Conservation) short walks near you.

Try hiking, geo-caching (real-life treasure hunting), orienteering or walking with a challenge – some of the best exercise I have had has been when bus routes have failed!

Keep it social

The next time someone invites you for coffee, make it to-go (using BYO cups or a Thermos, of course) and walk or stroll up the hill and chat.

Got a meeting? Bring a frisbee or ball to toss as you pass ideas back and forth. Whoever you're with, suggest something active to do while you spend time together.

When your mind and spirit are fuelled by stunning views, great conversation and feeling the fresh air on your face, you don't seem to notice that your muscles are working hard.

Activity can be fun – immerse yourself and you'll completely forget that you are exercising!

To read more, pick up a copy of the latest Nadia magazine - out now.

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