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Four Effective Workouts You Haven’t Even Thought Of

Looking to get in shape? Hate the gym? Signing up for biweekly spinning classes or pounding away at the treadmill isn’t the only way to get some muscle tone. Here are four effective workouts that are surprisingly fun and insanely good for you.

Pack a Punch with Boxing: Ok, so boxing sounds a little… violent? But it doesn’t have to be. With proper gear- including well-fitting boxing gloves and properly hung and stuffed punching bags, injuries are rare. Boxing a few days a week lets you build your core muscles while enjoying a solid cardiovascular workout. Are you a Yogi? Bonus: Yoga has been found to make you particularly agile at boxing.

Join the Club: Club sports include everything from basketball, soccer, ultimate frisbee or even pilates. Ask friends, colleagues and check out community forums to see what’s available and what fits into your schedule. Even if you’re not very athletic you can look for a group that claims to laugh (also an exercise) more than compete. Club sports are a great way to pick up a new skill, workout, and meet friends at the same time.

Not so little, Pony: Horseback riding the right way burns an extreme amount of energy and calories. Imagine this- you’re working and steering a huge animal, running dozens of miles sometimes, and building your core muscles by maintaining balance. Safety and process are extremely important though; Instead of a costly gym membership, invest in some lessons on how to ride properly and make sure to outfit yourself with comfortable riding gear.

Sand in your shoes: Everyone loves a walk on the beach, but it’s more than just a romantic activity. Walking on the sand is drastically different from walking on hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete, as well as a treadmill. While your foot sinks into the sand (giving you some excellent exfoliation), you work muscles that don’t usually get a chance to exercise. While going for a run definitely ups the ante, the beauty of a walk on the beach is that you can also relax, take in your surroundings and work out some new muscles all the same time. Consider it a new form of yoga.

Getting or staying in shape doesn’t have to be boring or even average. Explore sports beyond your boundaries and local gym. You might even meet people with similar interests.

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