Workouts for people who dont like getting sweaty
Working up a good sweat is often seen as the benchmark for having had an effective workout. But let's be honest, not everyone likes getting hot and sweaty.
It's uncomfortable, it means you have to shower afterwards and it throws your body temperature all over the shop.
However, high intensity, sweat inducing workouts aren't the only path to fitness and good health. Anaerobic and strength building exercises are just as important for maintaining a healthy body, managing weight, reducing injury and making you feel good.
The four workouts below are so much fun you won't even realise you're exercising, but will see you improving your fitness and wellbeing, no sweat!
1. Circus school
While probably not top of mind to most people as a form of exercise, classes in circus training are becoming a great alternative and very fun way to get fit.
"Circus incorporates a huge variety of skills, from juggling and hooping through to trapeze and aerial silks, so it is infinitely adaptable," explains Claire Reincastle, head trainer at Circus Akimbo, who explains that participants can focus on the skills that they have most of an affinity with.
"Our main offering is the adult circus class, a class designed for all ages and levels to learn a bit of everything and then hone in on a favourite skill – whether that is trapeze, uni-cycling, stilt walking. It is completely up to you!"
By tailoring your activity, you can also tailor the type of workout you get and make it as light and easy as you want.
"All students can expect to increase their strength, flexibility and body awareness, but where you choose to focus your energy is up to you," explains Claire. "If you're ready for a high paced cardio challenge, your trainer will start you out with hooping and climbing, or to build strength we'll work more on tricks and skills on the trapeze and aerial silks.
"Others looking for more of a coordination challenge will be juggling, twirling and spinning plates, or even uni-cycling and stilt walking. Or to be really efficient in your workout, do a bit of everything!"
Claire says the joy of circus training is that the challenge goes beyond just the physical.
"You can expect to be challenged mentally as well as physically, with whole body skills and coordination challenges designed to draw you out of your comfort zone and teach you a whole new range of skills," she says.
2. Dance classes
While some high energy dance classes are sure to get those sweat glands flowing, slower, more gentle dance styles are an enjoyable way to get moving, with belly dancing being the perfect example. Gypsy Rose, belly dance teacher at Dance Central, explains that belly dancing’s low impact style makes it gentle on the body, but that it nonetheless gives a whole body workout.
"It's definitely all about your core strength and posture which is important for everyone," she says. "Most people are surprised at how much of a leg workout it is as well. Like most dance styles you really needed to be activating your muscles all the time. It's very similar to resistance training, just a little more glamorous!"
Gypsy Rose says people are drawn to belly dancing because 'it's just so much fun! You're learning to use your body in new and exciting ways.'
She adds that while many participants are nervous before started, the enjoyment soon takes over.
"Belly dance is designed for every body shape," she says. "It's a great way to build self-confidence and discover your inner goddess!"
3. Water sports
Water sports such as swimming, aqua aerobics or aqua Zumba are great options if you hate the sensation of sweating as your body temperature stays cool. Or why not give surfing a try?
"Surfing is an amazing activity and a great form of exercise,' says Brenda Miley, director and founder of Let's Go Surfing, "It's a holistic, feel good activity. It keeps you fit, is a bit meditative and spiritual by being in the ocean, is an adventure and it's fun!"
The beauty of surfing is that it gives both a cardio and strength workout while you stay cool and lap up the beauty of the ocean.
"There's cardio in all the paddling, strength and core are worked when standing up and riding waves, as well as a bit of dynamic balance … and it requires flexibility to get to your feet," explains Brenda. "As a sideline, your back becomes strong, as when you paddle as your chest and head are arched up”.
Let's Go Surfing offers lessons for the surfing novice so you can get out there and start catching waves from the get go.
"We show you a few tricks that can take years to learn on your own and provide you with big safe surfboards that make it all seem easy," says Brenda.
For too many, cycling conjures up images of men in lycra pedalling in packs at great speed, and putting your life into your hands as you battle traffic on the roads. But cycling doesn't have to be fast or stressful to give a great workout and as Patrick from Bonza Bike Tours explains, it's a smooth, efficient way of getting from A to B.
"It's in no way as strenuous as going for a run, you can take it nice and casually and cover much more distance. Even if you're going up hills, you can put the bike in a low gear, take your time and take it easy.
"A cruisy bike ride will work your glutes and pretty much every muscle in your legs," says Patrick, who adds that the experience of cycling today is markedly different from a decade ago.
"Ten years ago, if you were to ride in the city, you'd need to be a confident and competent cyclist," he says. "Now, there have been major upgrades, dedicated cycling lanes, very clearly marked shared footpaths, interconnecting routes throughout the city so you can get from one side to another and there's a change in mentality towards cycling. Compared to 10 years ago, cycling is accepted to have a place on the road and on the footpath."
Offering bicycle hire and a range of tours that cater for all fitness levels, a visit to Bonza Bike Tours is the perfect way to trial bike riding if you're ready to rekindle your love of cycling on a more regular basis – while enjoying a great social activity and taking in the city!
"You could be a person who hasn't ridden a bike for 30 years," says Patrick, "you can come on a tour, hop on a bike and after five minutes, be completely comfortable with it."
Written by Zoe Meunier, first appeared on Stuff.co.nz.