These Fun Activities Don’t Feel Like Exercise — But They Build Muscle And Burn Calories
CEO and co-creator of the POUND fitness movement (the first and only full-body drumming workout) Kirsten Potenza, who’s based in the USA, is all about making exercise fun. POUND workouts have become popular globally, and if it sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because, in 2017, it was introduced to South Africa in various Virgin Active gyms across the country.
If you follow Kirsten Potenza on Instagram, then you’ll know that she is absolute body goals! We recently caught up with the self-proclaimed fitness rebel to find out what fun activities she does that keep her fit — and they all involve core strength, flexibility and cardio.
When it comes to core strength, Potenza says that exhalation — as simple as it may sound — is an important part of building those muscles.
“Something as simple as the timing of your exhalation can significantly help you recruit your core muscles,” she says.
“Also, make sure that your movements are slow and controlled. Why? Moving slowly can help you focus on your form and minimise the recruitment of other unintended muscles.”
And her last piece of advice is to smile through the most difficult parts of your workout. “Smiling may trick your brain into thinking it’s happy, even when you’re struggling through the final anabolic burst of an exercise.”
If you battle to get a little exercise in, opting for fun activities that you don’t consider “working out” but still give you the bonus of building muscle strength and burning calories is exactly what you should be doing.
Rollerblading is fun and it also counts as a low-intensity compound exercise that targets several muscles all at once. It mainly targets your glutes, quads and hamstrings (because of the use of your legs and hips to push you forward), but it also targets your abs.
“While you may not think it, rollerblading is a great cardio workout and it recruits major core muscles for balance,” says Kirsten.
Every time you push yourself forward, your core is activated and it gives your body stability and balance through the movement. So if the gym’s a no-go-zone for you, how about you get yourself a pair of skates and take the streets two to three times a week.
But you should always make sure to skate on even ground, especially if you don’t have pro-skating skills.
According to Calories Burned Hiking Calculator, a leisurely hike can burn between 300 to 600 calories every hour. It’s all dependent on what you weigh, how much your backpack weighs, the state of the ground you’re walking on and the speed at which you’re moving. Your lower body and your core are your most engaged muscles and are being strengthened as you move through the hills and mountains.
“Hiking involves a lot more core work than you might think,” she says.
There are several hiking social clubs in different cities around the country that you can join if you don’t know where to hike, or if you just don’t want to do it alone. Joining a group/club is also a great way of not only making new friends, but also staying consistent.
Dancing regularly is a great way of keeping fit and you don’t need to know how to dance, to dance… if you know we mean. While the intensity and duration of your dancing fun are all up to you — dancing can improve muscle tone and strength, help in weight management, and improve flexibility and coordination.
“It’s so important to have fun, and a night out dancing is the perfect way to burn some fat and engage all your muscles, including your core,” says Kirsten.
It doesn’t even always have to be a night out. There are tons of adult dance classes from salsa to tap dancing and pole dancing to ballroom dancing — the options are endless.
See, staying fit doesn’t always have to involve a gym — or even an actual workout. There are ways that you can work around your mind to get your daily dose of fitness goodness in without feeling like you’re doing the work.