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Unique ways to get fit in the new year

December 31, 2016 - TCO

Unique ways to get fit in the new year

A new year is around the corner, so it’s time to get the New Year’s resolutions rolling. Everyone’s heard the catchy phrase, “New year, new you!” It’s everywhere and, unfortunately, it doesn’t go away because another new year is only 12 short months away. Whatever you’ve resolved to do, or not do, the first month of the year is a great time to get started.

The focus here is getting fit. Understand this. There are many ways to get or stay fit, and there is no magic recipe on how to achieve it. Whether you’re running, or doing strength training, or punching a heavy bag in a boxing gym, the underlying key to success is to have some fun.

So to begin, we’re sure many of you have tried a gym or fitness center. They can be fun, and working with staff can help you achieve results. But there are some potential roadblocks such as cost or difficulty with time, so we want to shell out some unique ideas that might help you get started.

Unleash your inner child

Those of you with children see the fun they have on the playground. A great way to get moving is to join them and relive the enjoyment for yourself. By climbing, sliding and swinging, you’re activating many key muscles without even thinking about it. Get out there and have some fun! For those of you that don’t have kids, there are ways to get the same experience but on a larger scale. Within the past several years, obstacle course races have become a big craze. This is a chance to run and crawl through the mud, climb big-person obstacles and unleash the kid in you that you forgot was there. Do some research on the different races. You will have to do some training to get yourself ready for the event and the race websites offer some information on how to prepare.

According to Wikipedia, there are 67 state parks, seven state recreation areas and 22 state trails in the Minnesota state park system. That totals roughly 267,000 acres of fitness fun. No gym can boast anything like that; not even close. Granted you don’t have free weights or machines, but there is so much that you don’t think about. Walking is a great way to burn calories and the uneven terrain is great for balance and proprioception. Not enough for ya? Use the parks as a meeting place and host your own boot camp. Body weight exercises are a great substitute for machines or free weights such as dumbbells. The fun part of using the state parks system is that you have a variety of workout areas. Not a fan of the wilderness, here’s another option. How often do you make the trip to downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul? There are countless activities that you can find if you take a walking tour of the cities. Have fun exploring areas of the city that you’ve never been to and make it a workout to get there, and if you get tired there are numerous transportation options to get you back to your starting point.

The weekend warrior

You know who you are; the ex-football player who still has that itch to catch touchdowns, or the runner who wants to run with a group instead of on your own. You’re in luck. Do some research and find a group or club in your area that offers adult sports. The Twin Cities has options a-plenty for those who want to stay active but with a competitive edge. The sooner you act on joining these leagues or groups, the better. Spots can fill up quickly. C’mon, you know you’ve got one more home run left in you.

Something old, something new

As we mentioned earlier, the new year is near. Some of you will join gyms or fitness centers, and that’s great. But have you ever considered doing something with that membership that you’ve never tried? Take advantage of the services and step outside of your comfort zone. You’d be amazed how easily the body gets into a routine, and you can’t seem to shed any more pounds or lose any more inches. That means it’s time to switch things up and the new year is the perfect time. Make sure you search online for discounts whether you’re already a member or not. This is the time of year where gyms and fitness centers will offer their deepest discounts.

TCO fitness classes

Twin Cities Orthopedics offers FREE fitness classes at our Burnsville, Eden PrairieMaple Grove and Stillwater facilities. Learn more about the various classes we offer and view the class schedule. Did we mention it’s FREE? Seriously. There’s no catch. What are you waiting for?