, 2023-01-04 02:00:00,
If you’re looking for a way to get fit, there is no shortage of opinions about clever regimens to try. There are HIIT workouts, barre sessions, boot camps, Peloton influencers and Pilates gurus. But there is one piece of advice that almost every athlete and fitness expert points to as the key to success: Find an activity you like, and do that activity. That’s it.
If you love to bike, run, swim, dance, golf, climb mountains or play pickleball, then build a fitness plan to support that hobby. Basketball, squash, underwater hockey — whatever your jam — make time to do it. No amount of discipline or body-hacking can replace genuine passion for a sport or exercise.
With that in mind, here is Why Not Try, a series that introduces readers to new and different ways to exercise. As we head into a new year, it’s the perfect time to find one (or a few) you could get into. Why not try …
TESTING YOUR SKILLS
— BALANCE: Long-term fitness isn’t just about building speed and strength, it’s also about balance. Maybe you can run a six-minute mile and do 10 pull-ups, but how long can you stand on one foot? According to a recent research paper, about 20 percent of older adults struggle to balance on one leg for 10 seconds or more. What’s more, those who could not do it were twice as likely to die within the next 10 years. Fortunately, there are ways to improve your balance.
— FLEXIBILITY: Too easy? Test your flexibility. Experts say that flexibility is also a skill that can be improved just like strength or cardio endurance. And developing it can better your quality of life, so long as you put in the work. There are five tests you can do to find out if you are appropriately flexible, and, if you come up lacking, those same movements can help you improve.
SWITCHING UP YOUR GYM ROUTINE
— ROWING: Want a good upper body workout but don’t like weights? Hope to combine strength and cardio to save time? Like the feeling of rowing but hate actually being on water? Try erging.
Once known as using a rowing machine, erging is one of those rare exercises where you can get upper body, lower body and cardio exercise all at once. Classes are cropping up around the country, and this year, Peloton even created its own line of rowing machines. It’s not hard to learn, but there a few tips you should know to get the most out of the workout.
— BATTLE ROPES: Want to make a little noise? Try battle ropes. That’s right, those heavy ropes in the corner of the gym that…
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