Let’s face it - running, while possibly being the easiest way to work out, isn’t for everyone. That’s why we’ve gone in search of exercises that burn the same amount - or even more calories than pounding the pavement. Running burns, on average, 600 calories per hour (10 per minute). Here are our favourite exercises that burn more:
Skipping - Jump rope burns 13 calories per minute - that’s 780 per hour. It still counts as cardio for those who don’t want to give up on their cardio workout. While a high impact activity, many find it worth the effort.
Rowing - This can be done either in the gym on a machine or with the real thing if you live near an accessible body of water. Burning a solid 680 calories per hour and maybe catching some great scenery counts this one in our books.
Boxing - If you’re more of a competitively driven person, boxing may be right for you. It’s intense, can be done against an opponent or a bag, and melts through 727 calories per hour.
Swimming - Doing the front crawl for a full hour will burn 818 calories (and it’s a great full body workout!) Swimming is a great option for the elderly and injured as it’s difficult to aggravate injuries or create new ones in the water!
Martial Arts - Another competitive sport, doing martial arts for 1 hour will help you get rid of 744 calories, and is a great option for those seeking to learn a new skill as well as get a workout.
Stationary Bike - While not the most thrilling sport, many people find the low impact cardio of the bike easier to handle than running. Plus, you’ll burn a whopping 782 calories each hour.
Cross-country Skiing - If winter sports are your thing, try out skiing. Burning 720 calories per hour, it also give you the chance to get outside in the winter and see some scenery.
Kettlebell Swing - This exercise is not for the faint of heart. 20 calories are burned each minute, and while we don’t think most people could last for an hour, in theory it would burn 1,200 calories. It’s a definite way to get that heart pumping if you’re up for the challenge!
Get a personal trainer - Having a trainer gives you accountability. Not only is your body on the line, but your wallet as well. Oftentimes paying for a service makes us value and therefore prioritize it more. Having someone pushing you towards your daily goals doesn’t hurt either!
Reward yourself - Whether your reward is a short nap or a sweet smoothie, giving yourself something to look forward to once you finish a workout can be a great motivator. Eventually, you may not even need the reward!
Keep track of your progress - Whether it’s through writing lists of your decreasing weight or taking pictures of your changing body, seeing that real progress is often enough to make you want more. Some find that posting photos on a personal instagram or tumblr blog help show a timeline and be a source of inspiration.
Find a workout buddy - If hiring a personal trainer just isn’t for you, having a workout buddy to help you show up to the gym can be that extra push you need. You don’t want to let your friends down - and the same goes for your body.
Look at fitness magazines - Finding visual content, even clipping images that represent your physical goals can be a great motivator to work towards. If you are a fan of Pinterest, create a board that represents all your fitness goals and remind yourself every day!
Enjoy yourself! - For some people, going to that brightly lit gym and lifting weights or running on a treadmill is demotivation in and of itself. Finding a physical activity that you enjoy - whether it’s flying solo with swimming or getting a team together with soccer - makes your workout feel less like work.
Running is perhaps the oldest form of physical fitness. The rules have been re-written dozens of times and there are thousands of theories on what makes running the best workout. We decided to look a little further and figure out 6 things you may - but probably didn’t know about running!
Your morning cup of coffee actually helps you burn calories - and makes workouts seem easier! The recommended dose is 3-5mg per kilogram of body mass. Experts advise caution: caffeine can act like a drug, causing withdrawal symptoms and desensitization if taken too regularly.
Running with music can boost your performance up to 15% - Dr. Costas Karageorghis, author of Inside Sports Psychology, claims that aside from boosting your mood music helps to set a pace. This is easily accomplished when listening to the beat of almost any genre of music. Much like caffeine, if overused you can desensitize yourself to music and the benefits decline; two runs with music and one without is what Karageoghis recommends.
Lose Yourself by Eminem, is the best song to listen to while on a run - Runners-up include Thunderstruck by AC/DC and Eye of the Tiger by Survivor.
Your toenails can fall off - While this is more of a concern to marathon runners, it still happens and it’s still pretty gross. Marshall Ulrich, who ran across the United States in one huge ultra-marathon, actually had his toenails surgically removed.
It takes 200 muscles to take one step - On average, a person walks 10,000 steps in a day - runners even more! Now that’s a workout!
It’s never too late to start! - The oldest man to run a marathon was Fauja Singh at 101 years old. If that wasn’t enough, the now-104-year old didn’t begin training for marathons until he was 89!
The only thing holding you back is you, so get out there and go for your version of a run - whether that means 5 minutes or 5 hours!
Meditation has been proven over and over to be extremely beneficial to your health. Lowering blood pressure, easing chronic pain and anxiety, improving your mood, and boosting your immune system are just a few of the many upsides of meditation. Studies have shown that it can actually change your brain!
However, this deeply peaceful practice can be a struggle for the cluttered, busy mind. There are many ways to help you to focus in the moment and reap the benefits of proper meditation - below we have shared our top 5 ways to the most out of meditation sessions.
Perfect Posture - Avoid slumping and a hunched back at all costs! Keeping your spine upright and your head straight will aid in concentration. A balanced body makes for a balanced mind.
Leave distractions at home - Bringing thoughts of your workplace, school, presentations, and assignments will bog you down. Make sure you wear comfortable clothing that won’t pinch, pull, or distract you in any way. Keeping your mind away from these things will allow you to focus more freely.
Count your breathing - When you find your mind wandering to what you’re going to eat for dinner or when you’re going to call your mom, counting your breaths can bring you back into the moment. If the counting itself becomes a distraction - larger numbers such as “forty-six” or “one-hundred-and-two, simply return to “one”.
Turn your phone off - Besides the obvious chance of getting a phone call, email, or text message during mediation, simply the knowledge that your phone is on creates this compulsive need to check it. Turning your phone completely off (not just on silent) will help to erase this urge from your mind.
Have a positive attitude - Coming into a meditation session with negative thoughts and feelings and expecting to immediately settle into peace is an unrealistic expectation that many of us have. Resolving strong, negative emotions beforehand can help you to focus and get the most out of your session.
Shin Kicking - originating in the 1600s in Gloucestershire, this sport was practiced in the Costwold “Olimpick” Games. It is played exactly how it sounds - there are two players and each opponent attempts to kick the other’s shins until one collapses. Until the mid 1800s, contestants were allowed to wear steel-toed boots - practicing for the event involved ‘hardening’ your shins with a hammer. When it was revived in the 1950s, shin kicking required soft toed shoes and the players were allowed to stuff hay up the legs of their pants, preventing any serious injuries.
Underwater Hockey - Teams of six compete in this novelty sport. Players free-dive to the bottom of the pool and use small sticks to probe the puck into the opposing team’s net. Penalties can be appointed during the 15 minute rounds and various advantages given to the opposing team - anything from getting a timed 3 metre radius with the puck or a penalty shot. Spectating this sport is difficult and can only efficiently be done by the use of underwater cameras and live streaming broadcasts.
Wife Carrying - This is a Finnish competitive sport in which a man must carry his wife through a small obstacle course - the man who finishes first is the winner. Some of the World Championship rules include:
Chess Boxing - In this extreme sport, players alternate between rounds of chess and rounds of boxing - 6 of the former and 5 of the latter. 3 minute rounds of chess are digitally recorded in between rounds and set up again after 3 minutes of boxing.The winner is crowned most often through a knockout, but can also triumph through checkmate. Canadian filmmaker David Bitton created a documentary about the sport entitled “Chessboxing: The King’s Discipline”.
Extreme Ironing - According to the Extreme Ironing Bureau, this sport is “the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt”. Previous record holders ironed whilst doing some of the following: Bungee jumping, running a half marathon, surfing, and one group of 173 divers ironed underwater in 2011. The sport has gained international recognition and has had a short film featured on National Geographic.