Starting to feel the pressure of bikini season sneaking up on you? Don’t fret! Spring is a perfect time to get active, and start kicking your own butt into shape. You can hit the machines at the gym, but if you want to try something new, here are a few of our favourite workouts, with tips for getting started:
Pilates uses some light equipment to focus on core-strengthening exercises that train your body using slow, guided movements. It’s similar to yoga, but involves more equipment and less bending around backwards. Pilates videos are some of the best video workouts you can do, they’re great for cardio and toning. Go to the library and get a video, or check some out on Netflix.
We all know yoga, but you may not have tried it before if you’re nervous about going to a class the first time. If you don’t know the names of the positions, or you know you’re not very flexible, it can be intimidating to walk into a room where it seems like everyone knows what they’re doing. Instead, try learning yoga from a book. That way you can see exactly how your body should be positioned, rather than trying to figure out what the instructor is saying while you are twisted backwards, hanging upside down.
Kickboxing is a fast-paced workout that burns calories and sculpts your muscles, without getting boring or repetitive. Ask around, you can probably find a free turbo kickboxing class or something similar you could try out! See if you can find a kickboxing combat class, they’re lively and keep you engaged the whole way through.
If you’re up early anyway, running is by far one of the cheapest cardio activities. Invest in some quality shoes so you don’t do damage to your feet, legs, or back, and some cute running gear doesn’t hurt either. Once you’re all set, get outside in the crisp morning air before traffic is out and pound the pavement! You can even start a running club with your roommates or other fitness pals to keep you motivated.
It might be intimidating when you’re standing next to all the jocks at your school hitting the weights, but free weights are a great way to help you get toned and if done right, can work out every part of the body. Start with lunges, squats, and curls. If you’re confused, see if you can get a single session with a personal trainer at your gym to show you how to lift properly so you don’t pull a muscle. No personal trainer? This is a perfect icebreaker. Enlist the hottie with a body to teach you how to use the weights, then thank him with a post-workout smoothie.
Swimming is a fantastic workout. It’s cardio, while also toning and lengthening every muscle in your body. Have you ever looked at a swimmer’s physique? Think long, lean, and toned. So sexy! Plus, it’s often so invigorating and relaxing, you don’t even realize you’re working out. You can take swimming aerobics classes, or just swim laps. Grab a friend, or compete with yourself to top your personal best each time.
We believe it’s essential for every college girl to have at least some basic self-defense training, but did you know it’s also a great workout? You can go to a single session, or a longer training course, and when it’s over, practice your moves at home with a yoga mat, punching bag, and some pump-up music. Not only will you be working out your body, you’ll be building confidence too!
Remember being a kid and biking all over your neighbourhood? You would have so much fun, you didn’t even realize how exhausted you were until your mom called you home for dinner and you could barely walk through the front door. Biking as an adult can be just as fun and a great workout. Scope out your city for bike paths, there could be tonnes of hidden gems you never knew about. If you don’t have a bike, try renting or borrowing one first–some people find this isn’t the right workout for them afterall, so make sure before you invest in a new ride.
If you have an outdoorsy bone in your body, hiking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while getting a full body cardio and muscle-toning workout. Got chubby legs? Hiking will make short work of those! Even if you live in a city, you often won’t have to go far to find great hiking spots. Check online, or ask around. Make sure to bring lots of water, and a buddy to be safe. When starting out, don’t overdo it. Remember: however far you hike, you have to hike back still!
Try a New Sport
Have you ever tried ultimate frisbee? How about water polo or field hockey? Maybe even squash? College gives us a whole slew of opportunities to try every strange and silly sport imaginable, so give it a go for a great workout and a lot of fun. Grab some friends and make it even more exciting, especially if none of you know what you are doing. That’s sure to bring some laughs!
What Do You Think?
Are you trying to get in shape this spring? What are your favourite ways to workout? Leave a comment and let us know!