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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Four good reasons not to join a gym
Workout by dancing, boxing and videos
 
Published Thursday, January 10, 2013 8:42 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

It’s that time of year when we are bombarded with weight loss commercials advertising everything from diet plans to food delivered to your doorstep and books promising a slimmer healthier life.


Blenders, juicers and workout equipment are all on sale, and health clubs are running membership specials. The New Year’s resolution rush is officially underway.


According to Today.com, nearly half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and it is no surprise that weight loss tops the list again for 2013. It’s also no surprise that the majority of resolutions fail.


“If you take on too much too soon or do something you don’t like doing, you are less likely to stick with it,” Charlotte attorney DeAnna Taylor said in an interview last year with The Post. “The key to sticking with it is doing something that you like to do.”


Taylor is one weight-loss resolution-maker who actually succeeded in her goal. Taylor began her weight loss journey in 2010 and lost 80 pounds, dropping from a size 16 to a size 4.


Taylor told The Post she enjoys working out because it provides her with an escape for some “me-time.” However, working out at the gym does not work for everyone. Some find it monotonous and boring. While others, simply find it torturous and find themselves among the countless Americans who join a gym in January but stop going before spring.


If spending 30 minutes to an hour sweating it out on a treadmill or elliptical machine at a gym does not sound like your idea of a good time, you are not alone. The good news is you can get in shape and drop some weight without joining a gym.


Here are four alternatives of fun ways to workout and lose the weight:


Game time
Video games are constantly blamed for contributing to our nation’s growing obesity epidemic, but there are several on the market that can actually help you lose weight. Playing a personal trainer game on her Nintendo Wii helped Taylor jumpstart her weight loss journey with a 30-day challenge she committed to. She said doing something fun made it easier for her to work out on a regular basis.


“I got into the habit of exercising,” she said. “I just enjoyed it, and from there I haven’t stopped.”


Dancing machine
It’s no wonder that “Dancing with the Stars” has been dubbed “America’s unofficial celebrity weight loss show.” Kelly Osborne reportedly lost more than 40 pounds and five dress sizes on the show. Ricki Lake and Nancy Grace lost more than 20 pounds each, and Kirstie Alley danced away almost 40 inches from her waist, according to various reports. Dancing is a fun way to burn a lot of calories, even if you’re not good at it.


Put up a good fight
Boxing is another fun way to work towards your weight loss goals without joining a traditional gym. According to coach Al Simpson of Charlotte Boxing Academy, the benefits of boxing go far beyond cardiovascular exercise, conditioning and strength training.


“Boxing will give you discipline,” he said. “You will learn to practice more self-discipline. Plus, you will be prepared to handle yourself if you are in an altercation.”


Walk it out
Walking is perhaps the simplest and cheapest form of exercise. According to Centers for Disease and Control Prevention Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., it is also the most popular.


“More than 145 million adults are now getting some of their physical activity by walking,” Frieden said.


Taking a brisk 10-minute walk, three times a day, five days a week is enough to meet the daily physical activity guidelines for an average adult.

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