When it comes to exercising, why not think outside the box — or traditional aerobics fitness class — this year? Tone those abs through unique workout routines and bring your friends with you. Check out the following ideas that make great outings away from the kids and leave you feeling energized at the end.
1. Salsa Dancing
Tango your way to a toner body. The sexy Latin American dances give your lower body and calves a great workout. If there aren't any dance studios in your area, check your local Parks and Recreation Department for group classes or lessons.
2. Belly Dancing
If you want to literally shake your abdominal muscles into shape, this dance that has been practiced for thousands of years is a fun choice. With a translation from the French term danse du ventre, which means "dance of the stomach," how can it not be?
3. Ice/Roller Skating
Find the nearest frozen pond or indoor ice rink and lace up. If ice skating isn't an option in your area, check for the nearest roller rink. Computer-generated playlists have replaced the DJs, but the flashing lights and disco ball still remain. Both ideas make for a great ladies' afternoon or night out.
Kickboxing is a popular fitness routine, so finding a gym or fitness center won't be difficult. If you haven't tried it, this might be the year to test your punching power. And let's face it — kids cause even the calmest mom to sometimes scream into a pillow. Kickboxing is a great outlet for unleashing that stress.
5. Wii™ Just Dance
Many Wii exercise videos exist. But doesn't hosting a dance party sound more enjoyable? Invite the girls over for a fun Just Dance workout to your favorite tunes like Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." And you will!
6. Dog Walking
Have you noticed that inspiring stories of significant weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes often start with walking? It's the simplest way to get your body off the couch, and with a dog in the house there's no excuse. Organize a daily or weekly dog walking brigade (as long as the pooches get along).
If you don't own a dog, volunteer to walk dogs at your nearest animal shelter. You'll get exercise, meet new people, and help animals who need exercise, love, and attention. A win-win for everyone.
7. Hula Hooping
Who knew a favorite childhood activity can burn as much as 500 calories, improve balance and flexibility, and tone your abs, back, arms, and legs? But this isn't your daughter's hula hoop routine; purchase a grown-up size hula hoop and start spinning.
8. Hiking With a Backpack
We're not talking about a stroll through the neighborhood. Head to the hills or the forest for a change of scenery. Bring your friends along for safety and companionship. Invest in a decent pair of hiking shoes or boots, consider adding a walking stick, and pack some hiking essentials (water bottles, a light snack, a cell phone, and first aid kit). Take the camera, too. Your new exercise routine may inspire a photography hobby!
9. Adult Recreation Sport Leagues
Who says soccer moms are resorted to sideline seats at their kids' games? Whether you recall your high school playing days or are channeling a new interest from all those Saturday mornings as a spectator, check out adult sports leagues in your area. From soccer to softball, a variety of opportunities exist. Gather the gals to form your own team. Game on!
If your 2013 New Year's resolutions included exercise, more gal time, and trying new adventures, combine all three into a friendship-forming fitness routine that steps outside the traditional exercise classes.