Sometimes, the old treadmill just doesn't cut it. Even with a Johnny Depp movie playing in front of you, it seems that your old workout routines just aren't as exciting or exhilarating as once before. With summer quickly approaching, maybe it's time to challenge your body in new and invigorating ways, and leave the stuffy weight room behind. Any activity that increases your heart rate and makes you sweat is worth trying, meaning you've got to give these extreme activities a go... at least once in your life! Are you up for the challenge?
1. Slacklining: If you are the type of woman that integrates focus and balance in all aspects of life, then slacklining could be a hoot for you. It involves walking (and balancing) across a tightrope-like line attached to two trees (some professional slackliners suspend their line over 4,000 foot gorges, but we don't recommend that just yet). With your arms held out horizontally for extra balance, you'll move one foot in front of the other, and utilize all your core and leg muscles. Talk about a full-body workout. In 30 minutes of slacklining, you could potentially burn up to 600 calories! Walk around a city park during the next sunny day and you're guaranteed to see some slackliners showing off their skills.
2. Mountain biking: Fat bikes have now extended mountain biking season to all year round, so there's really no excuse not to try it. Biking of any sort will give you a great core and leg workout, but mountain biking gives you added challenges of going uphill, over roots and through riverbeds. Your metabolism will rev up during these short exertions of energy (biking uphill for one minute, for example), and you'll definitely get a sweat going. Even on beginner level trails, mountain bikers can burn 400 calories in a 30-minute ride.
3. Open water swimming: Tired of the chlorine and monotonous chatter of the senior water aerobics class? Use your knowledge of lap swimming and apply it to natural waters... the ocean, a lake, or a river. You will encounter different conditions, such as a current or forceful winds, that will make you readjust your technique. Swimming is one of the best full-body workouts and is low-contact, so women with achey joints can dive right in. But make sure you read about the body of water before swimming 25 miles in it... safety is always key in these extreme sports!
4. Rafting: Or kayaking, if you prefer to captain your own ship. Not only does running a rapid give you a rush of adrenaline, but the constant paddling will work your biceps and triceps and you'll burn upwards of 500 calories per hour! Most rafting trips are all-day excursions, so stamina is a must for this sport! You'll definitely feel a gratifying burn in your shoulders the next day. If you decide to kayak down the rapids, you'll exercise your legs and core as well by twisting and maneuvering your yak.
>> Read more: 6 Ways to Stay Active on Vacation
5. Wakeboarding or water-skiing: If you've ever given either of these a go before, you know how hard it is to pull your entire body up out of the water. Then, once you're up, it's a constant battle of using your core for balance and holding on for dear life. Your body will naturally brace itself against the impact of the waves, and after an hour of shredding water behind a speedboat you'll have burned upwards of 600 calories! Time to sit back and relax on the beach.
6. Rock climbing and bouldering: Conquer your fear of heights and prove to yourself that you don't mess around. Rock climbing utilizes muscles that you probably didn't even know you had... muscles in your hands, fingers, forearms, even feet. Bouldering, on the other hand, is a type of rock climbing that does not require a harness; you move horizontally more often than you do vertically. Whether you top-rope (where you climb up a normal route while attached to a rope) or boulder, you will challenge your body to move in ways you never thought possible. Perhaps the next foothold is up near your ear, or you get all the way up the wall to find that the ledge towers over your horizontally. Either way, expect to burn at least 500 calories per hour while rock climbing!
Summer is the time of year to get outside and get moving! Too often, we turn into couch potatoes during the winter; get back on track by integrating some of these new challenges into your life!