The gym is not fun and no-one truly likes going. Now we’ve admitted this to ourselves, let’s get fit and have fun along the way.
This article originally appeared in the December/January issue of PosAbility Magazine. If you’d like to read more articles like this before anyone else, why not subscribe?
By Katie Campbell
In naught but a few pages, you’ll soon discover exactly how we feel here at PosAbility Magazine about the dreaded, diabolical task of setting a New Years’ resolution (hint: not great). You may have already set your sights on a resolution, in which case, best of luck!
For a lot of you, that resolution will involve exercise and getting fit. That almost always leads into a frantic sign-up to the closest (and cheapest) gym, and then almost exactly six weeks of going religiously, followed by three weeks of going but not really feeling, then two weeks of making excuses, then the cancellation of your membership. As with so many other resolutions, it dies not with a bang but a whimper. This, inherently, is because the gym is a bit crap. There you go, we said it, so you don’t have to keep pretending any more that it’s fun and you like it.
It is a bit crap! It is! You’re allowed to say it! What you’re not allowed to do is give up on your resolution just because we’ve all collectively agreed and accepted that no-one actually enjoys being on the treadmill for 40 minutes, watching people fitter than you go at double your speed while you think about what you can possibly do to never come back to this awful place.
There is more to life than the treadmill, and maybe if you are looking to be a little fitter in 2020, you can check out some of these cool and actually really fun sports to get your heart racing without setting foot in Hell On Earth (ie, the gym). The gym is not fun and no-one truly likes going. Now we’ve admitted this to ourselves, let’s get fit and have fun along the way.
You want a mental workout? Abs? Arms that look like you’re smuggling melons under your sleeves? Get into rock climbing. There are loads of centres across the country that offer accessible lessons, classes, and accessories, meaning that you can get into it no matter your ability level or disability. There’s a real sense of achievement when you get to the top of the rock face and look down to see exactly how high your own power has taken you.
PARA ICE HOCKEY
Sometimes called sledge hockey, it’s played as the name implies: on a sledge. Unlike regular ice hockey, you play with a shortened stick in each hand. If you’re looking for a sport that gives you a great cardiovascular workout and allows you to play as part of a tight-knit team, para ice hockey is for you. Alternatively, you could fulfill the stereotype of the “crazed netminder,” speak to no-one, and just generally be fun but dangerous. It’s all about personal preference.
Going a place on a bike: a bit boring, sometimes dangerous, people in cars trying to kill you. Mountain biking: extremely cool, dangerous but in a cool way, also it’s really cool. Have you considered getting out on the mountain trails and taking your bike for a spin to get fit? Not only is it extremely fun, it’s an incredibly good workout. Adaptive mountain bikes are on the market for those who require them, opening the sport up to anyone who wants to try it.
It doesn’t seem like the most intense workout, but you won’t be saying that once you’ve tried to hang on to a kite on a blustery coast for 40 minutes. If you’re looking to build upper body strength, there’s definitely less fun ways of doing it, but why sit on a rowing machine when you could get out into the blistering cold of Great Britain’s coastlines and fling yourself about in the ocean? As above, accessible options are available, so don’t be scared about getting in the water and giving it a shot (maybe wait until spring though, it’s pretty cold).
Did you ever play any of the SSX games on the PlayStation 2? If you didn’t, congratulations on a wasted youth. They were the coolest games on the system, and even if they were a little over-the-top about what you could actually do on a snowboard, they were unbelievably fun. Get the old skis out for winter, pack up your snowboard, or more likely head somewhere and rent them because by God the equipment is expensive, and hit the slopes for some serious cardio.
Read more: New Year, New You
Image credit: Flickr/The City of Toronto