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While going to the local gym can provide exercise variety and the motivation to practise a healthy lifestyle, it’s not for everyone. Maybe you prefer to get active outdoors, or perhaps, you find the gym music too loud. Whatever the reason, the good news is that fitness is on the rise and that means plenty of fun exercise alternatives to suit every fitness level and personal preference.

Exercising in the comfort of your own home is a fun and easy way to stay fit. Here, you could do a range of HIIT exercises that alternate between cardio (jogging on the spot, skipping, jumping jacks, etc.) and strength exercises (push-ups, lunges, squats, etc.) while watching your favourite TV show. Or, if you enjoy following a routine, there are plenty of free Youtube workouts to choose from.

However, if you need a little extra push and motivation to make exercising a healthy habit, joining a group class or an outdoor event could be the answer to your fitness dilemma.

5 Benefits of group exercising

  • Motivation. It’s inspiring to be around like-minded people who have similar fitness goals.
  • Accountability. It’s not so easy putting off a fitness class when you know that your absence will be noticed.
  • Structure. Group classes or events are planned ahead of time.
  • Camaraderie. Even if you’re a little shy, sweating alongside another person in a group class or at an event gives you an instant connection to them. Your shared experience of getting through a tough workout is what creates this exercise-buddy bond.
  • Fun. It’s easy to forget that you’re exercising when you’re enjoying a jog with new friends or bouncing to the beat of a classic Michael Jackson hit.

Find your favourite group exercise

If you’re not sure what type of group fitness class or event you’ll enjoy, give a few of them a try. Most studios and group classes are more than happy to let you watch or take part in a class for free. Here are a few fun group activities that you could try:

Adventure Boot Camp For Women
This fun four-week outdoor fitness programme is designed for women of all ages and fitness levels. Choose to exercise in the morning or early evening, and sign up for four, 12 or 20 fitness sessions.

CrossFit involves doing varied functional movements that are always evolving and formed at high intensity. It combines aspects of gymnastics, running, weightlifting, etc. to form a complete workout that maximises the amount of work done in a short time space.

If you enjoy movement and feel-good vibes, you’ll enjoy these classes. Nia fuses dance, martial arts and somatics to create a heart-pumping fitness journey. The aim of these classes is to allow you to express yourself and find purpose. It’s gentle on the joints and done barefoot. Visit Nia South Africa to find out more.

Studio classes 
For core-focused movements, try Pilates classes; these also help to improve posture and muscle toning. Yoga is beneficial for both body and mind and is said to help relieve stress, improve flexibility, and better your bone health.

If you enjoy a little more movement and self-expression, dancing is a fun cardio workout with many different styles — everything from Zumba and hip hop, to tap dancing and ballet.

Outdoor fitness 
parkrun is a weekly 5km timed event that draws walkers, joggers, and runners together on a Saturday morning — any age and any fitness level is welcome. These free events start at 8am and take place in beautiful natural surroundings, like the beach, wine farms, or open parks.

Run/Walk For Life offers an exercise programme which takes place a few days a week. Members exercise in supervised groups with people of a similar fitness level. This is ideal if you enjoy walking or running and you want to improve your level of fitness, lose weight, or need a little extra motivation to keep at it.

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