FIT­NESS IN THE FRESH AIR

Take your work­out out of the gym and into the open.

Expat Living (Singapore) - - Health & Fitness -

We’ve seen on the pre­ced­ing pages the ben­e­fits that get­ting sporty in the out­doors can bring – ben­e­fits that can’t be repli­cated in a gym. With Sin­ga­pore’s cli­mate al­low­ing year-round ex­er­cise, now all you need is to choose what to do! Here are six dif­fer­ent ideas for some out­door in­spo.

#1 Hik­ing

Gather friends or fam­ily and head to the trails in Bukit Timah Na­ture Re­serve, Labrador Na­ture Re­serve, The South­ern Ridges, Macritchie Reser­voir Park or any one of Sin­ga­pore’s many green spa­ces for a group work­out in lush scenery. You’ll en­gage dif­fer­ent mus­cle groups all at once, in­clud­ing your core, thighs, calves and an­kles, while also build­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar strength and burn­ing calo­ries. At the end of the trail, you’ll have im­proved your fit­ness and had a fun day out. A win for ev­ery­body!

#2 Dragon Boat­ing

This an­cient Chi­nese tra­di­tion is also a killer full-body work­out. Pad­dling one of these bad boys works the arms and shoul­ders, while your back, ab­dom­i­nals, chest, hips and thighs are all en­gaged as well. Miss­ing prac­tice is a no-no, so you’re less likely to skip a work­out; and, with so many peo­ple, move­ments and pad­dles in­volved, you’ll de­velop a height­ened sense of aware­ness as you move in sync with your fel­low pad­dlers.

#3 Stand Up Pad­dle Board­ing (SUP)

This work­out looks de­cep­tively sim­ple, but get on a board and you’ll work mus­cles you never knew ex­isted. The com­mon mis­con­cep­tion is that SUP re­quires up­per body strength. In re­al­ity, you will need to en­gage ev­ery fi­bre of your core, up­per body and legs. A ses­sion on the SUP board will help im­prove bal­ance and over­all strength while in­creas­ing en­durance. Best of all, if you take a tum­ble, you land in the wa­ter. There’s also SUP Yoga (stand-up pad­dle yoga), a chal­leng­ing and re­lax­ing work­out all at once – you’ll get to zen out but also en­joy some ma­jor car­dio and core en­gage­ment.

#4 Wake­board­ing

Here’s an­other wa­ter-based ac­tiv­ity that will chal­lenge your mus­cles and get your heart rac­ing. Think of wake­board­ing as do­ing squats – on wa­ter. It takes sig­nif­i­cant arm strength to pull your­self up, but your legs, too, are con­stantly work­ing and your core is en­gaged in keep­ing you upright. Not for the faint-hearted, it will take sev­eral ses­sions to build the strength and skill re­quired.

#5 Park­our

De­vel­oped in France, Park­our, which uses move­ments from mil­i­tary ob­sta­cle course train­ing, is a rel­a­tively new type of work­out that’s gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity, with more and more train­ing pro­grammes pop­ping up through­out Sin­ga­pore. The idea is to nav­i­gate from one point to an­other with­out us­ing any as­sis­tive equip­ment – just the body – and in the fastest and most ef­fi­cient way pos­si­ble. It in­volves run­ning, crawl­ing, bal­anc­ing, climb­ing, vault­ing, swing­ing, jump­ing, rolling and other calo­rie-bust­ing move­ments.

#6 Rock Climb­ing

If you’re look­ing for some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent to keep you fit, try rock climb­ing. The SAFRA Ad­ven­ture Sports Cen­tre has walls of vary­ing heights and dif­fi­culty lev­els. You’ll need arm strength to pull your body up while your thighs and calves si­mul­ta­ne­ously push you, mak­ing it as good as any gym work­out. You’ll also need to con­cen­trate as you plot your course to the top. If you pre­fer the real deal, Bukit Timah Quar­ries of­fers routes for the novice as well as the ex­pe­ri­enced climber. Just be sure to put on your safety har­ness be­fore you start!

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