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Raleigh Fitness: 8 Alternatives if you Hate the Gym

If you are anything like me and are bored to tears at the gym, you are going to love these 8 Raleigh fitness alternatives to the gym.

Raleigh Fitness: Dance Classes

Even WebMD agrees with me. In their article entitled Dance Workout: Why You Don’t Need a Gym gives you the dance styles that correspond with the parts of the body they exercise most. I was surprised to find there is actually a calculator where you can see how many calories you burned based on your weight, the type of dancing you are doing and for how long. But take my advice (caveat: I am not a doctor or a fitness professional) don’t get too scientific about it. Just have a good time and you’ll feel great. Also, dancing burns as many or more calories as the same amount of time at the gym.

Check out NC Dance Institute for high quality adult dance classes.

Raleigh Fitness: Tennis

If you’re looking to really step up your fitness game, get into tennis. Tennis is a high intensity sport that can burn up to 1000 calories per hour. That is no joke! According to fitness expert, Mark Kovacs, PhD, executive director of the International Tennis Performance Association, “tennis uses nearly every muscle in the body.” 

There are so many great opportunities to get started in tennis in the Raleigh area. In addition to the many wonderful neighborhoods with community tennis courts there are private clubs and city maintained courts throughout the Triangle. The city of Raleigh tennis program has adult, junior and senior instruction as well as many community leagues for all levels. 

Raleigh Tennis Association has adult and junior leagues, plus a Couch to Court program for beginner tennis players. 

Raleigh Fitness: Walking Club

Walking as exercise is seriously underrated. Dr. Matt Tanneberg, CSCS, a sports Chiropractor and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in Phoenix, Arizona, says “Walking can be as good as a workout, if not better, than running.” The Raleigh area is full of amazing greenways. There are numerous walking clubs available if you prefer to walk with a few friends. Crabtree Valley Mall even has specified mall walking hours if you want to walk inside during poor or cold weather. If you’re looking for a little more adventure in your walking, Triangle Hiking and Outdoors Group is a very active group, offering over 300 events a year! 

Raleigh Fitness: Gardening

Another surprising find, simple tasks like weeding, trimming and raking can burn 300 calories an hour. For comparison, 30 minutes on a stationary bike burns between 200-300 calories. So simple gardening burns about ½ – ¾ the amount of calories as a gym workout, but up the ante to more strenuous gardening activities and you could rival that gym experience. Try spading, tilling and raking for a more intense workout. 

Never planted a garden before? Logan’s Garden Shop is a great place to get started with the tools and supplies you’ll need to plant your first garden. And the NC State Extension Master Gardeners program can put you in touch with volunteers in your area that can answer any questions you have about getting started. 

Raleigh Fitness: Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is intense. It has even been described as the ultimate full body workout. It takes a lot of muscle strength to keep your body vertical on a rock wall. Rock climbing increases the strength of every major muscle group. It can lower your BMI and decrease body fat. It’s a great stress reliever and it improves flexibility. 

Triangle Rock Club is Raleigh’s premier climbing club. They offer day passes (with a discount for first-timers), monthly memberships and you can rent any needed gear at the club. 

If you want to try climbing for free, there are a few local area man-made and natural rock outcroppings for climbing in the Raleigh area. There are also many good rock climbing opportunities within driving distance of Raleigh. 

Raleigh Fitness: Fencing

No, it’s not the Renaissance Festival. Fencing is actually a modern sport! And it’s a fantastic way to have fun and stay in shape. “To be a successful fencer you must become graceful, aggressive, strategic, and strong.” It increases your coordination, agility, flexibility, strength and it is fantastic cardiovascular exercise. This may come as a surprise to you, but fencing is a popular sport in the Triangle and there are quite a few fencing clubs. There are even some city sponsored clubs that make it more cost effective. 

Fencing Opportunities in the Triangle

Apex Fencing Academy

Apex Fencing Academy offers introductory classes, a recreational program and a pre-competitive program.

Research Triangle Fencing

Research Triangle Fencing offers a youth and after school program, an advanced training program, private coaching and an adult rec league. 

Midsouth Fencers Club

Midsouth Fencers Club offers memberships to give members flexible class times. They also have a youth academy, private lessons, tournaments and something called Medieval Longsword. I have no idea what that is but it sounds pretty cool. 

Raleigh Fitness: Circus Arts

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to join the circus? You can totally find out! Circus arts schools will train you in the circus arts like trapeze, aerial arts, juggling and cyr wheel (if you don’t know what that is, watch this). And this stuff will really get you in good shape. This is your chance to banish the stairmaster and harness your inner circus performer!

You can learn circus arts at the following schools:

Triangle Circus Arts

Triangle Circus Arts is located in Durham. They offer adult and child classes, and camps. They also sometimes perform out in the community or you can book them to perform for your event. 

Cirque de Vol

Cirque de Vol teaches aerial arts classes in addition to more traditional classes like yoga and dance. They have drop in classes, monthly memberships and workshops that you can register for. 

Raleigh Fitness: Bicycling

With all the amazing bike trails in and around Raleigh biking is big business. You can head out on your own and bike around town or trails. Or join a cycling group! There are groups for just about anyone who might be interested. Slowpoke Cycling for beginners. Groups that travel the greenways in packs of four. There is even a group of Spiritual Spinners, that rides to raise funds to donate to worthy causes. 

If you don’t yet have a bike, Oak City Cycling or All Star Bike Shop can help you get started with a bike that meets your needs. 

I hope this article gave you some out of the box ideas while enjoying life! If you find it useful, will you share it with your friends? 

About the Author Ellen Pitts

Ellen is the founder of Harmony Realty, a socially conscious realty company. Ellen believes in empowering her clients through education and open communication. Ellen is a number-cruncher at heart and takes great pleasure in following and analyzing the trends of the housing industry. She loves communicating the big picture to her clients and helping them to understand how the market affects their sale or purchase. Her honest and down-to-earth approach allows her clients to make informed and intelligent decisions to get the most out of their offers and negotiations.

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