I put the “for women” in the title so men would feel inclined to see what we women like to do to burn calories. So really, it's for you guys, too.
Yes, confusing, but us women are pretty confusing and perplexing mammals as compared to our male counterparts. This article will just help you to understand what we women want for a fitness partner in crime. It might even be the same thing you like to do, so you may want to read on...
I know as a female, I change my mind a lot. Surprising, I know. Which means changing my routine up is pretty important to me.
I have been many things in my short career as a healthy person - A marathon runner, a bodybuilder, a powerlifter and a stint as a gymnast. I almost got on American Ninja Warrior, but you know, you kinda have to have more than a good back story-you actually have to be able to run up a warped wall.
Well, there is always next year...
I think most females are in this same boat. I don’t want to just lift weights and chest bump in the gym-sometimes I want more.
Something different. Maybe I want to learn how to do a backbend or a super technical move like a clean and jerk. Sometimes I just want to do yoga and be all bendy.
That's where I think women are different then men. We get bored with routine and we like to change our mind a lot. This is a generalization, to be sure, but one I feel confident making as I am of that species and kind of feel like a resident expert.
So, without further ado, let me unveil the top six things we women like to do (which are totally biased and based on what I like to do-lets be honest).
How to Burn Calories Outside the Gym
This is my new passion. I don't know why. For no other reason than to just go “walkabout” and go into nature without hassle, without a phone, and be surrounded by something that is pretty.
Your butt can get a workout without the Stairmaster. Your legs can get stronger because you are hulking a pack on your back for long periods of time. A 160-pound person can burn close to 430 calories per hour hiking.
We are not talking walking around the neighborhood, though. We are talking with a weighted pack and going up some elevation. Walking over rocky and unforgiving terrain can help with balance and ankle strength.
Oh, and did you know it usually costs nothing except a drive and maybe some bottled water if you are doing a day hike? I like cheap, and this is one of my favs.
I was a runner for years, although I totally suck at it.
Some are built for running, and I certainly wasn’t. However, running is a form of cardio for sure and excellent for your heart.
A 155-pound woman can burn up to 128 calories per mile. Some of us slow pokes may burn less, some of those who are roadrunner-ish may burn more.
I found running outside more difficult than a treadmill, and it was the peace I had when I ran that made me take it outside. I hated running on a treadmill because I felt bored. Running hills, running flat, running in pretty areas versus running in ugly areas - it didn’t matter.
I saw stuff that was thought-provoking and sometimes humorous, sometimes sad. I thought a lot when I was running and that was one of the most attractive things about running. Again, running costs nothing - well, maybe get good shoes, but other than that...
I am talking about both water skiing and regular winter skiing. Water skiing can burn up to 200 calories for a 155-pound woman in 30 minutes.
I have never done waterskiing, but it is a balance exercise as well as timing in order to get up on top of the water. This is more expensive then the hiking and the running, and you definitely need equipment-whether you rent skis or own them, you need them.
Also, you need a boat to haul you around, which can make planning downright imperative. I find this is a sport that may be out of your comfort zone as well as your budget, but for sure I will be trying it... Mainly because I need to do follow up research.
Biking is a terrific exercise that gets you out of the house and all around town. Some people use this as sole transportation, but I am not that keen on it. I like to ride around town, and I love the breeze in my face when I am peddling.
Biking is cool because like running, they have a lot of clubs and people that are like-minded and want to connect. If you are a 150-pound woman, you could burn approximately 145 calories for 30 minutes depending on your speed.
You do need a bike and a helmet, but not much else unless you want to get all swanky and stuff. You could totally go overboard and spend lots of money just like you could if you were water skiing, but you really don't have to.
This could be because a lot of us girls just like to lay out, but really, swimming is a terrific exercise that we underutilize.
If you are 155 female, you may be able to burn upwards of 450 calories an hour. This also depends on the kind of swimming you are doing.
If you are floating on your back... Um, not a whole lotta calories consumed. If you are doing freestyle hardcore, then you will have a much larger calorie burn versus swimming slower. The only real cost of swimming is finding someone with a pool... Oh yeah, did I mention the cost of a cute swimsuit?
Yes, I said it. Girls like this as long as its actual exercise and not boring, because no one likes to write a laundry list while they are in the act of this exercise.
It is the least calorie burn, but probably the most fun. You can burn 85-120 calories for 30-minute sesh, but if it lasts longer, I am sure that you could burn more, but do you really care about the calorie burn past 30 minutes?
Asking for a friend...
There are so many more exercises that don't require a gym, but they are too numerous to count.
Races like Spartan and the like are very popular and incorporate all the above in a brutal, pain-provoking endeavor. Your body is left wiped out and your head so over-the-top excited that you did something so rigorous that we do it again against better judgment.
You could do diving, bungee jumping, rock climbing, etc - but I am sure you get the point. There are many exercises and ways to burn calories that it really is personal preference.
I do believe (my opinion) that most women feel stuck when they do the same thing over and over. If you decide to change it up, you find that not only are you are working new muscles, but you are working your brain, too.
I talk about this a lot, but doing new things creates neuroplasticity. Oh, yeah, that word again. I know you want the definition again-and it would be my pleasure to reintroduce you to this, because I write about it so much.
Neuroplasticity is defined as: “The ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury.”
Why is this important?
Doing new things has been shown by research to make your brain able to be more “neuroplastic” and able to be more resilient to changes. So, have you ever heard of someone that is healthy as a horse, does the same routine, same workout, and then they retire and don't go to work anymore, maybe they stop working out and decide to watch Netflix all day?
What happens to them when they stop learning, growing and working?
Usually, within a year they have either learned something new and are now running a snow cone stand down in Mexico and loving their life or they have dropped dead because they had nothing to look forward to.
I know this is a bit off topic, but if you are doing different things physically, you are likely introducing new things into your life, too. You are making new neural connections, which is imperative as you age - from memory to physical prowess.
And this intrigues me as I age. A little egocentric, to be sure, but come on, I am sure some of you are feeling the same way...
Doing something different in exercise and in life makes your life different and new. It makes you a lifelong learner and keeps you on your toes. Changing up your program is also good physically for you.
So, if you are so inclined, go running, have some sex, then water ski then do a crossword puzzle for your brain health, too.