Students

If this doesn’t work, nothing will

Get fit, not annoyed

It’s January, and you’ve decided it’s time for a change. New year: new you. 2019 is for push-ups instead of pizza and burpees instead of beer. Man, are you gonna get stacked!
By Thereza Langeler / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

It only takes one visit to the local gym to remember: you freaking hate the gym.

Who could blame you? The music is terrible, the air smells with sweat and the benches are sticky with it, the equipment is endlessly confusing (although you seem to be the only one struggling with it). And all this, for only thirty bucks a month.

So what now? Back to the old you? No way: there are so many other ways to get a workout in without subjecting yourself to complicated machines, shitty music, or other people. The UKrant came up with five alternative ways to get buff, outside the gym.

1

Stairs

Let’s start with something simple. Thirty minutes of brisk stair climbing burns up to three hundred calories, with the exact amount depending on things such as your height and weight. That’s certainly more than you’ll burn just taking a walk, a bike ride, or the elevator.

Stair climbing is ideal for introverts, because you can do it without seeing anyone else. After all, who still takes the stairs? It’s also great on a student’s budget: most stairs are freely accessible. The obvious exception being the Martini tower of course, but at 311 steps, it’s at an advanced level.

Stair climbing does only work out a select muscle group; your legs are doing all the work. You could try walking downstairs on your hands, maybe. If you do, send us the video evidence.

2

Cleaning

Have you ever vacuumed? If you have, you probably noticed just how heavy a vacuum cleaner can be. Dragging the thing around your house could be the key to your #killerbody!

Cleaning is a good way of keeping your house clean and your roommates happy, and it burns all the calories. Half an hour of scrubbing burns approximately two hundred of them. You’ll probably need more than that to clean your entire house, so ka ching. Drag that vacuum around your room, scrub your shower, clean your windows.

Make sure you use a bucket of normal soapy water rather than fancy neon-coloured cleaning solutions, since they can damage your lungs. Research from the University of Bergen, Norway, has shown that breathing those is just as bad for your health as smoking – and that’s not great for the new healthy you.

3

Outdoor fitness

There are only so many stairs you can climb or rooms you can vacuum before you start getting cabin fever. When you do, find your way to an outdoor fitness park.

You’ve got various options around the city: there are outdoor fitness facilities at the Damsterdiep, the Vrydemalaan, the Molukkenplantsoen in the Korreweg neighbourhood, and parallel to the Jaagpad in Paddepoel.

Outdoor fitness parks are basically playgrounds for adults. They contain a wealth of equipment to climb on, hang off, or tumble around.

UKrant’s field research did show that you might run into some ‘muscle-heads’ at outdoor fitness parks, but don’t let them make you feel self-conscious or distract you from your tumbling ways. You do you; consider it training for your inner strength, as well.

4

Bouldering

It’s early January, so that means it’ll be shitty weather for at least another month or two. So there’s a good chance you won’t actually have enough inner strength to work out outside, cabin fever or no. But on the days that it’s extra gross and wet out, you could take a gander at Gropo Bouldergym.

Bouldering is a type of athletic climbing where you do short routes without a harness. You can do it wherever you can find boulders outside, but Gropo at the Ulgersmaweg has set up a large covered bouldering space containing several courses, politely colour-coded for each degree of difficulty. Our tip: start with blue.

Because your brain is busy trying to figure out how to get to the top of the four-and-a-half metre high wall, you won’t have time to think about how hard it is or how much you’d rather be at home watching Netflix. Bouldering easily burns four hundred calories per half hour. It’s an especially good arm workout, which means it’s a great addition to your new stair climbing habit.

But unlike stair climbing, bouldering does cost money. A day pass at Gropo is nine euros, and you can rent climbing shoes for three euros. At climbing centre Bjoeks you can boulder outside; remember that when the weather turns better.

5

Trampolining

Do we seriously need to sell you on this? It’s trampolining. Trampolining. Jump around for thirty minutes to pretend you’re a kid again without a care in the world and burn approximately 225 calories at the same time. You work out the same muscle groups as when jogging or cycling – your calves and your butt – but you run a slighter risk of injury because the trampoline absorbs the shock of coming back down from a jump. On top of that, it doesn’t feel like you’re working out at all.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a garden and you have some extra cash, you can always get your own miniature trampoline. But if you want the real deal, get thee to a trampoline park.

Freestyle Motion, the largest trampoline park in Europe, opened at the Bornholmstraat last summer. In addition to trampolines and bouncy castles, there is also an obstacle course, slides, a maze, and a football field.

An hour of jumping at Freestyle Motion costs eight euros, and you have to buy a special pair of jumping socks for two euros (but you can use them again and again). If the Bornholmstraat is too far from the city centre for your liking, you can also jump around at JumpXL at the Antillenstraat, where they charge 9.50 an hour.

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