We know you’ve heard this before. In fact, most likely, you have heard this many times before. Exercising is essential for your present and future health, both of body and mind. Too often, we eventually become stuck in a boring workout routine rut (for those of us who like to listen to good advice) that is uninspiring and demotivating. Many of us envision exercise as an activity one does typically in overpriced gyms, surrounded by forty other sweaty people, running on a treadmill or pulling some weights. Seriously, is that all there is? Heck no! We think exercising should be fun and challenging, offering novel experiences, profound insights into one’s self, and while continually testing one’s limits.
The five sports we’ve listed below are those that are often either overlooked, disqualified as a serious sport, or just not popular enough. But, we contend these claims and believe that everyone should try out these recreational activities at least once instead of hopping on that treadmill one more time.
1. Roller Derby
With its rowdy beginnings as early as the 1880s and recent resurgence in the 21st century, flat-track roller derby has gained predominance as an all-female underground misfit sport, involving a lot of aggressive contact. Wait, those were compliments. If the idea of creating showy “derby names” like Punky Bruiser, The Alexorcist, and Chiquita WhamBamYa interests you, as well as being part of a team of headstrong females who like to take charge, then we recommend you try joining one of the 80+ roller derby leagues in the United States. Certainly, a potential possibility to be in the Olympics wouldn’t hurt, either.
Once popular amongst the aristocracy in the eighteenth century, fencing has lost some of its popularity in the past few centuries for other sports like football and basketball. The misconception with fencing, or sword-fighting is that it is only reserved for men and those with higher incomes who can afford the exorbitant class fees. In reality, these conceptions no longer have the basis which they had over two hundred years ago. Most importantly, the skills learned from the art of sword-fighting may be put to practical use when confronted with an attacker. For, with the developed lower-body strength, agility, and hand-eye coordination, (along with a handy can of pepper spray, of course) you might as well be Lara Croft. Learn more here.
3. Erotic Dancing
Erotic dancing has been stigmatized since the days of burlesque can-can dancers and the Ghawazee dancers of Egypt. As then, the reasons for disapproval concern a sexualized display of the female body. Prohibitions placed upon a woman’s sexuality have always been linked to her general freedoms, those freedoms becoming restricted from the liberties taken away from her body. Now, more condemning than the “moral” statutes from the recent past, the fact that most erotic dancers are in positions of economic dependence, whether through human trafficking or due to a lack of marketable skills to start their career, presents this form of dancing in an even harsher light. Although there are women, however rare, who do genuinely like to be on stage, outside of the gentleman’s clubs, erotic dancing can be integrated into your own cardiovascular and aerobic exercise routine. Indeed, whether you choose to take up aerobic striptease, lap dancing, or pole dancing, these are all guaranteed self-confidence boosters meant to make you feel comfortable in and love your own body.
4. Mountain Climbing
Do heights scare you? Well, then, it’s time to conquer your fears. Mountain climbing can be one of the most rewarding recreational activities because it involves a lot of stamina and endurance, making it also one of the most challenging sports. No need to be frightened off just yet. Before hitting the rocks, it is advised to hit the rock climbing wall at the gym a few times before progressing to the real, larger rocks. We recommend The Ladies’ Learn to Crush and Lady Crushers Bouldering Clinics at The Cliffs in Long Island. Even then, an experienced rock climber should always accompany your climbs for your own safety, no matter how competent you believe you are on the rocks. Once you are comfortable with this level of scaling, then you can advance onto more demanding and dangerous climbs—including mountains! Besides being a whole-body workout, mountain climbing offers many mental health benefits, too, such as being able to communicate more effectively, lowering stress, and improving self-esteem.
5. Extreme Running
For those of you who need more than just a few intense workouts a week and really want to be tested, extreme running is a growing sport not for the faint of heart. Spanning across seven continents are hardcore ultramarathons that will tax the body and mind even more than in your standard ultramarathon. These races range from a six-day, 154-mile foot-trek through the Sahara, known as the Marathon des Sables, to the Yukon Arctic Ultra where runners traverse, in some case 430 miles in -50 degree weather non-stop over a series of days. The Hawaii Ultra isn’t any less formidable, either, with a name like H.U.R.T. 100. But, complete any of these races and you’ve earned bragging rights…well, for the rest of your life. Because if you can do any of these, you can basically do anything, and that should be motivation enough.
Surely, going to the gym will soon seem like a leisurely stroll in the park. Most likely, however, you’ll be skipping it anyway, but not to sleep in for another hour. So, what are you waiting for ladies? Let’s get out there and just do it! We believe in you.