Alternative Fitness

Due to its brand as a requisite health practice – a means of wellness and aesthetics – exercise presides victorious among features of the fitness spectrum. Nutrition, mental well-being and complementary medicine are included along the same scale; however, what we have learned and read about exercise guides us toward seeking “fitness” through movement, with strong reason.

Exercise benefits span the aggregate of our comprehensive fitness: habitual exercise is shown to minimize depressive symptoms [1]; combat diabetes and obesity before and during pregnancy [2]; improve quality of life as well as cardiovascular function [3]; and have a positive impact on aging [4]. While the frequency, intensity and duration of exercise varies on an individual basis, most experts would agree that all humans were designed to move and some type of daily physical activity is beneficial. Some more information on this can be found here:

The type of exercise one performs can depend on several corporal and preference factors: some individuals thrive on running long distances, while others’ needs are met with micro workouts. Some individuals love lifting heavy and loathe cardiovascular workouts, while others are happiest walking or jogging without throwing a glance toward a dumbbell or Nautilus. Group dynamics might prove most inspiring to others still, with social aspects confetti’d into aerobics, dance or martial arts.

Alternative Fitness (AF) is not specifically new, but a younger description of some of the opportunities we have to exercise, offering a different perspective on how we define movement related to health. Yoga and Pilates are included in AF, as are fitness pursuits such as Pole Dancing, Spinning, Rowing, TRX, aerial arts and many more. While the concept resides in innovation through unique and fun challenges, these “anti-gym” workouts are still very much workouts, when taught and performed correctly, and they typically occur in a studio or outdoors. Costs vary considerably, so while these might prove exceptionally motivating for their appeal, walking and running are {usually} free. Regardless, given the aforementioned accurate performance statement, AF appears beneficial to one’s health.

More on Alternative Fitness:

[1] Mats Hallgren, Martin Kraepelien, Agneta Öjehagen, Nils Lindefors, Zangin Zeebari, Viktor Kaldo, Yvonne Forsell. The British Journal of Psychiatry Jun 2015, DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.160101

[2] Exercise Before and During Pregnancy Prevents the Deleterious Effects of Maternal High-Fat Feeding on Metabolic Health of Male Offspring

Kristin I. Stanford1,2; Min-Young Lee1,2; Kristen M. Getchell1,; Kawai So1; Michael F. Hirshman1; and Laurie J. Goodyear1,2

[3] Effects of exercise training on different quality of life dimensions in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: the Ex-DHF-P trial

Kathleen Nolte1; Christoph Herrmann-Lingen2,3; Rolf Wachter1,3; Götz Gelbrich4; Hans-Dirk Düngen5; André Duvinage6; Nadine Hoischen1; Karima von Oehsen1,2; Silja Schwarz7; Gerd Hasenfuss1,3; Martin Halle7,8; Burkert Pieske9,*; Frank Edelmann1,3,*

[4] Active and healthy ageing: The benefits of physical activity and exercise. Sport Health; Volume 33 Issue 1 (May 2015); van Uffelen, Jannique1

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