Bored of the gym? If you're looking for a new and more exciting way to get fit and lose weight try an outdoor adventure sport. The adrenaline rush is amazing, making you forget just how hard you're working out! With adventure sports you meet new people, travel to new places and get a huge amount of satisfaction from learning a new set of skills.
The bodyweight and gravity factors in climbing make it a fantastic all-round exercise. It's particularly good for toning the arms, back and stomach muscles, but has all-over body benefits too. Climbing can be exhausting for a beginner, but stick with and you'll soon find your strength and skills improving. Many indoor climbing walls run their own beginners classes - so get down to one of them and have a go!
Canoeing and kayaking are also good for toning the upper body and working the stomach muscles. There are many types of canoeing to try, such as white water, sea, marathon racing and canoe polo. A local canoe club should be able to introduce you to all the different disciplines so you can see which one suits you best.
Mountain biking is a punishing but incredibly effective cardiovascular workout, and great for toning the leg and bum muscles. Plus, you get rewarded for all your hard work going uphill by lots of exciting fast-flowing downhill afterwards! Mountain biking is an easy sport to pick up and you can make it as easy or as difficult as you want by choosing your own speed. Unfortunately, a decent mountain bike doesn't come cheap, but most bike shops at forest centres have bikes you can hire to give it a go.
The most mellow of the outdoor sports, hiking is an adventure nonetheless. You can take in fresh air and beautiful scenery while giving your body a good workout. Because hiking is a low impact activity it's good for anyone with joint or injury problems. But low-impact doesn't mean an easy workout - getting up those mountains can be a killer. The other beauty of hiking is that you need very little equipment and don't need to learn many new skills. Just grab a decent pair of boots, a map and a flask of coffee and you're away!