I’m basically trying to find something to break the monotony of going to the gym that leads to better flexibility and still has excellent health and muscle benefits — any kind of activity. Yoga I know bores me to utter tears (yes, all kinds, please don’t suggest one type or another). I’d done martial arts for years and years, but it’s not really what I’m looking for, with the emphasis being on handling confrontation rather than health. I’m open to any sport, action, system, book, you name it!
Stretching is the key to maintaining good flexibility, but bo no means to have to do to yoga to do it. Just learn some stretched that will stretch out the target muscles you are trying to increase flexibility on. Once you get them down, you can really stretch anywhere.. on break at work, at red lights or waiting in line at the grocery store.
As far at the strengthening part, It is good to have a good mix of repitition and resistance training. Again, if you are bored with going to the gym, you can acheive both of these without it. I get a healthy amount of both doing things such as water skiing and swimming. Ofcourse, the activities you will do are going to depend of what sort of activities are available in you area.
Little things also count… everytime you park at a grocery store, be more than happy to park further away and powerwalk to the store. Jump at the opputinity to take th stairs over the elevator, do yard work, and briskly walk instead of drive. You could even incorperate crunches while watching TV.
If you incorperate these little things, all the time, they add up.
You could give pilates a try, but you might find it too similar to yoga. Martial arts are great for simply staying in shape. If you aren’t looking for practical self defense, then try one of the old fashioned karate styles, or perhaps you might enjoy Tai Chi. You could create your own exercise routine based on different things. A mixture of yoga, martial arts and other exercises.