10 WAYS TO GET IN SHAPE……WITHOUT HITTING THE GYM!

For those put off by thoughts of resistance weight machines and awkward calorie burning contraptions there are a varying array of alternatives. Saving yourself monthly gym fees and freeing you up from a run-to-nowhere on the treadmill, rewards can be richer elsewhere.

Getting fit, improving your health and shifting some weight in the process can be a walk in the park– quite literally. It takes just 30 minutes of physical activity five times a day to make a difference. In support of Welsh Assembly Government’s Climbing Higher strategy - a new national focus to improve levels of health in Wales, the Sports Council for Wales has come up with ten alternative ways to get in shape – without having to set foot in a gym.

So to get you motivated, why not take a leaf from your favourite celebrity and try an alternative way of getting fit – after all, if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us!

1 SURFING

Surfing is the epitome of sporting glamour, conjuring-up images of endless sunshine and Home and Away set beaches! Cut to Mid-winter in Swansea's Langland Bay, wrapped-up in a rubber suit and wearing gloves and the picture isn't quite as rosy!

Cameron Diaz

But for more and more people the experience of slipping fluidly across the crest of a wave is one to savour. And more women and girls, regardless of age or ability – are taking to the glassy waters of Wales and hoping on board.

If you have always secretly fancied yourself as a surf chick or dude and if it’s a bit on the windy side, head to the coast to sample the Welsh waves. A full surf board and wetsuit isn’t always necessary – get yourself a cheap ‘body board’ (a smaller version of a surfboard) and practice just behind the breakers. Great exercise and pretty trendy too!

There are some fundamental skills you will need to master at first – so it might be worth investing in some lessons – and surfboards and wetsuits are easily accessible for hire at beaches.

CELEBRITY FANS: Cameron Diaz, Denise Richards, Evangeline Lilly

CONTACT: Contact the Welsh Surfing Federation Surf School on or visit www.wsfsurfschool.co.uk

Or visit www.bbc.co.uk/wales/surfing/ for tips on how to get involved and a guide to where to find the best waves in Wales.

2 DANCING

"Nobody puts Baby in the corner!"

Celebrate the 25 year anniversary of the release of classic ‘chick flick’ Dirty Dancing by taking your first Baby steps into the world of dancing.

Gethin Jones

Whether you try ballroom or burlesque, tango or tap, hitting the dancefloor and doing some fast-paced moves such as the quickstep or jive for 30 minutes could see you burn off up to 160 calories – that’s the equivalent of one large glass of wine!

Dancing is suitable for all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities. So whether its ballet, belly or ballroom, the cha cha, the jive or disco, simply choose a style you enjoy or would like to try - and join a class.

CELEBRITY DANCERS – Gethin Jones, Emma Bunton, Jennifer Lopez

CONTACT: Visit www.bbc.co.uk/strictlycomedancing and click on the Get Dancing link to find a dance class in your area.