Fit for anything
Getting fit tops most New Year's resolution lists, but two weeks into it and most of us have already given up. So the question is, how can you get fit without getting bored?
The key to getting fit is getting active. It doesn't matter so much what you do, so long as you do something, anything, other than sit in front of the TV or play computer games.
Vacuuming for half an hour uses about 70 calories, which is almost as many as surfing. And scrubbing the floor (150) uses almost as many as playing soccer (180). We're not suggesting you take up housework, but you could consider cleaning your room once a week rather than going to the gym. We've devised a list of 10 things to get you moving - head for the top of the list if you are feeling energetic. If you want to take things gently, start from the bottom and work your way up.
1. Take up dance classes: a fab way of shaking off the Christmas flab. Pick a step that suits your style. The Point (tel: 2866 9432) teaches hip-hop, ballet and tap. Quick Step Ltd (tel: 9238 1071) offers salsa lessons; and if you really want to shake it, try belly dancing lessons at the Oasis Dance Centre (tel: 2522 6698).
2. Skate: There are an estimated 30,000 skateboarders in Hong Kong, not to mention inline skaters - and finally we are getting decent skate parks. The newest one is in Mei Foo and there will be another new one opening this year in Chai Wan. Check out www.hkskateboarding.com.
3. Ultimate Frisbee Society: This makes frisbee into a serious sport. There are rules, strategies and techniques. If you play it as seriously as this lot, the pounds will just fall off. Check out www.hkupa.com for details.
4. House gymnastics: This is big in Britain - and it might just take off in Hong Kong. Billed as a cross breed of yoga, breakdancing, climbing and gymnastics in a domestic setting, you have to see the website to believe it: www.housegymnastics.com. Be warned: it can be dangerous.
5. Organic farm: Take a trip up to the New Territories and visit an organic farm - you can even get involved harvesting the veggies. And, of course, get a healthy meal to boot. We like The Organic Farm in Yuen Long. Tel: 2483 9966. Website: www.organic-farm.com
6. Retail therapy: Hong Kong's favourite pastime not only burns a hole in your pocket, it can also burn calories. Hours of window shopping and strolling around the shops is almost as good as a hike in the countryside - and you might just come back with a new outfit to boot.
7. Take the stairs: Make escalators and lifts off-limits for a week and you will get trim walking up the stairs. Guaranteed to work - especially if you live on a high floor.
8. Karaoke: Singing We Are The World at a karaoke bar apparently burns up 20 calories.
9. Laugh - seriously: when you laugh you get flex and stretch your stomach muscles and burn up calories, about 30 per laugh. And laughter is contagious, so do it with a friend and you can laugh yourself slim.
10. Watch TV: Ok, if you can't be persuaded off the sofa, at least set yourself a challenge: see every commercial break as an opportunity to build strength. Try doing push-ups or sit-ups - and see how many you can do before the ads finish. This has the advantage of keeping you out of the kitchen.