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Fit or fat?

Elaine Brown suggests some alternatives to the gym.

Have you been spending your evenings slumped in front of the TV with a takeaway? What happened to those New Year resolutions to get fit?

Spending evenings at the gym pounding the treadmill will help you lose weight but it quickly becomes boring. All too often there seems to be something more interesting to do and it's easy to give up. Perhaps though you just need to try something different. Sheffield has many options which might turn you into a sports enthusiast and any one of these will stop your fitness routine becoming dull.

The fun and pain ratings give you an idea of how much you'll enjoy each sport against how much your muscles might ache afterwards. A fun rating of 10 means it's great fun but a pain rating of 10 means it'll really hurt.

And to help you decide how you can look good on the beach this summer, approximate calorie counts for an hour's workout of each are included.

Sport Ice Skating

Fun Rating

10

Pain Rating

Up to 10 if you fall, otherwise 4

Type of Person

If you hate structured classes and like exercising with friends this is ideal. You can go as fast or slow as you like and if you have good balance you'll soon be experimenting with twists and turns and chasing each other around the ice. But if you hate the cold, don't even think about it.

Calories per hour

450

Where?

IceSheffield, Coleridge Road (between Don Valley Stadium and Hallam FM Arena), Tel 0114 223 3900

When?

10am-4pm, 7.30pm–10pm Monday; Wednesday, 10am–7pm, 8pm–11pm Thursday, 10am–11pm Friday; Saturday and 10am–10pm Sunday

How much?

£3.50 (off peak) to £4.40 (peak) per person, family ticket £12.60 (off peak) to £15 (peak).

Skate hire an additional 1.30 per person.

Sport

Canoeing

Fun Rating

7

Pain Rating

6

Type of Person

If you like the thought of ploughing your own course in the open air this is your sport. Best to have a few lessons in a swimming pool first though. But if you like a fixed routine and company while you exercise, forget this one.

Calories per hour

400

Where?

Broomhall Canoe Club, Norton Pool, Tel 0114 263 0178

When?

Twice per month on Wednesdays, 9–10pm

How much?

£3 per person.

Sport Hatha Yoga

Fun Rating

5

Pain Rating

2

Type of Person

This will suit you if you like some structure to your exercise. It's also very relaxing as this is the slowest form of yoga. Don't try it if you love exercising with people. Although lessons are usually done in a class it's a fairly solitary activity and no-one chats during the ninety minutes

Calories per hour

300

Where?

Ponds Forge, Sheaf Street, Tel 0114 223 3400

When?

Monday 1.30pm–3pm, Wednesday 3pm–4.30pm

How much?

£3.60 per person

Sport Table Tennis

Fun Rating

9

Pain Rating

2

Type of Person

Will suit you if you're the competitive type who likes exercising with a friend. But won't suit you if you aren't organised enough to arrange it in advance—this isn't really a turn up and play activity

Calories per hour

300

Where?

Ponds Forge, Sheaf Street, Tel 0114 223 3400

When?

Daily 7am–9.30pm

How much?

£5.40 (off peak), £6.90 (peak) per table