5 Reasons Parkour is the Perfect New Years Workout

It’s that time of the year again. That is the beginning of it. On the first of every year people take a hard look at themselves and decide it’s time to make a dramatic change. The most popular change, losing weight, is often the most difficult.

While we aren’t big on New Year’s Resolutions at American Parkour, we have a special place in our hearts for people who want to better their lives by bettering their body. Losing weight is one of the most common reasons people pick up parkour. Many APK ambassadors have lost weight by practicing parkour.

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Here are 5 reasons we think Parkour is the best way to start the New Year:

There is a community of supportive people behind you.

Parkour is an individual discipline with a team behind you the whole way. From local friends and Jams, to APK ambassadors, and international professionals, everyone is cheering you on as you work towards your goals. . While there are some parkour competitions, it’s not a competitive environment. Everyone just wants to see everyone else succeed.

 

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There is a ton of research showing that working out with a group of friends helps you perform better and that you are less likely to quit. You can start finding people to train with by starting with APK ambassadors.  

It’s completely free

The only thing you need for parkour is a pair of shoes, and to some traceurs, people who practice parkour, even those are optional. This is great for new year’s workout because it takes away one of the biggest excuses: “My other resolution is to save money. I can’t do that AND go to a gym.” Lace up your shoes and check out our video tutorials (LINK) and you’re off!

There are classes and open gyms that you can pay for but you can do as many or as few as you want to. If there are classes in your area, it’s a good way to get plugged into the community.

It’s easy to make actionable goals

Sure, you want to lose 30 pound in 12 months. That’s an ok goal, but wouldn’t you rather be able to land a 7 ft. rail precision, perform a 12 ft. wall climb, land a front flip, and do a muscle up? These goals aren’t perfect but you can see progress towards them every time you practice unlike goals that focus on weight, which fluctuates throughout the day and can be an inaccurate measure of health in general. These goals will help you gain muscle, lose fat, and weight. There are an almost infinite number of movements to work towards in parkour and there are an infinite number of goals.

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Parkour focused goals shift the focus from a number on a scale to actually doing things with your body and changes the way you think about your place in your environment. They push you to test your boundaries and can make you appreciate human movement more.   

It’s more than just a workout

Parkour has roots in natural movement and military efficiency. Many traceurs practice with this in mind. “Etre fort pour etre utile.” Be strong to be useful. Parkour is far from the only way to build “functional fitness” (whatever that really means) but it will prepare you for the unexpected. Whether that’s climbing a tree to escape a dog, out-running muggers, escaping a burning building, getting into your locked home, or just tripping on a curb, parkour can help you be prepared. Isn’t that enough of a reason to give it a try? By the way, all of the examples above are from stories of real people.

It’s fun

I enjoy lifting weights from time to time but I HATE running. But every time I train parkour I come home wanting to go right back outside. When was the last time you could say that? One of the big reasons people stop working towards their resolutions is because they get bored. That should never happen with parkour. There should always be a new spot, a new movement, a new goal, and a new challenge.

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If you find your training does get stale, reach out to the community for some inspiration. Your new training buddies will help. Or just hop over to YouTube and watch some of the best videos the traceurs of the world have to offer.

 

Practicing parkour can a long but meaningful journey. Even if you just go out and play twice a week without serious disciplined training you can improve your mobility, your health, and your self confidence.  Good luck with your New Years Goals!

Ready to start training? Start Here!

Written by

Patrick Witbrod

Patrick is a Technology and Business senior at Missouri S&T where he practices parkour. Constantly trying to improve himself, he's lost 30 lbs because of parkour and martial arts and doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.