Mermaid Training and Zombie Fights: Choose Your Geeky Summer Workout

Here are some geeky ways to get fit.

Aug 14, 2013— -- quicklist: 1 title: Get fit the Geeky way with Jedi's, Mermaids and Zombies text: You want to get in shape for the remainder of the summer, but Breaking Bad has just started, and who knows what Sookie will get up to in this season of True Blood?

What to do? Sure, you can charge up the Wii and get your Kinect on, but why not try some geekalicious sports that involve IRL interaction?

Go get your geek on! media:19960606

quicklist: 2 title: The Jedi workout for a powerful body and mind

text: Obi Wan-Kenobi said: “The First Jedi Principle of combat is to survive.” But those who practice at the New York Jedi Lightsaber Academy have different priorities.

“Promoting self confidence, mutual respect and fitness is what we do," said Flynn Michaels, international Jedi Grandmaster. "This doesn't mean that this is purely metaphysical, as the classes combine stage combat, sword safety and footwork for all-around body conditioning." Those who partake in Jedi lightsaber activities (classes are available worldwide) must invest in a weapon of their own. ­ “You learn self-awareness, and it’s good for men, women and boys and girls. Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, everyone can feel like a hero when they’re waving a lightsaber," said Michaels. media:19960271

quicklist: 3 title: Quidditch for hand-eye skills Text:

Harry Potter may have brought this sport to our attention (and spawned a nation of confused adolescents who got used to running while clasping a broom between their legs), but Quidditch is actually a serious sport nowadays. It’s both mentally and physically challenging, as it involves working multiple muscle groups and practicing hand-eye coordination and teamwork, as well as dealing with potential bruises. (It’s a semi-contact sport — watch out for those bludgers!)

“Quidditch helps improve stamina, agility, explosiveness, leg and arm strength, speed, dexterity... pretty much everything,” said Will Hack, author of the International Quidditch Association Handbook.

Teams traditionally consist of seven players who have to perform various athletic feats, combining skills from basketball, soccer and dodgeball.

You can also choose to focus on certain muscle groups by playing different positions. ”Beaters improve arm strength and grip by repeatedly hurling bludgers. And chasers work their lower body in order to tackle or push through opponents,” said Hack.

The International Quidditch League is a good place to start if you're looking to get involved. Founded in 2010, they host regular games and the Quidditch Cup World Championships. media:19960032

quicklist: 4 title: Mermaid Training Camp text: Princess Ariel might have been rather wimpy when it came to working out, as she preferred sunning on a rock and plotting ways to get Prince Eric to like her. (Note: Selling your vocal cords for a boy is not a take-home dating solution.) But mermaids *in general* are pretty fabulous creatures. Known as the sirens of the seas, they're known for more than just their songs. Swimming is a great all-around cardio exercise that offers low-impact benefits, and works pretty much every muscle group in the body.

Florida-based Weeki Wachee Mermaids offers year-round mermaid training camps. At their Sirens of the Deep session, you learn the A-to-Z of being a mermaid, from training to swim while wearing a tail, to the art of balletic moves underwater. Waterproof makeup tips are also thrown in! The full-time mermaids at the camp have full SCUBA and CPR certification, but trainees don’t go deeper than 15 feet, so beginners are fine.

"We're not Barbie dolls who keep our tails on rocks," said Barbara Wynns, 63, who has been a mermaid at Weeki Wachee since 1985, and now trains new merfolk. "Everyone can get fit here, we've had pregnant women and 80-year-olds as well!" media:19960137

quicklist: 5 title: Zombie Lasertag text: What could be better than running around smoke-filled corridors festooned with ominous glowing lights while brandishing a laser gun and targeting it at your BFFs? Why, targeting monstrous, rotting, flesh-eating zombies, that’s what. And these zombies bite back... sort of. At New York's Indoor Extreme Sports laser tag arena, this is exactly what you can do. Specialist actors chase you around the course and are forced to stop when you tag them. If they catch you, you need to head back to base.

It sounds like this is more fun-times than fitness, but there are great cardio benefits to laser tag. Indoor Extreme Sports uses modified paintball guns to shoot lasers, which means that you’re hefting a weight around the course with you, giving your arms a nice workout. Running through zombies will elevate your heart rate, so the heightened adrenaline from zombie shooting does wonders for your heart! media: 19959705

quicklist:6 title: Electric biking text: It seems slightly backwards to suggest electric biking as a way to get fit, but hear me out. First of all, the electric motor doesn't propel the bike forward on Red Bull, it merely aids your own pedaling. There are a variety of e-bikes available, and most use your pedal power as a propulsion mechanism. This means that you get a mini-workout, but still get to enjoy some cardio benefits. So you can cycle to work and not need a shower after! Bonus. Additionally, many e-bikes are pretty heavy pieces of equipment, which is great for building up your core strength.

You don’t necessarily need a brand new e-bike either, as conversion kits such as the Rubbee, a Kickstarter e-bike adapter, let you turn any two-wheeler into a thing of bliss. media: 19960321