Although his skinny frame may not suggest it, Harry Potter was quite the athlete. Despite years of probable malnourishment and only sleeping in a tiny cupboard under the stairs, Harry made it as a Seeker in the Gryffindor Quidditch team in his first year at Hogwarts, and then, later on, defeated Lord Voldemort – which is probably a huge workout in itself.
So here’s a quick guide to getting as fit as Harry Potter, the Boy With The Most Inspiring Aerobic Skills.
Instead of boring old bench pressing, try some heavy lifting with Harry as your inspiration – you can hoist cumbersome trunks and owl cages. And there was that time he had to carry a limp Dudley home after a run-in with some Dementors. Not to mention carrying all those heavy burdens of responsibility.
For someone with no official coach and little-to-no time surrounded by crash mats, Harry Potter spent a great deal of his life jumping, albeit mostly from surprise. To replicate those adrenaline boosts yourself, why not ask a friend to stand behind you and shout sudden, deadly threats about monstrous snakes and spiders? Extra muscle mass may be built by having the friend do a convincing Snape impersonation.
Exercise doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Get yourself to the Muggle equivalent of a Yule Ball and turn your gym session into a party. It’s a four-hour workout, but you can vary your tempo to match how all of the Harry Potter characters danced at the Yule Ball, including a slow opening number or an ungainly two-step, to a graceful waltz or an energetic jig that’ll clear the dance floor in its entirety.
A great exercise for low-impact fitness, swimming also offers a range of locations. Wizards, however, must be sure to stay clear of mermaids, Grindylows and giant squids. Thankfully, you won’t have that problem. We hope.
While this may lack the startup ease of some other workouts, taking even a basic Shooting Star broom for a spin with good posture would massively strengthen a wizard’s core. Just think of broomsticks as a giant bucking bronco in the sky. And while broomsticks aren’t quite as readily available for us Muggles, we can at least try to emulate flying – with, er, star jumps, perhaps.
An old-school exercise option, wrestling Harry-Potter-style actually offers some fascinating new twists to the sport. Unlike most people, who would favour wrestling a human of equal weight, Harry usually opts for mountain trolls, tentacle-like vines and, of course, giant Basilisks. Hermione favours boxing, such as punching Draco Malfoy in the face. For you, we recommend a punch bag as a healthier alternative.
Frankly, it’s amazing that Harry went on to become an Auror and not a Muggle multi-gold-medal-winning Olympian. To be fair, we wouldn’t recommend the method Harry used to become such a good runner, which seemed to be a lot of running away from Dudley and his friends. Harry also built up many years’ experience running away from other various things, such as cantankerous caretakers, an oversized three-headed dog, and a mountain troll who suddenly appeared in a bathroom.
So there you go: some keep-fit tips for you. Don’t forget to stay hydrated. And Butterbeer doesn’t count!