Although there are a few gym-enthusiasts amongst us, most of us don’t like going to the gym. Being stuck inside and engaging in the monotony of treadmills and weight lifting is less than motivating. Moreover, studies have shown that going to the gym after sitting all day is not enough.
The good news is, exercise can happen outside of the gym, and can actually be a lot of fun if you approach it the right way! The trick is to explore, diversify, and find activities you love to incorporate into your daily life.
Here are 10 great ways to exercise without going to the gym:
1. Go for a ride: Bike trails are popping up everywhere nowadays.
Riding your bike can reduce stress and exercise muscles that are not normally worked while walking or running. With your bike you can go for a leisurely ride in the woods, or use your bike to commute around town.
As an added bonus, biking isn’t just good for your body and spirit, but choosing a bike over a car helps the environment and is easier on your wallet too!
2. Get to the water: Swimming is a great exercise, but there are other great water sports to explore as well.
Kayaking, for example, can help to strengthen your arms and your core while taking you on amazing adventures in the wild.
Another option is paddle boarding, where you stand on a surfboard and propel yourself with a long paddle. Paddle boarding is an activity you can do on almost any water surface, is easy to learn, and a lot of fun.
3. Take a hike: Hiking offers great cardio, gorgeous scenery, fresh air, and is a proven antidote to stress. In fact studies have shown that hikers may actually be happier people.
If you want an added challenge, try rock-climbing outdoors with a certified instructor.
4. Do some yard work: I know what you are thinking.
“Yard work? Really?!”
Yes, really. Because when it comes to chores, perspective is everything.
While you are working in your yard you are bending, lifting, digging, and stretching. Just 30 minutes of energetic yard work will use more energy than walking for 30 minutes.
So get into your yard, push that lawnmower, trim your trees and plant some new rose bushes. You are making your house a nicer place to live, getting fresh air, and exercising, all at the same time.
5. Make the world awesome: There are many volunteering opportunities that provide great exercise.
Parks almost always need help cleaning up trash or pulling large objects out of rivers and lakes, which means a lot of heavy lifting and squatting for you.
Have you always wanted a pet? Animal shelters are almost always looking for dog walkers. Want to build a house? Do a Habitat for Humanity build.
Like kids? Coach a little league team or think about becoming a big brother or sister. This charity is always looking for adult mentors to play sports with children, and take them on other adventures that will keep you moving.
6. Play time: Most communities have adult sports teams that meet for fun more than competition. Joining a team will keep you motivated, nourish your inner child, and help you make new friends.
Ask your company if they have a volleyball, basketball, or kickball team, or check out local meet-up groups for some good old-fashioned team fun.
7. Satisfy Your Inner Chuck Norris: Admit it, at one time in your life you wanted to learn martial arts. You wanted to be a black belt and you dreamed of beating up all the bad guys.
So what stopped you?
Karate, Jujitsu, and Taikwando are popular options, but check out Capoeira or Taiqi classes for a change of pace.
8. Wii Kinect: When the weather is lousy outside modern active video games can be a great option. Invite some friends over and play sports or dance games to get you moving in your own living room. You will get your heart rate up and have a bunch of laughs at the same time.
9. Shake your groove thing: Like to dance? Hip-hop, Zumba, and other dance classes can be a fun way to move even for the most uncoordinated amongst us.
For couples, ballroom dance classes can also be a great way to connect and exercise. Check online to find a dance school near you.
10. Get active between the sheets: Speaking of things to do with partners…getting frisky with your significant other isn’t just fun, it’s been shown to be good for your health too! Just be sure to have the appropriate safety gear.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for exercise outside of the gym environment. So now that you’re done reading this article, get up and move!
Are there activities you like to do that keep you active that are more fun than the gym? Share your tips in the comments below.
Author Bio: David Nichols is a writer working for A-Z Pediatrics in San Antonio, TX. There he writes material parents can take home to help families lead happier, healthier lives.