The association between many forms of “traditional” exercise and sheer, soul-crushing boredom, unfortunately, prevents many people from making sure they fit physical activity into their daily routine. Exercise can be strenuous, and it can be difficult. But there’s certainly no rule that says exercise has to, well, feel like exercise.
A Barre class is one of the best ways to get active and have fun doing it. The movements will give you a cardio and strength training workout all in one – but you’ll just feel like you’re learning a graceful dance rather than working up a sweat. And since no two classes are alike, it’s impossible to get bored!
Here are some other ways to fill your physical activity quota without resorting to a treadmill.
Get up and dance
Seriously. Put on some music, grab your favorite broom handle microphone, and just dance it out. Dancing for half an hour can give you a serious aerobic and anaerobic workout – nearly the same as jogging. It’s ok to do this in your living room, but if you want to be more adventurous, try a Barre class.
Take a walk in the woods
Hiking is a great way to get exercise because it can be strenuous or easy – and it’s all up to you. Depending on the trail and how fast you want to move, hiking can be a leisurely activity or really kick you in the tail. Plus, you’re outside in nature. There’s nothing boring about taking a few-mile hike to a gorgeous waterfall or rock formation.
Take your kid to the playground (the kid is optional)
Remember how fun and easy exercise was as a kid? You just kind of run around climbing on stuff for a couple of hours and that’s it – your quota is met. There’s no law that says adults can’t make use of playgrounds. If you have a child, playing with them kills two birds with one stone. If you’re by yourself, don’t let possible embarrassment stop you. Get out there on the monkey bars and have a blast.
Sign up for a rec league
You don’t have to be particularly good at sports to reap the benefits of a rec league – just make sure your teammates aren’t too competitive. In most cities, you can find plenty of sports leagues sponsored by the city itself, churches, or private organizations. Pick your poison – whether it be softball, basketball, hockey, or even something like roller derby, you’re going to have fun and get so much more exercise that you expect.
Take a healthy cooking class
Hear me out. There’s nothing more important for overall well-being that a proper diet. And it’s really hard to eat right if you have to rely on fast food and delivery. Taking a cooking class can be incredibly fun and will put you on a path toward better health. Proper diet is linked to many positive health benefits including decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes, improved mood, and protection from depression and anxiety.
Get a dog
Unless you’re super allergic, don’t have the time, or just hate dogs, getting a canine companion can work wonders on your mental and physical health. Dogs are little motivators, practically forcing you to get some exercise. Dogs need to be walked and played with in order to be happy – and so do you. It’s a match made in heaven. If getting a pet of your own isn’t an option, consider starting a dog walking, doggy day care or dog boarding side business – you’ll get all of the emotional and physical benefits of having a dog, and can even earn a little extra money toward your healthy-living budget.
Be silly with your family
If you have kids, you know that it’s not uncommon to get a little tired trying to keep up with them. Use their exuberance to your advantage. Give in to their energy and play with your kids. Play a game of family tag, get down on the ground and wrestle, or just chase them around the house. Whatever you do to try to keep up with a kid is exercise, trust me.