Sometimes, getting in your daily exercise can seem like a chore. Many people choose to go to an expensive gym, or run five miles per day, or crossfit until they’re aching. But exercise isn’t a one-size-fits all routine, and we don’t all feel excited or empowered by these types of workouts.
We no longer have to exercise like our ancestors. We used to run from predators or towards our prey, lift heavy objects constantly, and do all of this merely to survive. Now, we have to figure out new ways to make these types of activities interesting, since it’s not a regular way of life.
It takes a little creativity, but there are some fantastic ways to spice up your workouts without going to the gym. They’re anything but typical, but trying some of these activities will get you excited to exercise again!
Love to walk, but find it easier to do when you have a destination in mind? Geocaching gives you a goal! Just check out a geocaching website, save some coordinates, and go on a real-life treasure hunt. It includes a lot of walking around and sometimes puzzle solving, so you’re guaranteed to work your legs, and your brain!
- Play video games!
No, we aren’t suggesting you sit in the dark drinking sugary cola and gaming for hours on end. Try some games that get you moving! Work your arms at the basketball shooting games at a nearby arcade, or create a full-body Wii Fit workout at home. And there’s no way that you won’t break a sweat playing Dance Dance Revolution.
- Take dance lessons.
It’s rare to see a dancer that’s out of shape. That’s because the energy it takes to move gracefully with concise movements burns a ton of calories and builds muscle! Check out a local dance studio online, and see if they offer punch cards to attend a variety of different classes. On top of a creative way to get in activity, you’ll be learning something new!
- Climb at a playground.
Take your kids (or a friend’s kids) to a playground, and get silly! Make a game with the kids, chase them around, and climb on everything. All the squatting, hanging, and running around is fun and active at the same time.
- Build your own bootcamp.
Go to a park with a few friends, and start your own training program. You’ll get in a variety of exercises while outside in the sun – no equipment necessary! Need a little more guidance? Try any of these awesome workout circuits, created by fitness guru Kim Lyons for our True You Challenge.
- Offer a helping hand.
By volunteering with a non-profit, you can break a sweat and feel extra good about it. Contact the city about volunteering for trash clean up in a park, or with planting trees. Assist with building a home for Habitat for Humanity. Participate in maintenance for a local community garden.
- Adult gymnastics.
Remember when you did gymnastics as a kid? It’s just like that, but for big kids. Think somersaults, cartwheels, tug-of-war, flips into foam pits, uneven bars, and rings. Reach out to your local gymnasium about classes and availability!
- Recreational leagues.
If you live in any major city, we guarantee there’s a rec league in your area. Sign up a team of your own, or join independently to play kickball, softball, ultimate Frisbee, soccer, basketball, bowling, and more! It’s fun, a great way to make new friends, and an amazing exercise. The best part is that you don’t have to be “good” – attendance and participation (and usually a small fee for overhead costs) is all that are required. And hey, practice makes perfect!
- Start commuting by bike.
Cycling to and from work (even just once a week) will do wonders for your health. You’ll get in some exercise, and probably have a more enjoyable commute overall! This is especially great to do if you sit in an office chair most of the day.
- Think like a kid.
Get some friends together for a cookout and some good old fashioned yard games. Throw a football around, do a relay race, play tag (or tag football), red light / green light, or have a handstand contest.
No matter what you do, adding a little extra activity into your life just takes some creativity and open mindedness. Exercise should be fun, so consider it accordingly!