You already know you should exercise regularly, but that is easier said than done. Exercise can be hard to fit into your schedule, especially if you don’t like doing. If, however, you find a form of exercise you truly enjoy, you will have the motivation to make time for a workout and the energy to power through to the end. Here are five fun workouts that will get you off the couch and on your feet.
1. Go Hiking
Hiking gives you a chance to explore nature, breathe fresh air, and observe wildlife. It also happens to be a great workout. Hiking burns approximately 250 calories per hour and improves muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. It can also help prevent loss of bone density and reduce your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression. Here are a few pointers for planning a safe and successful hike:
- Wear high quality shoes.
- Stay hydrated, and pack extra water for emergencies.
- Stick to clearly marked trails.
- Start with shorter, gradually sloped trails before building up to steep long hikes.
- Pack sunscreen and a first aid kit.
Good planning is key to hiking safely. Once you’ve made the necessary preparations, you’ll have a fun, free workout to look forward to.
2. Sign Up For a Race
If you find that fear, competition, or companionship is a strong motivator for you, consider signing up for a race. Scheduling a race a few months ahead of time gives you a big event to look forward to, a training program to follow, and a schedule to stick to. Races offer a great opportunity to push yourself and participate in something that makes you feel connected to people around you.
You can sign up for a race that supports a cause you believe in, or you can pick something that will be a personal challenge. If you like running, start out with a 5K and work up to a full marathon. If you consider yourself a jack-of-all-trades, consider an Iron Man Race where you can run, bike, and swim toward the finish line.
3. Take a Class
If you like learning new things and meeting new people, consider signing up for a fitness class. You can try boxing, salsa dancing, Zumba, aerobics, or tennis—whatever seems interesting to you. A class forces you to fit exercise in your schedule since it is scheduled at a certain time. As an added motivator, your classmates and teacher will notice when you skip and hold you accountable for your attendance.
4. Relax With Yoga
Exercising is already a great way to relieve stress, but if you need some extra relaxation in your life, try yoga. Yoga is slower paced than other workouts, the music is relaxing, and the atmosphere is positive and welcoming. You can take a class at a local yoga studio or try out some poses at home. Yoga will improve your flexibility and core strength while it clears your mind and helps you focus.
5. Train for a Competitive Sport
Participating in competitive sports is a great way to work exercise into your lifestyle. Being part of a team will motivate you to work hard, and having a coach gives you the opportunity to receive constructive feedback on a regular basis. If you haven’t made it onto a team yet, improve your skills on your own by watching pitching mechanics instructional videos or shooting baskets in your driveway at home.
Try one of the above ideas or explore other interests like rock climbing, kayaking, or ballet—the important thing is to find something you enjoy. Exercise is essential to staying healthy, and it is easier to fit into your life when it is something you look forward to.