Hate the Gym? Let These Fun Exercises Get You Moving

Hate to exercise? Most people are right there with you.

But those of us who know the real-life benefits of being physically active, get on with it. Better yet, some of us find ways to make it fun.

In this post, learn about some ways to approach fitness that doesn’t require a gym (for the most part) and can make you forget you’re exercising.

1. Go dancing!

  1. Salsa is a lot of fun and with a quick Google search for “Salsa near me,” there’s a good chance you can find a group to join right now. Nothing near you? Look for streaming classes on Facebook and YouTube.

  2. Hip-hop. Steezy Studio makes hip-hop and modern dance exhilarating with high-energy instructors, contemporary music, and easy-to-learn routines. And starting in March, Vurb Wellness will offer weekly classes led by Taylor as part of its subscription coaching program.

  3. Twerking. Getting into twerking as an exercise can be as simple as throwing up a playlist like this one and going at it for hours. 

  4. Ballet. If you miss your childhood ballet classes and feel called to the barre, you’re going to improve elasticity, strength, and get a great workout by getting back into it.

  5. Zumba. Latin music brings da fun, no matter what you’re doing! Look for Zumba classes in gyms, community centers, and dance studios near you.

  6. Pole dancing. Wait, what? Yes, it is an amazing way to work out and according to the women I’ve talked to who do it regularly, pole dancing will drive your confidence through the roof.

2- Hop on some wheels

If you’re into adrenaline sports, you can burn a lot of calories doing one of these:

  1. Skateboarding. You may need to hang with the boys to do this one, but that in and of itself can be part of the fun. Don’t forget to wear a helmet and be smart about taking other safety steps.

  2. Rollerblading. Grown-ups are lacing up again as if it was the 1990s. Apart from being fun, rollerblading can improve your balance and core strength without straining your joints.

  3. Ice skating can be pure joy for those who love the ice. Rinks typically rent skates and although as a newbie you may fall a lot initially, that’s natural. Pretty soon you will learn to balance your body. 

  4. Cycling. Not only is it great cardio, but the views and fresh air you get from being outdoors are like therapy.

3- Get wet

Water sports are the best. The only obstacle might be the weather and the season, but if you have a pool near you, you can have more fun in the water than in a gym:

  1. Swimming. This is a complete exercise that involves all the muscles in your body. Look for community pools near you or join your local Y.

  2. Surfing. This one is seasonal and takes a little practice, but the challenge makes it fun. Search on Airbnb for these experiences, or find a surfing club you can join in your area.

  3. Waterpolo. Have you ever tried floating in the water while trying to catch a ball and score a goal? It’s a hell of an exercise. 

  4. Kayaking. If you want to build muscle but hate the gym, this one’s for you. You can rent a kayak if you’re not likely to do it very often.

4- Workout in nature

Sometimes you don’t need a lot to stay active and healthy. All you need to do to get outside. Here are some fun ways to be in touch with nature while doing good exercise. For safety purposes, some of these are better done with a professional guide so keep that in mind when deciding whether an activity fits into your budget and schedule.  

  1. Rock climbing helps you develop coordination and a bit of fearlessness.

  2. Hiking. There are many groups on Meetup that are dedicated to hiking. Check them out.

  3. Skiing and snowboarding burn a lot of calories to keep you in shape. It also strengthens lower body muscles and improves your flexibility.

  4. Horseback riding may be out of reach in many ways but if you can saddle up to this activity, it’s a great exercise that’s proven to 

  5. Walking in your neighborhood can do more than keep you physically active, it can keep you socially active too.

5- Become a martial artist

Nothing beats the discipline and self-control that practicing martial arts gives you. Plus, they are some of the most calorie-burning exercises out there.

  1. Tai chi/Qigong. In addition to increasing your physical energy, tai chi and qigong helps to reduce stress. Join the old folks in the park to practice or do it at home anytime.

  2. Krav maga. The kicks, punches, and vigorous aerobic moves of this sport will tone your muscles, help you develop strength and stamina, and keep the weight off.

  3. Capoeira can help you develop a balanced core and a balanced life because of the mental nurturing it can give you.

  4. Boxing is one the most calorie-burning exercises you’ll do and I really love the mental edge it gives women. It will help you develop that “I got this!” inner strength that most of us could use more of.

6- Jump around

Jumping exercises don’t just burn calories, they also strengthen leg muscles and nearly all of the muscles in your body. But my favorite part is that you can turn these exercises into child’s play. 

  1. Jumping rope is one of the happiest ways to maintain a healthy heart and get all that other cardio benefits.

  2. Trampolining in the backyard or your basement can very well become that home fitness equipment that gets a lot of use and a fun way to get your cardio in.

  3. Basketball and tennis get you on the court running and jumping which is a great way to keep the weight off. And if you’re as into either of these sports the way I love tennis, you’ll be the annoying one going, “just one game” three hours in.

  4. Dodgeball and volleyball. With all that running and playing these sports involve, you have more great ways to take care of your heart in more ways than one.

  5. Hula hooping. Did anyone else notice that hula hooping is growing in popularity lately? You can find the old school types and some cool new ones at Target, Walmart, and other retailers online and near you.

Now, with a list this long, you really don’t have an excuse for not staying active and healthy. Not if you like fun anyway. 

Please share this article with a friend who wants to work on their fitness habit.

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