According to President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, less than 5 percent of adults actually participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. We may start the year with positive fitness goals, which we eagerly follow up by heading to the gym and nibbling on celery sticks. However, we can often find our well-intentioned plans unraveling after just a few weeks. The problem is, for many of us, exercise can be boring and repetitive. But it doesn’t have to be.
There are lots of ways to make exercise fun, whether you have five minutes or five hours to spare. To help, here are some of our top suggestions to put the fun back into your exercise routine:
1. Exercise with a friend.
If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning for a pre-work gym session, or come up with every excuse possible to avoid exercise after work, find a gym buddy. By going with a friend, you can have more motivation and can even have a laugh in the process.
2. Join a class.
Break away from the gym and try something new. Join a class in your local area, such as yoga, pilates, aqua aerobics, dancing, spinning, kickboxing, or Zumba. Not only could you have fun, but you will make new friends in the process.
3. Exercise without realizing it.
Did you know that just one hour of shopping can help you lose 175 calories? Or 191 calories for an hour of housework? Whilst we’re not suggesting you skip the gym and head to the mall, there are lots of activities you can do that won’t feel like exercise. Get outside and do some gardening, tidy out your shed, blitz your housework, and enjoy a calorie busting spring clean.
4. Reward yourself.
Give yourself something in return for the time spent pounding the pavements or lifting weights. Put $1 in a jar for every workout you do. Every month you could use this money to treat yourself to a meal out or save up for a new piece of clothing.
5. Download some apps.
Browse the thousands of fitness apps available to help you stay on track. Not only can you monitor your workouts, what you eat and how much you drink, you can also get tips, advice and most importantly, reminders. Some fun apps to take a look at include Runkeeper, MyFitnessPal, Water Your Body, Headspace and Calorie Counter.
6. Pump up the volume.
Instead of exercising in silence, load your music player with upbeat songs that will help get you moving. There are lots of CDs available to buy, especially for this purpose, or have fun creating your own playlist, full of all your favorite tracks.
7. Watch your favorite TV show.
Instead of heading back from work and flopping onto the sofa to watch your favorite TV show, head to the gym and catch up from a treadmill or cycle machine. This way, you can enjoy watching your program but get fit at the same time.
8. Play games.
Who says exercise has to be lifting weights or running on a treadmill? Consider fun alternatives such as Wii Sport and Wii Fit games. These are a great way to have fun and exercise, either alone or with friends. There are also a ton of dancing games so you can get your groove on and work up a sweat!
9. Try exercise videos.
Feel uncomfortable exercising with lots of other people around? Why not try exercising at home? There is a wide choice of fun exercise videos to choose from, to help you stay motivated.
10. Get outside.
If a gym isn’t for you, get outside and take in some vitamin D. Find somewhere new to go for a walk, enjoy a long cycle ride, take a frisbee to the beach, or find a swimming pool near you.
11. Sign up to an event.
Targets can easily be broken when you don’t have any end goal. So get online and look up some local events nearby. There may be charity fun runs, sponsored walks, or something more adventurous. Not only can you get fit, you can have fun in the process and may meet other people you can train with.
12. Revisit your childhood.
Remember when you were younger and played with a skipping rope for hours or jumped around on a pogo stick or space hopper? Well, who says this is just for children? Get a trampoline, see how many times you can skip without stopping, or test out your Hula hoop skills.