You’ve heard it over and over: You need to exercise, not just to keep your weight in check, but also to strengthen your heart, lower stress, and prevent many diseases. But the idea of logging more treadmill time makes you want to hide in bed with a plate of nachos! Let’s face it: Some workouts are just plain boring, and it’s nearly impossible to stick with a daily routine that you hate.
The solution is obvious (and no, it does not involve extra guacamole). You need to find a form of exercise that you enjoy, so that you can stick with your routine. In fact, you should probably choose a few different activities, and rotate them so that you don’t get bored.
Contrary to common belief, working out doesn’t have to involve a gym membership or monotonous exercise machines. Try these activities for a more fun exercise routine that you’ll actually enjoy:
Playing frisbee. You can burn an average of 572 calories per hour playing Ultimate Frisbee. Look for a league near you!
Hula Hooping. This childhood staple actually makes for a fun, calorie-torching workout. Hula hoop classes are becoming more popular, and you could burn between 420 and 600 calories during a one-hour session.
Rowing. If you enjoy water sports, check out rowing clubs near you. Rowing works your quads, glutes, shoulders, abs, and biceps, and burns 250 to 600 calories per hour (depending upon how hard you work).
Salsa dancing. Look for a salsa dance class near you, and burn an impressive 393 calories per hour. As a bonus, many classes take place at local salsa clubs, so you can stick around and dance the night away after your lesson is over.
Ice skating. While you might not make the next Olympic ice dancing team, you can still enjoy the challenge of learning a new sport. Plus, ice skating can burn around 500 calories per hour, making it both a fun workout and an effective one.
Hiking. If you’re tired of doing laps around the neighborhood, head to a nearby state or national park for a hike. Strap on a backpack and increase your calorie burn to 500 calories per hour.
These are just some suggestions for fun exercise options, but there are many more possibilities out there! The trick is to open your mindset about exercise, and be willing to venture beyond the local gym. Check online for Meetup groups, follow a few exercise blogs, or call that fitness-savvy friend for a chat. A little investigative work can help you identify fun, healthy activities you enjoy – and will keep doing for years to come.