There are people who love everything about exercising... and then there's the rest of us. Here are eight fun ideas to help get you moving – if exercise isn’t usually your thing.
Some people recoil in horror at the thought of putting on workout clothes, going to a gym or pounding the pavement to work up a sweat.
Sound like you? If so, you may need to rethink your definition of exercise. Exercise can take many forms, it can be fun and exciting rather than hard, intense, boring or whatever other negative words you usually associate with workouts.
The key is finding something that appeals to you so you’ll actually look forward to getting up and moving – and maybe even forget you’re working out!
Try these ideas:
1. Let’s dance!
Ever watched shows like ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and thought how much fun everyone seemed to be having? Learning how to dance can not only be a great aerobic workout and all over body toner, it also improves your coordination. Whether it be couples-style dancing (such as swing, ballroom, Latin or Argentine Tango) or individual dance classes (think jazz, tap, belly dancing or hip-hop) there’s something for everyone. Plus, it’s a great way to meet people!
2. On your bike
Most of us rode bikes as kids, but many adults now think of bikes in terms of stationary ones at the gym. A bike is a great clean form of transport, and there are more bike lanes than ever before, making it a much safer option.
Unconvinced? Why not take a bike tour? You’ll get to hire a bike and go for a leisurely ride in a group, checking out the sites of your city from a new perspective. And of course there’s the added bonus of a great lower limb muscle workout!
In Australia, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning bushwalks, coastal hikes or mountain treks to enjoy. Walking is so much more enjoyable when you’re immersed in nature. As you go, you’ll be providing your body with a cardio workout, strengthening your bones, and firming your lower body and core.
4. Embrace incidental exercise
Take the stairs, get off at the earlier bus stop, avoid using your car for local trips… consciously working at increasing your incidental exercise will get your blood pumping without you even realising. Think about getting a fitness tracker - there’s nothing like a visual record of your movement throughout the day to encourage you to move more.
5. Get wet!
From swimming at your local pool, bodysurfing or joining an aqua class, water sports are the perfect low-impact, low-sweat activity for people of every age and fitness level. Better still, most water sports provide both a cardio and muscle strengthening workout, while also increasing endurance.
6. Phone a friend
Doing something active with a friend – perhaps a hit of tennis, round of golf or simply a long walk – is a great way to do your body some good while you’re catching up.
7. Get your game on
If you’re a video game fan, swap the games that have you sitting down for hours on end, to something interactive. You’ll be burning calories from the comfort of your living room and having loads of fun in the process.
8. Just… play!
It’s a sad fact that many of us lose the ability to just play for the fun of it as we get older. But if you have kids, or a dog (or even if you don’t!) there is always an opportunity to just get out and have some fun. It may be throwing a ball around, playing chasey, or playing outdoor games like backyard cricket with friends. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.