Fun Ideas To Be More Active Without A Formal Workout Program
You’ve likely heard that exercise is good for you. Yet, for many reasons, being physically active may be difficult to fit into your lifestyle and daily routines.
So how do you get the recommended amount of exercise while also juggling your busy schedule?
Read on for some practical tips that you can make work for YOU.
What Are The Benefits Of Exercise?
When you think about exercise, you may think about things like burning calories, losing weight, and building muscle. These are some of the most common reasons people exercise, and they are all valid. Yet the benefits of exercise also extend far beyond these things.
Aside from burning calories, some of the other major benefits of exercise include:
- Boosting self-esteem
- Supporting a positive mood, including reducing the risk of or managing depression
- Reducing stress
- Improving sleep quality
- Building and maintaining lean muscle mass
- Supporting a healthy weight
- Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia
- Improving blood sugar control, which can help prevent or manage diabetes
- Improving heart health
- Reducing risk of early death
- Strengthening bones, which can help prevent or manage arthritis, fractures, and general falls (especially in the elderly)
- Reduced risk of some types of cancers
- Improving digestive health
- And even more…
*Reference for above list is here.
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults aim to be physically active for at least 150 minutes each week, including at least 2 days of muscle-strengthening activities. This could be broken down into 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week. People who do vigorous exercise can achieve the same benefits in about 75 minutes per week. If you regularly do light exercise, you may benefit from a bit more than these guidelines.
Examples Of Each Type Of Exercise Include:
|Light intensity exercise||Moderate intensity exercise||Vigorous intensity exercise||Strengthening exercise|
|Casual walking||Brisk walking||Running||Weight lifting|
|Yoga||Dancing||Fast cycling||Body weight exercises like squats and pushups|
|Leisure bike riding||Gardening or other yard work||Hiking uphill||Using resistance bands|
|Basic housework||Casual swimming||Lap swimming||Climbing stairs|
|Jogging||Playing in a sports game|
Always remember that any exercise is better than none. Try not to be discouraged if you’re unable to meet the recommended amount of exercise per day. It’s very likely that some days you may be more active than others, and it is the big picture that matters the most.
Whatever you can do counts – All Movement Matters!
How To Make Exercise Fun
Exercising can be understandably intimidating. This is especially true if you’re just starting or re-starting after a long break. When you’re not in the habit of exercising, it can be easy to come up with endless reasons not to do it.
The right motivators and a bit of practice can turn exercising into something you routinely enjoy.
Think about starting your first job. In the beginning, it was probably challenging to wake up each morning and get yourself ready, drive to your office, and put in a full day’s worth of work. Yet as time went on, it likely became more normal and simply part of your weekly routine.
Exercise can become a habit the same way (yet even better because you will hopefully enjoy it more than working!)
Ultimately, it is essential to have the right mindset toward exercise. If you view it as a chore you don’t enjoy, it is improbable to last. That’s why it is SO important to do activities you enjoy.
Fun And Simple Ways To Be More Physically Active
If joining a gym or following a formal workout regimen isn’t practical, there is still good news! There are SO many ways to be more physically active without even realizing it or putting in a ton of extra effort. You can also do it for free, and without leaving your house.
Here are 12 fun activities that may not even feel like exercise:
✅ Have a dance party. Turn on a few of your favorite songs and dance it out. It all counts as exercise whether you dance for 4 minutes or 25 minutes. Bonus points if you get other people to dance with you!
✅ Go for a walk and/or hike. Never underestimate the benefits of walking. Whether you live in an urban city or near plenty of nature trails, take advantage of what you have access to. Start walking and noticing your surroundings. If you desire to, you can also try enjoying a hike from time to time.
✅ Play with your kids. Kids love to be active. Get outside and start throwing or kicking balls, hula hooping, jumping rope, bouncing on a pogo stick, or doing whatever activities they enjoy. You’ll get quality time together while also reaping the benefits of exercise.
✅ Jump on a trampoline (if you have access to one). This is pure cardio and can be so much fun!
✅ Hop on a bike or scooter. These are more excellent activities to do with kids, but you can do them on your own too! It may help even more if you come up with a fun destination, such as biking to the local lake, coffee shop, or to lunch and back.
✅ Go swimming. Swimming is fun for most people and has so many health benefits. Whether you swim laps or play around in the water, you’ll be moving your body and getting natural resistance training without even meaning.
✅ Rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. If you live near a large body of water, these can be a great way to get your muscles working and heart rate up while also having fun on the water.
✅ Skiing/snowboarding. This may be a seasonal activity and one you probably won’t often do, but it can be an excellent way to get some vigorous exercise while also having fun on the slopes. If you don’t know how to ski or snowboard, other snow activities like sledding and building snowmen can also really get your heart rate going.
✅ Try out a new exercise class (for free!). There are many free exercise videos online and many offered through the city you may live in. Think about something you’ve wanted to try (pilates? barre? Zumba?) and search for free classes on the internet.
✅ Join a team sport. You may find it hard to find the motivation to exercise on your own, but it may be a different story if you’re part of a team. Many companies and cities offer free or inexpensive team sports leagues that usually don’t require experience. Just ask around or do a bit of searching until you find one that sounds fun!
✅ Having walking dates. If going for a walk on your own doesn’t appeal to you, try doing so as an activity with friends, family, on a date, or even when talking on the phone for pleasure or work.
✅ Walk your dog. It has been reported that dog owners walk about 22 more minutes per day than people who don’t own a dog. If you own a dog but don’t usually take them on walks, volunteer to start doing so. If you don’t own a dog, this could be a motivation to get one, or you can sign up for dog-walking sites to help other people walk their dogs (and also make some money while you’re at it).
Don’t Have the Energy to Exercise?
One of the things we hear from our Transformation Testimonials week after week is how much more energy people have from the very first week of our 30-Day Clean Eating Challenge.
People are exercising and playing more than they have in years because they are so much more energized, have a better mood and even sleep better as a result of the Challenge. If you could use that kind of improvement, consider Joining Us Today!