If you’re the kind of person who finds yourself constantly glancing at the clock while you exercise, asking yourself how much longer you’ve got to go, you may be stuck in a cycle of the workout doldrums. But don’t cut out the sweat sessions altogether, please! There are so many unique ways to get your body moving, from strapping on the roller-skates to dancing the night away, and the best part is: you won’t watch the clock.
Here are some of the most fun ways to log your exercise hours
1. Play a Backyard Game
Your backyard is like a wide-open gymnasium, and it’s ready for whatever you’ve got in the tool shed. From the uber-popular CROSSNET volleyball game to classics like lawn darts, croquet, and the Finnish classic Mölkky, some active competition can help you get your heart rate up.
2. Break Out the Hula Hoop
Who says hula hooping is just for music festivals and children? No way! The hoop is becoming quite the hot trend in fitness, and there are even hula hoop exercises and classes you can take to get the full experience.
3. Hit the Trampoline
Whether you go to the trampoline gym (barring COVID-19 regulations) or invite yourself over to a friend’s backyard, the result is the same: some serious calorie-burning and muscle-building, earned while you barely even notice you’re working out.
4. Go Roller-Skating
Roller-skating and rollerblading are not only super-fun ways to get from point A to point B, but they also give you a surprisingly good workout. Though it’s low-impact and relatively gentle on the joints, skating can help you burn a nice chunk of calories — around 311 calories for just a half hour — while working the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and abs.
5. Go for a Bike Ride
Working out your lower body and core while enjoying the fresh air and breeze in your hair…could anything be better?
6. Join a Hiking Club
What’s more fun than a rigorous hike on a nice day? A rigorous hike on a nice day with friends! Hiking clubs provide a social element to exercise while also giving it a sense of routine, making it all the more enjoyable.
7. Go Dancing
We all know the pure joy of an energetic night on the dance floor, so don’t underestimate this social activity as a form of exercise! Bonus points for the fact that it can involve bonding with friends (which equals better mental health).
8. Play a Video Game — Dance Dance Revolution, Wii Zumba, Wii Fit
These classic active video games get you off the couch and on your feet, and they are so incredibly fun! For something new and exciting, try the Ring Fit Adventure for the Nintendo Switch, which let’s you stretch, strengthen, and condition in a game-like environment.
9. Volunteer to Walk Dogs
If you want to feel good about your body while also earning some good karma, stop by the local animal shelter and request an application to volunteer. Inquire about weekly dog walking and other active tasks.
10. Try Line Dancing
We all know hip-hop and Zumba are amazing workouts, but what about line dancing? Yep, this honky-tonk hobby gets your heart rate up and works for core muscle groups so you can two-step your way to amazing physical fitness.
11. Hit Yoga at the Brewery
The promise of a post-workout beer is enough to get any otherwise uninspired exerciser out of her shell! Luckily, brewery yoga is near-universal, with yoga and brew programs popping up all over the country.
12. Silent Disco to exercise
Silent discos are events where people gather in one place to dance, only everyone has their own headphones with their own music. In other words, it’s the dance club minus the awful DJ.
13. Try Paddle Boarding
Stand-up paddleboarding is the trendiest aqua sport du jour, and it’s not hard to see why. This super-challenging activity conditions the upper body like you wouldn’t believe, all while providing the serene joy of time spent on the water
14. Give Surfing a Try
Surfing is an O.G. board sport, so don’t discount it! These days, it’s not just a warm-weather activity. Indoor surfing is becoming widely available so participants can catch big waves hundreds of miles from the coast. These facilities offer indoor, temperature-controlled wave pools, so they’re perfect for beginner surfers or those who simply want to try the sport for its fitness potential.
15. Take a Belly Dancing Class
Belly dancing is not only a great way to tone and strengthen your body — but especially your core — it’s also a pretty impressive party trick to keep up your sleeve. Amazing costumes are an added bonus, too.
16. Go to Corn Maze
Hit the local corn maze this fall to enjoy the crisp, autumnal air and earn a few extra fitness points. Again, COVID-19 regulation spending, we know it sounds a little corny (we had to), but the apple cider donuts at the end of the maze make it all worthwhile.
17. Venture Out with an AR Game
Augmented reality (AR) and location-based video games are all the rage and — in addition to being super fun — they’re surprisingly great for people who want to gamify their exercise routines.. Some of the most popular active AR games include Pokémon Go, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Ingress.
18. Do a Beer Run
By beer run, we mean a 5K, not a trip to the corner store. With events like the Milwaukee Beer Run, the Cincinnati Beer Run, and Chicago’s Burgers and Beer 5K, these events are gaining more and more steam. Run for a good cause and try new beers while you’re at it? Sounds like a win-win to us!
The bottom line on exercise
As you can see, there’s no shortage of creative ways to burn calories and do a little cardiovascular conditioning. You shouldn’t dread working out, and these amusing alternatives will make sure you never obsessively count the seconds on the treadmill again!