Exercise has been defined as any activity that elevates your heart rate and takes your body outside of its normal comfort zone. Even though this is a true statement, many people compare exercise to torture and refuse to do it. The reason behind this might actually be the lack of proper motivation. But, this can be changed if you simply change your approach to exercise and the way you perceive it.
Simply put, exercise is fun! It is usually done alongside some popular tunes, which further pump you up to push through your limits. Furthermore, you have to know that your fitness levels can soar even if you don’t have a gym membership. There are many activities that don’t feel like a typical exercise. They will definitely elevate your heart rate and won’t feel like a chore.
The first one on our list will make you shake your booty, move freely and engage your entire body. Depending on the type of dancing, it will burn between 130 and 250 calories per 30 minutes. Not only will you be able to burn some calories, but you will also have fun. The best thing about dancing is the fact that you can do it at your home, whenever you feel like it. Just play your favorite music and bust out some calorie-burning moves. Alternatively, you can improve your dancing skills by picking a class of salsa, tap dance or Zumba.
Hiking can easily become part of your routine because it does not require complicated equipment and there are trails everywhere. This can be done on your own or with friends who enjoy the great outdoors and are a bit adventurous. Hiking primarily strengthens the lower body and does wonders to your core. After you’ve done hiking and you finally sit down, you will feel even the tiniest muscles in your legs. Hiking in nature also positively affects anxiety, reduces depression and anger.
It is also known to improve the mood as you will be exposing yourself to vitamin D. An hour of hiking will burn between 300 – 600 calories so it is worth trying. This will be just a regular walk with some obstacles along the way and won’t feel like an exercise, at all.
The easiest thing any one of us can do is to simply walk. According to the World Health Organisation, people should get 10000 steps every day. This might seem like an impossible feat, but it is not. For starters, your aim can be 8000 steps every day. This is how you’ll achieve this goal without even realizing it: if possible walk to and from work, use the stairs instead of an elevator, have a walking lunch, use your breaks to walk around your office, walk while you are on your phone, etc. The idea is to walk whenever you are inclined to sit down.
You can even accomplish the daily steps by joining a walking tour of your city. There are certainly some buildings you walk by on a daily basis, but you don’t know a thing about the historical background. If you decide to become a tourist in your own city, you will accomplish the recommended 10,000 steps and learn something new about your town. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and invite a friend to join.
Even though this will require you to join a class, it will be a fun way to work your entire body. It is also known to improve core flexibility, core strength, coordination, and balance. You don’t even know what your body is capable of until you try adult gymnastics. Through the combination of explosive cardio and elements of bodyweight training, you will burn approximately 200 calories per hour.
The increase in the number of martial arts studios across Australia and in other areas talks about the rising popularity of these practices. Apart from increasing physical fitness and mental health, martial arts also increase self-esteem and confidence. Focusing on controlled movements, breathing and your next move, relieves your body and mind of stress. Likewise, your focus and perseverance will go up each time you master a new skill or movement. Picking a class of martial arts in Sydney, or anywhere else will be a unique experience. Karate, Muay Thai, Kung Fu or any other activity will definitely be an hour well spent.
Pilates has been claimed to be the most effective way to embrace movement, without breaking a sweat. It is the recommended activity for those people who are not so fond of the idea of exercising but ultimately end up loving it. Pilates is a combination of core strengthening movements, paired with endurance and strength movements. A class of Pilates for beginners will help you burn around 175 calories, and it is a great start. In addition to this, Pilates is a low impact type of exercise and it is good for everyone. After a while, you’ll be stronger, more flexible, have a better range of movements and you will no longer have any backache.
Biking is yet another physical activity that won’t feel like a chore. It is another low impact exercise on our list that will enhance your endurance, strength, coordination, and balance. Firstly, you can use it to commute to work every day. You’ll basically squeeze a workout in your day early and be more productive at work. You’ll also cut your expenses by no longer spending money on public transport or gas.
One hour of riding a bike at a normal pace will help you burn around 300 calories. This number will be higher if you pick up your pace and ride vigorously. The point here is that riding a bike leisurely will burn calories, help you maintain weight, arrive at your destination quickly and you won’t even consider biking as an exercise.
Bowling is a fun group activity that will make your muscles feel sore the day after. You will feel your arms, legs and especially glutes after bowling. A night of bowling will help you burn 300 calories, so it is definitely worth trying. Bowling will help you do three things at the same time – have fun, hang out with friends and exercise. The range of movements done repeatedly during bowling tones your leg muscles along with arm muscles. It also increases strength as you have to swing the bowling ball many times during the night and hopefully all these efforts will be victorious. Bowling also enhances coordination and balance, as you need to have proper hand-eye coordination in order to achieve the perfect strike.
Jump rope (or do any other exercise) during commercial breaks
We all watch television when we have time and we get annoyed by the commercial breaks. These happen too often and last too long. Since we cannot change this, we can change what we do during these breaks. Why not exercise during these two-minute breaks? Try jumping rope instead of scrolling through your social media feed. Jumping rope is a perfect cardio exercise that will pump up your heart rate, burn calories, and work your entire body.
Jumping rope for ten minutes equals running a mile in eight minutes. You don’t have to jump rope during every commercial break. Instead, this can be a starter exercise to warm up. For the second commercial break, you can do a few sets of alternating lunges. The third break can be for doing burpees as these engage arms, back, chest, core, glutes, and legs. The last commercial break is dedicated for the ab circuit. Afterward, sit back and enjoy your TV show. You’ll feel great because you’ve managed to burn some calories without skipping on your favorite TV show.
This is is one of the best ways to engage your whole body without even thinking of exercise. You can jump, dive, swim freestyle and never get tired of it. Well, it will exhaust you at some point, but the entire idea behind swimming is usually to have fun. You won’t make a conscious decision to use it as an exercise. Nonetheless, it will burn between 300 and 560 calories per hour. As much as it is a total body workout, it is also a relaxing activity. It is also a great summer family activity.
Stand (whenever you are inclined to sit down)
Anything is better than sitting all day. Your goal throughout your day is to ignore the urge to sit down whenever the occasion presents itself. Instead, try moving as much as you can from the moment you wake up and until your head falls onto a pillow. A sedentary lifestyle is linked to an increased risk of death. It is recommended to stand up every 20 minutes. You can continue with your job even in the standing position. Take the stairs instead of spending your life waiting on the elevator. Walk to and from work. If you have to commute, getting off one stop earlier will give you some extra walking time
Walking your dog is also one of the ways to be active and have fun. If your goal is to make 10000 steps every day, your dog will be more than happy to accompany you. Just dedicate some time every day to move more and have fun while you’re doing it. Exercise should not be considered as an obligation. You just need to find something that makes you do it again and again without excuses. After a while you’ll see the benefits, you’ll sleep better, you’ll think better, your range of motion will improve, you’ll be more content and motivated every day. The list of pros outweighs the list of cons to exercise regularly, so embrace the idea of intentional movement.