Exercise loses its appeal when you start seeing it as a repetitive and tedious chore. If running on a treadmill and lifting weights at the gym bore you, then it’s time to switch things up. Here are five exercises packaged as fun activities.
Thanks to the growing Peter Pan market, there are many kiddie pursuits available for us grownups. There’s the Trampoline Park, where you can play anti-gravity dodgeball and other competitive sports, Wacky Obstacle Run, where it’s like you’re in the obstacle course game show Wipeout, and Ball Pit Manila, a pool of balls strictly for adults. On a tight budget? Just take your nieces and nephews out to the playground or join them the next time they ask you play backyard games. Remember: As long as your heart rate is elevated and your body sweats out, then it counts as exercise.
2. Walk your dog
Owning a dog has multiple health benefits. When you play with your four-legged friend or take him out for his walk, you’re giving yourself a sweat sesh as well. One hour of brisk walking or playing Frisbee with Fido burns about 190 calories, while jogging with your dog burns 230 calories an hour. [source: My Fitness Pal]
3. Vacation activities
The next time you’re on vacation with friends, instead of just lounging and stuffing yourself with Piña Coladas and a mountain of fries, try water sports like surfing, wakeboarding, or kayaking. Even leisurely swimming burns 345 calories an hour as opposed to bottomless margaritas (which is 168 calories a glass, by the way). On weekends, organize “exercise dates” with your friends instead of another coffee shop binge. Fun vacation-like activities to try: bike tours, walking tours, and hiking.
4. Repackaged exercises
Most of the hip workouts people spend money on these days are simply repackaged old-school exercises. There’s indoor cycling, where people for an hour or so of spinning while the DJ cranks up their favorite club hits. Also try enrolling in a parkour class at Ninja Academy, where you can fulfill your Hollywood stunt movie fantasies while working out your core. There’s also Piloxing, a combination of Pilates and boxing that can burn 900 whopping calories an hour.
5. Video games
Thanks to modern technology, even video game nerds won’t have an excuse to skip exercise. There are plenty of Wii and Xbox fitness games to choose from, and you don’t have to be athletic or own the most fashionable gym wear to fit in. An hour of low-intensity Wii Fit exercise burns 144 calories, while advanced levels will burn about 200 calories an hour [source: My Fitness Pal]. Feeling old school? Hit the arcades and give the ol’ Dance Dance Revolution or shooting hoops a whirl.