By now we all know that being active is essential to health and well-being. But, damn, it’s SO hard to get motivated to go to the gym! Well, no fear. Keep reading today’s guest post by Rachelle Wilbur for 5 activities that are WAY more fun than “working out.”
One of the biggest reasons why most people bail from their workout plans is they get bored with the gym. Doing the same routine at an overcrowded gym can get old quickly. Use some of these fun activities to get your workout in away from the gym and put the fun back in fitness.
Swimming is one of the best workouts because it works muscle groups throughout the entire body. According to the Center for Disease control, swimming can be effective in helping people manage mood disorders and chronic illnesses like arthritis. One of the best parts about incorporating swimming into your exercise arsenal is there are different types of swimming. Swimming at an indoor pool is different than swimming in a lake, and they are both different than swimming in the ocean. There is a reason why virtually every lifeguard has an impeccable physique.
There are swimming programs popping up in big cities, like the swimming lessons in Houston offered from Swim Jim, to offer inner-city kids the chance to learn how to swim. These centers often have an open swim, so you can incorporate swimming even if you live in an urban area.
Hiking is not only great exercise, but it is a great way to decompress from the pace of modern life. Disconnecting from technology and re-connecting with nature does wonders for your mental and emotional health. In fitness terms, hiking is a great way to build leg strength. You can work out your entire body by looking for harder trails that incorporate climbing. Depending on where you live, the number of hiking trails can be nearly endless. It’s another exercise tool that offers limitless versatility.
Play a Sport
This doesn’t mean simply signing up for beer-league softball. Take advantage of the recreational sports leagues put together by your town’s recreation department.
The best way to get the most out of playing a sport for fitness is to treat yourself as if you were an aspiring athlete. For example, playing flag football once a week is good for a basic cardio workout, but your fitness results would increase exponentially if you trained and ate like a football player for those other six days. All you have to do is do some internet research on training and diet specific to your sport and you’ll be ready to reap the benefits. Most training involves running, so you can still treat yourself like an athlete while avoiding the gym.
Running itself can be boring. The running this section refers to is “fun running”. There are 5Ks sprouting up around the country that have a fun theme to entertain runners. Two popular themes are the color run and the mud run. The color run involves getting covered in colored powder and good music while the mud run involves running through giant mud pits. Running can also be used towards fundraising at 5Ks sponsored by non-profit organizations. This can make you feel good and give you an extra boost and maximize the effectiveness of your workout.
Yoga, Pilates, & Tai Chi
While these three disciplines have several differences, they are united by the fact that they are exercise styles that stress the mind-body connection. These disciplines are great for improving flexibility and building core strength. The best part is you can get an instructional DVD and do these workouts in the privacy of your own home. If you are looking to make it a more social adventure, then you can take a class at a yoga studio with a couple of friends.
Don’t let getting bored with the gym keep you from reaching your fitness goals. Try out these five fitness strategies to spice up your exercise regimen.
About the Author
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber
Something that sounds super fun to me that I’ve been meaning to try out is Geocaching. What FUN activity do you like to do (or want to try) instead of going to the gym?