Do we get enough exercise? For most of us, the answer is no. In fact, Harvard Health Publishing says that 25% of people get no exercise at all, while only about 50% get the recommended amount of exercise. But why? In addition to citing time factors, many people just don’t enjoy being active. But the good news is, there are several activities that count as an exercise which don’t feel like exercising at all. Here are ten great ideas:
- LARP - Live Action Role Play (LARP) consists of getting dressed up as a character and reenacting or dramatizing scenes with the use of props. As you can imagine, LARPing is an active, physical game that gets people moving. And you won’t even realize it because you’ll be too enthralled by the story.
- Playing with the Kids - Playing tag, volleyball or hide-and-seek with the kids is a great way to get active and burn calories. The Child Development Institute says the average adult can burn up to 355 calories playing a game of beach volleyball with their kids.
- Active Video Games - Tone & Tighten lists the top 10 active video games, which include Just Dance, Active Life Outdoor Challenge, Kinect Rush and Wii Sports. Sure, they’re marketed as being for kids, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and burn calories while playing them.
- Get Handy - Household handyman jobs can get a person tone and fit. As you climb under the sink to fix a pipe or reach above your head to paint the ceiling, you will use muscles that may be otherwise rarely used, which will strengthen your body and burn calories.
- Join a Rec League - Local rec leagues, such as soccer, baseball and basketball, allow you to play sports and compete with teams in your area. Not only will joining a league make you more active, but it will also make you more social as well — which is another important wellness activity.
- Parkour - Parkour, the act of moving creatively and logically through an urban area, involves running, jumping, balancing and vaulting. It is an extremely active sport that has gone viral. And boy can it get you in shape!
- Cleaning House - OK, so cleaning the house isn’t necessarily fun, but it IS essential. And, on average, you can burn up to 200 calories an hour doing it. What’s more, you can burn even more calories if you add some variations, such as doing squats while dusting the bottom shelves.
- Dancing - Attending a dancing class is a great way to get in shape. Ballroom dancing is always a favorite for couples who are looking to get in shape together but don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Bollywood, for example, is fast and energizing. Zumba is another fun option.
- Playground Antics - Instead of sitting it out on the bench, get involved and play around whenever you take your kids to the playground or park. Walk around the park while they play, or roller skate. Do some lunges, or get up there and play with those kids.
- Hike with Friends - If you love the great outdoors and spending quiet time with your favorite people, hiking may be the perfect activity for you. Being out in nature releases feel-good endorphins, and hiking really gets the blood pumping. Bonus: Mountain biking turns this up a notch!
Exercise doesn’t have to be boring or dreadful. With the right activities, you might even find yourself looking forward to exercising. And don’t forget that you don’t have to do it all at once. Short bursts of activity throughout the day count. The goal is to move as often as you can and have fun doing it.