Exercise. You know you need to do it more often.
I do, too. We all do.
There are a lot of reasons why working out regularly is important: it helps you stay fit and healthy, increases energy, decreases the risk of health issues like heart disease, encourages better time management skills, and a lot more besides. But there’s one big reason why working out regularly is also hard. Simply put, it’s boring.
Luckily, working out doesn’t have to feel like, well, work. Here are a few ideas to help you squeeze in some much-needed exercise while having fun doing something you love.
Dance the night away
If ‘80s movies taught us anything, it’s that nothing beats bustin’ a move. So make like Kevin Bacon and cut loose (Footloose, that is), or be a maniac maaaaniac on the floor like Jennifer Beals in Flashdance. Dancing isn’t just a lot of fun, it’s also a great way of getting your heart rate up, burning calories, building flexibility and balance, and training muscles in your legs and back.
If you really enjoy it and want to up your game, you can even hire a choreographer to teach you some new moves, or you can start a dance troupe to turn your rug-cuttin’ ways into a full-blown performance. If you’re feeling particularly risqué, it’s worth noting the rising popularity of pole-dancing classes. See, even exercise can be sexy.
Play with your pets
You’re not the only member of your household who needs to stay in shape; our furry friends require exercise to stay healthy as well. You might be willing to give yourself a pass, staying in bed all day eating junk food, but your pets are precious to you, maybe even more so than yourself. If you’re not willing to work out for your own benefit, work out for theirs.
Cuddly critters both big and small benefit from long walks and plenty of play time. Not only does regular exercising your pets improve their mood, decrease hyperactivity, discourage destructive scratching and chewing, and extend their lifespan, it also does the same for you (okay, mayyybe not the scratching and chewing part). In many ways, adopting an animal is the best exercise investment you’ll ever make. Alas, you can’t snuggle a Stairmaster.
Become a Karate Kid
Getting fit can sometimes feel like a losing battle. So what better way to turn a losing battle into a winning one than by brushing up on your self-defense skills? Taking martial arts classes is a surefire way to help break through your anti-exercise slump like a karate chop through a wooden board. It can also do wonders for your discipline and confidence.
On the other (gloved) hand, if you’re more into Rocky than Enter the Dragon, boxing lessons make for an equally effective option. Either way, you’ll get an extensive cardio and strength-training workout, while also developing a new set of skills that you could put to use competitively or simply keep as a secret weapon should you ever end up walking down the wrong dark alley. Hi-ya!
Join a sports team
Sick of yelling at the TV during the big game because how could anyone miss that shot?!? How about putting your money where your mouth is and show us why you should be the one leading the team? After all, sports were pretty much invented to make working out feel less like a chore and more like real fun. What could make it better than involving your friends?
Whether playing for fun or playing to win, team sports have always been a great way of bringing people together, both on the field and in the bleachers. The players in the thick of it benefit doubly, though; studies show that exercising with others (rather than alone) reduces stress and creates an overall better quality of life. There really is no I in TEAM.