Daily exercise can seem like a chore, but it doesn’t have to be one. For one thing, you probably need less exercise than you think you do. Experts recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. This translates to 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week.
Furthermore, anything that gets your heart rate up counts as exercise. This means that you don’t have to go to the gym or lift weights to get a workout if you don’t enjoy those things. You can find activities that are fun for you to get your allotted 30 minutes of exercise per day. Here are some suggestions for fun exercises.
1. Family Walks
Walking to lose weight is acknowledged as one of the easiest and most effective exercises, and has been for some time. Walking outside is much more interesting than walking on a treadmill and going nowhere. It is even more fun if you can share the walk with at least one other person, such as your significant other. If you have children, family walks help everyone to stay healthier, and it also helps to strengthen family relationships as it gives you an opportunity to put the screens away and talk to one another. There are ways to make it more fun, like making the walk into a scavenger hunt or choosing different routes to explore new neighborhoods.
If you live alone, you can ask a friend or neighbor to take a walk with you or take your dog for a walk. If you don’t have a dog but you like animals, you can volunteer to be a dog walker for a local animal shelter. There are lots of ways to make a walk more social.
2. Riding Bikes
Bike riding is a low-impact exercise that doesn’t take a toll on your joints. It’s another good activity to share with the whole family, or with friends or neighbors. You can even take your dog for a run while riding your bike with a special device that safely attaches the leash to a bike.
If you don’t feel you have time for a recreational 30-minute bike ride per day, consider commuting to work on your bike. If you don’t feel like you can navigate steep hills, you might want to look into an electric bicycle. These have a battery-powered motor that provides pedal assistance for steep sections. An electric bike can cost between $1,000 and $2,000, so you do have to make sure that you are serious about it before you commit to the purchase, but if it helps you ride your bike more often, it could be an investment that pays off significantly.
3. Water Activities
Sometimes having fun while being active is a matter of just adding water. Aquatic sports and activities include swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. The latter two are mostly summer activities, but as long as you have access to an indoor pool, you can swim every day.
There are also aquatic exercise classes you can take, such as water aerobics or water yoga. Pushing against the water provides resistance, yet the buoyancy helps to support the weight of your body, making it low impact. The cool temperature of the water also means that you don’t sweat as much.
4. Active Games
A regular game night is a great way to relax and have fun with family and friends. Instead of always playing the same board games, mix a few active games into the mix once in a while, such as charades or Twister.
5. Orienteering or Geocaching
These are ways to stay active while engaging with the outdoors. Orienteering means navigating in a natural area using tools such as maps and compasses, while geocaching involves using GPS to find a hidden object, sort of like a high-tech treasure hunt.
When exercise is something that is fun for you, it becomes something that you look forward to every day rather than something that you dread.
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