Author: Karen Kawolics, MS RD LD, MEd
Enduring a long workday, taking care of family, housecleaning, doing bills … the thought of scheduling in exercise, can seem like adding just another chore to your list!
The benefits of exercise are well known. One hundred and fifty to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic activity per week may not only help move the scale, but also improve other areas of your health such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In addition, 2-3 days a week of resistance training and also squeezing in some flexibility moves may contribute to you staying young, active, and vibrant. Knowing these advantages, what can you do if you just don’t like to exercise? Answer: Make it fun!
The most important key to making fitness fun is of course, choosing something you enjoy doing. Pairing fitness with a social activity and social connections can also help shore up your motivation to show up. Finally, regularly seeking out new adventures adds variety to keep your attention well focused. Not sure where to start? Check out some of these unique ideas that will help you stay active, engaged, and motivated!
- Obstacle Course Race training can improve many functional movements needed for everyday life. OCR competitions put your endurance, strength, stamina, flexibility, balance, and will to succeed to the test.
- Make your next trip an active one! Combine vacations to national parks with races ranging anywhere from 5K’s to ultra marathons. Stay inspired as you run or walk through some of the world’s most beautiful scenery.
- Improve muscular strength, endurance, and balance in a low impact way by joining a Tai Chi class.
- New to running? Enlist a buddy and use a phone app to train on your own schedule for a 5K race.
- Take tossing around a frisbee in the park to the next level and join an Ultimate Frisbee team.
- Live near the water? Hop aboard a sailboat racing team.
- Combine accountability with high intensity interval training (HIIT) in the group setting at Orange Theory Fitness. Participants strap on a heart rate monitor to aid in reaching intensity goals.
- Sign up for a charity sporting event. Connect with others who have common fitness and fundraising goals.
- Build friendships by attending weekly classes at your local gym or recreation center.
In a final note, always check with your doctor before starting any physical activity regimen. Now, get out there and have some fun!