Written by: Paige Johnson
Chances are, you made a New Year’s resolution to get more exercise. Are you sticking to it?
Most people don’t follow the most important rule of fitness—have fun! If you don’t, you won’t stick with it. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of cardio per week, and of course strength, balance, and flexibility training is also important. If you’re going to abide by the guidelines, you might as well have fun doing it.
If you’re not a fan of the machines at the gym, balk at the idea of a marathon (or even a 5k), and just can’t get down with the Spandex-loving cycling crew, don’t worry. There are plenty of fun ways to get fit, and they don’t even feel like a workout. Here are a few options to try out. You might find you’re a fitness freak after all.
- Walk your dog—or someone else’s! Walking can be great exercise and that fresh outdoor air is invigorating. However, sometimes it can be tough to be motivated, even if you have a walking group or friend. However, if you walk your dog you’re already obligated to do right by your furry friend. Consider volunteering to walk dogs at a shelter, or even get a side gig walking dogs, so not only are you getting a great workout, you’re getting paid for it! Seek out hills to go down as well. It’s a fantastic bone-bearing exercise that helps prevent osteoporosis.
- Take a dance class. It doesn’t matter if it’s swing, line dancing, belly dancing, or Bollywood dancing. Try one or try them all. Many dance studios offer a complimentary class that lets you get an idea of what the crowd is like and whether this might be the fitness regimen for you. How many calories you’ll burn depends on numerous factors, but Livestrong estimates it takes a little over one hour to burn 500 calories.
- Go Slacklining! It turns out that slacklining is really great for building core strength and good for overall muscle toning. Slacklines are pretty inexpensive and easy to set up. You can also find many slackline classes in various town.
- Find your local stairs. No matter where you live, there’s going to be a destination that’s known for its stairs. Maybe it’s a park or perhaps it’s a stadium that’s open to the public during certain hours. Walking or running stairs is a high-intensity workout that requires endurance, strength, and agility. Plus, going down the stairs is one of the best weight-bearing exercises you can do.
- Learn to swim (or swim better). Swimming is renowned as a premium exercise because it’s a full-body cardio workout, but it’s gentle on the joints. If you prefer to avoid exercise that’s rough on the knees and ankles, grab your goggles and go for a swim. Check local recreation facilities for adult classes that range from beginner to advanced. It’s never too late to learn how to swim, or to learn how to swim better.
- Find a local AcroYoga class in the park. There are so many outdoor fun Acro classes these days. Many towns and city’s these days have Acro meet ups where you can join in and learn to play.
- Join the local climbing gym. Climbing is a super fun way to meet new people and get fit while having fun! Or take it outside and hire a guide. There are so many guiding services out there now a days to get you out and into the outdoors. Check it out! And if you need a recommendation, just ask. We have lots of friends in many climbing areas.
If it’s fat burning cardio you’re after, remember to maintain your target fat loss range (65 percent of your maximum heart rate). An easy way to find this target is to calculate 65 percent of 208 – (your age) x .07. You’ll be surprised to find that you don’t need to work nearly as hard as you think to get to the fat burning zone. A lot of people assume their maximum heart rate is the “best” because that’s when they’re sweating the most and out of breath. Understanding your fat loss range can also be a tool to help you get creative with exercise and stick to it on a more regular basis. The world is your playground. Where will you get your workout on?