Staying fit is a struggle. As we age, our bodies like to remind us that things aren’t as easy as they used to be, whether that’s staying limber and not getting hurt or simply keeping off extra weight.
On top of that, if you’re in the corporate world, you may find yourself sitting at your desk daydreaming about having your high school bod back. But the truth is, things will never be the same as when you were playing two varsity sports and only having the mild stress of upcoming tests lingering in your brain. Adult life means trying to balance your job(s), commuting, having a social life, and any other family or life responsibilities you may have, along with having to sleep at some point. It’s very easy to let attention to fitness slip right off your list.
“That’s easy,” you say. “I’ll just get a gym membership.”
But are you likely to actually use that membership? How far from where you live or work is your gym? Many people who sign up for memberships never use them, or use them once and never go back because it just doesn’t fit into their daily lifestyle. And if you’re in the group of people who hate the idea of ever setting foot in a gym, then the challenge of staying fit is even more monumental.
The basic standbys people think of when exercise is mentioned, like lifting weights or running, are boring and tedious, so people just don’t make time for them. We’ve set out on a mission to find fun exercises that are easier to fit into your lifestyle, no matter what you like.
In no particular order, here are seven exercises that don’t suck.
I’m not saying that you have to join Nana’s water aerobics class at the community pool, but spending time in the water working against its resistance is a great low-impact exercise for people of any age. Spend some time swimming around or try these water workouts, and you’re sure to feel like a child at heart while working on your heart. Handstands and cannonballs are welcome.
2. Join your Office Pick-Up Team
From softball to basketball to kickball, team sports are always a good way to stay social and active. Remember that time Jan from Accounting took a volleyball to the face? Yeah, so do we. Those are the kinds of memories that make the workday more enjoyable. And it doesn’t hurt to get to know your co-workers a little better than just looking at the decorations on their desk. Bonus points if your work doesn’t currently have a sports club and you get it started.
3. Wii Sports
If real sports aren’t your thing, you might be interested in video games, and Wii Sports will get you off the couch and moving without having to know very much about sports themselves. It also greatly reduces the risk of being hit by flying equipment, but use that wrist strap on the controller if you are extra accident-prone. With over 82 million copies of the game sold (it was included in most console bundles), chances are pretty good you know someone who owns Wii Sports. So, on top of getting your arms pumping trying to return a serve in tennis, you can challenge that friend you borrowed the game from to a tournament for bragging rights. Or more, if you’re the gambling type. Just make sure to practice your 100-pin bowling before shaking on the deal.
4. Go to the Zoo
Outdoor venues are the perfect way to sneak in exercise without really thinking about it. The Detroit Zoo is situated on 125 acres of land, and just following the outside loop of the trail will put 1.7 miles on your pedometer for the day. You’ll be so excited to see what the camels and lions are up to that you won’t even think about the fact it’s also good for your body. This concept works for other outdoor activities as well, like going to Greenfield Village, heading to a cider mill, or really anything else you can think of that is set on a large plot of land.
Dancing of any type is excellent cardio. The beauty of zumba is that you don’t have to plan anything, just show up and follow the leader. And because everyone else is also following the instructor, no one will be paying attention to you. Anyone can get great results from these classes, because you get out of it what you put in; every movement can be made smaller or bigger depending on how much energy you have. The key is to just keep moving. The more often you go, the easier it gets, and the sassier you can be about it.
6. Go Clubbing
Yes, we’re going from dancing to dancing, but trust me, these are very different activities. Clubbing is not for the faint of heart, and may be of more interest to younger, thirstier crowds. Unlike zumba, people will be staring at you, but that’s an even better reason to shake your rump like there’s no tomorrow. And for the ladies, choosing those multiple inch heels will surely help you feel the burn the next day. Clubbing is really the ultimate I wasn’t trying to exercise, but it happened activity.
7. Have Sex
This might be a bit heavy-handed to put on the list right after clubbing, but hey, Saturday nights happen. On any day of the week, though, this activity is a favorite of many people, and is both social and fun. Just make sure you’re not letting your partner do all the work if you want to see aerobic benefits. The internet is already full of interesting ways to engage in this activity, so I won’t go into detail here, but this one certainly should never get boring.
Do you have any other fun exercises that didn’t make the list? Shout out in the comments so we can all have an easier time on our fitness journeys, and perhaps actually enjoy getting in shape.