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Get Fit Without Exercising

Instead of boring yourself for 30 minutes while you run on a treadmill, try thinking of more creative ways to exercise. There are many ways to get fit while you have fun, so you won’t even feel like you’re working out. Here are some of my favorites:

 1. Dance class
From the waltz to the salsa, all forms of dancing are great for your mind and body. WebMD notes that dancing is good for your heart and improves strength, balance, and coordination. As you learn the choreography and form, it will challenge your brain, giving it a workout, too. A 30-minute dance class burns up to 250 calories, about the same as jogging. You can take a class at a studio alone or with a group of friends. If you would rather stay home, you can purchase an instructional DVD or watch a video online.

 2. Dog walking
Dogs are known as man’s best friend, and they provide excellent companionship for their owners, which results in lower stress levels. A study by Michigan State University found that dogs also have the benefit of increasing exercise in their owners. The study showed people who walked their dogs generally walked about an hour longer per week than people who didn’t walk their dogs. Walking with your dog encourages you to go the extra mile! If you don’t have your own dog, no worries. There are a lots of people–from senior citizens to busy professionals to overscheduled parents–who need help walking their dogs. Consider becoming a dog walker as a side job. That way you can reap the physical benefits and make some money in the process. 

 3. Hiking
Hitting the trail will burn some major calories. According to Huffington Post, just one hour can burn more than 500 calories. You can intensify your calorie burning by increasing the incline and the weight of your backpack, so it’s a great option if you want to start slow and gradually increase to keep challenging yourself. You may think it’s the uphill climb that’s giving you the workout, but resisting the downhill pull is a workout too. Of course, there is also the added benefit of enjoying the beauty of nature and a breath of fresh air. Instead of taking your next date out for dinner, consider a nice hike with a picnic at the end.

 4. Trampolining
Bouncing up and down on a trampoline might seem like playtime, but it can also give you a solid cardio workout while simultaneously providing a strengthening exercise. A study by the American Council on Exercise found that jumping on a mini trampoline 19 minutes was equivalent to running, biking, or playing a game of football. Although trampolining was found to be moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise for the body, the participants ranked it as feeling like a light-to-moderate intensity exercise. Basically, the workout felt easier than it really was. Dr. John Porcari, an author of the study, credits this to the trampoline making the activity less jarring for the muscles. He adds, “The enjoyment factor may make things easier, as well.”

 5. Laser tag
Running around and dodging laser bullets is sure to get your adrenaline and heart pumping. With an intense game of laser tag, you are definitely getting in cardio. You’re also working your upper body by carrying the equipment and the constant raising and lowering of the gun. Since most teams also develop a strategy, you’re working your brain too. Next time your group of friends wants to enjoy a fun night together, consider laser tag as an alternative to more sedentary options like watching a movie.

6. Yoga
Not only is yoga a great way to exercise, but it also stretches and strengthens your muscles, and it aids in recovery from other forms of physical activity. Yoga doesn’t have to just be on a mat at home, either. Yoga studios offer a variety of classes (think hot yoga or power yoga) for all levels. And for the truly adventurous, there is stand-up paddle board yoga, which challenges your balance as you float on water, and even yoga events AND festivals, which offer up to weekend-long yoga-centric activities that are not only great opportunities to exercise, but also a fun way to meet people, inspire yourself and make awesome memories!

If you want to perform push-ups and crunches as a form of exercise, you certainly can. But if you want excitement from exercise, try thinking of an activity you enjoy, such as hiking or yoga, and make the most of it! You really can have fun while you burn calories and get in shape!

Author: Paige Johnson

Paige Johnson loves everything fitness. From strength training to running to yoga, she infuses her workouts with variety and encourages others to do so as well. She writes about her own fitness journey and provides advice to others on LearnFit.org.