10 Fun Ways to Get Active

I believe that the first step in taking care of your body is abandoning your excuses. We all seem to have an abundance of them. Mine like to make appearances on Mondays. These excuses may include "Oh I don't think taking a rest day...week will make a difference" and my personal favourite, "Running on a treadmill for an hour just isn't my thing". There is much more to being active and accelerating your heart rate than running on a treadmill or using the elliptical. You don't have to hit the gym at all to get an applause worthy sweat session. Below are ten fun ways to be active that increase your motivation to work out. 

1. Dancing
There are plenty of easily accessible dance forms out there. Yes, even for those of us who are rhythmically challenged, per se. Unfortunately, a common misconception among those who aren't 'good' dancers is that you have to be a prima ballerina to step foot in a studio. You need to find the right kind of environment for yourself. If everyone attending the class is only worried about having fun you'll enjoy yourself and leave a happy, sweaty mess. The bottom line is that dancing is fun and can burn calories just as well as going for a jog. If you live near a recreational or community centre you can join Zumba or Salsa classes at an affordable rate. I recommend joining a class with a friend or two for laughs. If you aren't looking to spend too much on dance classes you can follow along to YouTube videos at home. Insecure about the way you look when you're dancing? A simple solution would just be to close the door. Then lock it and throw away the key. Eventually you'll be confident enough to show off your newly honed skills on a real dance floor. 

2. Joining a workout class
Maybe a trainer yelling at you to jump higher on your burpees is more your speed. You can't argue that it gets your adrenaline flowing. All jokes aside working out with a trainer in a controlled environment is extremely effective. It increases your focus and makes you work harder as well. Partly due to the fact that you're trying to out sweat your classmates and vying for the approval of the instructor. Everyone's guilty of it. You see the girl beside you squatting to a ninety-degree angle so you do ninety-one. 

3. Working out with friends
It can be a lot harder to scoff at sit ups when you have an obligation to your best friend to work out together. Find a gym buddy who is willing to pump iron with you on a regular basis to ensure that you don't dismiss your workouts. You'll be able to motivate each other and make progress together. You'll become stronger as well as your friendship. As an added bonus you'll be able to try out some really fun partner workout moves that make for challenging and interesting sessions.

4. Going for a hike
If you're a nature buff then the birds chirping and sun shining will make what might seem like a workout to others an adventure. This also applies to breaking a sweat outdoors in general. You may want to bring an extra water bottle or two along because you will definitely perspire more than you would indoors. Note this approach will only work all year round if you live in a perpetually warm place. Maybe try a cardboard cutout of a tree for the colder months. 

5. Biking
You can cover an awful amount of ground on a bike. You can bike to to a park, go for a walk, and then bike back. All the different routes you can take will be enough to mix it up so you don't find yourself stuck in a rut. Riding a bike for a couple kilometers is practically equivalent to spending some time at the gym on legs. This one applies to you nature junkies as well. Again, don't try this one in colder months due to the ice that may be on the sidewalk. 

6. Water Sports
Have you ever kayaked across a clear blue lake with the sight of an evergreen forest on  the shore? If you answered no then you're missing out. Now depending on where you live this one may or may not be feasible on a regular basis. Regardless I wanted to throw it in as a suggestion that you'll hopefully feel inclined to make a day out of. Drive over to a national park and rent a canoe or kayak for the day. Water skiing is also a fun activity that you might enjoy depending on your fondness of extreme sports. 

7. Swimming
You don't need to have a pool in your backyard to enjoy a swim. Community centres often house indoor pools and offer lane swims at a very reasonable price. If swimming laps seems boring you can always attend a fun swim. Bring a few friends along and play Marco Polo or Volleyball in the shallow end. You can also do the same thing at the beach. Resisting the waves at the beach might even count as added exercise. 

8. Making use of YouTube for introductions to new activities
I've always wanted to try my hand at Yoga. It seems like it requires a lot of skill though which can be daunting to anyone looking to learn something new. Thanks to the internet and YouTube in particular anyone can master a new skill over the course of a couple videos. 

9. Playing video games that make you move 
Who says video games have to be sedentary? There are a handful of video games that make you break a sweat. Just Dance, WiiFit, and Kinect Sports to name a few. They all boast a variety of different sports and workout routines that are guaranteed to leave you out of breath. You definitely won't feel bored with your fitness regime and will be able to add a few skills under your belt. 

10. Working out on a playground
Embrace your inner child and work out on a playground. The monkey bars and jungle gym are just as good as any gym you pay a monthly membership for. A lot of the same moves that involve body weight which you might execute using traditional equipment can be transferred to a playground. Just try not to get in the way of any kids who might be playing at the park. 

So throw your excuses to the wind because you aren't fooling anybody. Especially not yourself. There are plenty of creative ways to work out and get your heart pumping. Whether your idea of a workout is taking a long walk or doubling over in exhaustion while drenched in your own sweat. The world is your oyster. 


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