It’s no secret that regular exercise helps you make faster progress to your weight loss goal. It’s also no secret that it can be hard to work up the motivation to break a sweat and get moving. But that doesn’t mean working out has to be a boring chore! In fact, with these 12 fun ways to exercise, you may even discover you enjoy it.
1. Partner up.
Exercising with a spouse, friend or neighbor helps the time pass as you chat while you’re moving. One study also found that when people participate in a synchronized activity (such as rowing) instead of exercising alone, their bodies release more endorphins (also known as “feel good” hormones) than when they are going solo. According to the researchers, who published their findings in Biology Letters, “This heightened effect from synchronized activity may explain the sense of euphoria experienced during other social activities (such as laughter, music-making and dancing) that are involved in social bonding in humans and possibly other vertebrates.”1
What’s more, having a partner helps you stick with your commitment to regular activity because you keep each other accountable and on track. If your partner is a member of your household, you can also join together on a weight loss journey by signing up for Nutrisystem’s partner plan.
2. Make a playlist.
Music can boost your mood and keep your mind occupied as you exercise. Choose songs for your workout playlist that are upbeat and fast-paced, so they lift up your energy level as you go. The ideal music for exercise has about 140 to 160 beats per minute. Some music streaming services even tag songs that match the tempo of your workout pace so you can easily identify them.2
3. Dance, dance, dance.
If you love to move your body to the rhythm of music, make dancing your workout. A 155-pound person burns about 108 calories during 30 minutes of doing a waltz and about 198 calories when square or disco dancing.3 For even more fun (and extra endorphins!), look for groups in your area that get together for line dancing.
4. Playground circuit.
If your kids (or grandkids) love to go on swings, the sliding board or do other playground activities, you can get in a quick and fun workout while they’re enjoying themselves. You can do all kinds of calisthenics using the equipment, from pushups or presses on the slide to flexed arm hangs from the monkey bars. A quick search online will provide you with tons of ideas for getting fit at the park using the swings, benches, slides and more.4
5. Play to lose.
Many outdoor games for kids keep you moving while you’re having fun with the family. Join with them as they play tag, kickball, hopscotch or any of their favorite games and everyone will go to bed tired and happy, while your metabolism stays active.
6. Ride a bicycle.
You never forget how to ride a bike or lose that joyful feeling of cruising around with the breeze in your face. Even at a modest pace, a 155-pound person burns 288 calories in 30 minutes of riding a bike.3 Many communities these days have bike trails where you can get away from car traffic and enjoy beautiful scenery as you pedal.
7. Break it up.
To get the benefits of regular exercise, you need to be active for 30 minutes a day. This can be difficult if you have a busy schedule or are just getting started with your fitness journey. That’s why we developed the My Daily 3 activity plan.
My Daily 3 is our way of tackling this recommendation in an easier way that works with your life. By incorporating three quick, 10-minute activity sessions throughout the day, you can still reap the benefits of regular exercise without making a 30-minute commitment all at once. For example, you could walk for 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch and 10 minutes in the evening. Even better, do 20 minutes of walking and 10 minutes of light training with resistance bands to build muscle.
8. Join a class.
Gyms now offer so many choices for fun classes, from Zumba to spin to kick-boxing. Sample a few of them to see if one gets you excited to come back for the next session. Look for lively instructors, who can make any kind of exercise more enjoyable.
9. Listen to a podcast.
Keep your brain busy while you’re exercising and time will fly by. Whether you love true crime stories, comedy, celebrity interviews, the latest news or just about any other topic, you can find podcasts that will hold your attention as you stay active. You can pick from a wide range of free podcasts available for any mobile device.
10. Buy an outfit.
When you look good, you feel good. Workout clothes today are more comfortable and more stylish than they used to be. Get yourself an outfit you’ll be excited to wear and you’ll look forward to exercising so you can put it on.
11. Set goals.
Challenge yourself to achieve goals you have to work a little to reach. Keep them simple, like walking 10 minutes without a break or going to the gym three times a week. Goals like these help you to focus on the process of regular activity as you get the benefits.
12. Reward yourself.
You know exercise has valuable long-term benefits for your weight loss goals, but you can make it pay off in the short-term with small rewards. Every week that you get in 30 minutes of exercise each day, for instance, you could treat yourself to a spa treatment. Thinking about the reward will keep you from being bored along the way to earning it.