Exercise is an important part of weight loss and a healthy lifestyle, but if the term “exercise” summons images of endless hours at the gym, think again! There are plenty of ways to make exercise a part of your life that are not only fun, they’ll actually make you look forward to getting those workouts in.
Try one of these five tips to make working out work for you:
1. Take a class.
There is a nearly endless list of classes out there to suit just about any interest – and a surprising number of them don’t meet anywhere near a gym. Depending on what’s available where you live, you can have fun and burn calories by taking outdoor classes, such as rock climbing, paddle boarding or even horseback riding. For a gym style workout class that is still outdoors, there are outdoor boot camp-style exercise classes, for instance.
- However, if you do prefer to exercise in a more climate-controlled environment, there is an array of classes offered at your local gym, ranging from spinning to step aerobics, dance classes and beyond. Martial arts or self-defense classes are not only a fun exercise option, but also teach you important skills you can use to protect yourself.
2. Get competitive.
You don’t have to be in high school or on a professional sports team to enjoy the benefits of competitive sports. Signing up with local intramural teams is not only a great technique to have fun and exercise, it can also help you meet new people and let your competitive streak out.
- Not into team sports? That’s okay, too. Training for races such as triathlons or foot races of varying lengths is also an effective way to stay motivated and enjoy your workouts. Even better, many races benefit local charities, so when you participate you’re not only improving your fitness, you’re helping out others as well.
3. Get a Fitness Buddy.
Part of the reason classes are both a fun and effective exercise option is because you’re not going it alone. When you get all your friends moving with you, it’s a lot easier to keep moving yourself.
- If you don’t have any close friends available nearby, grab your closest classmate or roommate and make a deal to exercise together at least three times a week. Take turns picking activities, or make a list of quick exercise ideas and inspirations.
4. Count it out.
Pedometers are a fantastic way to keep track of how many steps you’re taking throughout the day. According to James O. Hill, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado at Denver, adding just 2000 extra steps a day to your usual activity level can keep the pounds off.
- Watching your steps add up on a pedometer is fun, because you probably already walk more than you think. Seeing immediate results by watching the numbers increase as you go about your day is extremely motivating. Before long, you’ll be finding ways to add steps to your day to see how quickly you can reach your goal number.
5. Enlist a furry friend.
Fido needs exercise just as much as you do, after all. Walking your dog means walking yourself and that’s good for both of you. The benefits of dog walking go beyond simply adding steps to your day (aren’t you glad you have that pedometer with you now?). According to a recent article on WebMD, multiple studies have shown that pet ownership can help reduce depression and elevate mood, in addition to improving overall health and well-being. That alone is reason enough to take your four-legged friend for a stroll.
- Don’t have a dog? Volunteer to walk a friend’s dog or even better, volunteer as a dog walker at your local animal shelter. Who knows? You may just find yourself a permanent companion.
Exercise Doesn’t Have to be a Chore
California weight loss programs can be an extremely effective way to lose those stubborn pounds, but it also helps to have a program that you love. With these five tips, you’re sure to find multiple ways to fit exercise into your life and enjoy it as well!
About the Author: Andi Walker is a contributing blogger and exercise enthusiast. When not blogging about wellness-related issues, Walker enjoys anything and everything outdoors, especially rock climbing.