We all know that exercise is good for our bodies. That’s a no-brainer. It's just doing it that makes it tough sometimes. Especially when it's too cold. Or too hot. Or you are tired or bored of your usual exercise. In fact, there are more excuses in the world not to exercise.
Usually, though, just shaking things up can help you out. Below are some ideas for shaking up your exercise routine or starting one. And they can be used by anyone – from those who exercise regularly and are just in a funk to those of us who use the excuses above (and some more creative ones as well) regularly instead.
Video games that move your body!
Video games like Dance Dance Revolution can really work up a sweat once you learn the basics. Some of them even have a work-out mode that tracks you’re the calories you spend. They are great for hanging out with your friends, too. And if you get really good, you can show off at the mall.
Volunteer that babysit that really hyper kid down the street – or how about a bunch of them. Just make sure that you plan energetic activities with them and get up and run around while you do it.
Go somewhere you’ve never been before (just make sure to go with a buddy and that it is okay with your parents before you go for safety reasons). Check out a local hiking or biking trail, walk through a museum, or sign up to go rafting. Usually, if you look, there are many places close to you that you have never been before and yet other people may travel for miles to get to.
Many places like Youth Centers, gyms, and YMCA’s have these neat walls with little rocks jutting out of them installed in their buildings. Often you can take a class for a fee and learn how to do this calorie-expending activity which simulates real rock climbing..
Pilates and Yoga
These Eastern-based forms of exercise and stretching are all the rage in Hollywood and around the country. They promote proper posture, good blood flow, stretching and toning as well as stress reduction. You can learn more by signing up for a class, watching and following a video or program on television (check out the early morning schedule on cable, there are usually a few at that time that you could record), or taking out a book from the library.
It seems that every form of exercise is on video these days – from Tae-Bo to kickboxing to aerobics to yoga and pilates. You can check out many from your local video store or library. Some are harder than others, but most of them have really good instruction and really burn the calories. Just make sure, if you are doing something that requires jumping, that the room is clear and you are on the first floor.
This is a fairly new form of treasure hunting that requires a GPS (global positioning system) which can be an investment initially but from what I have heard, it is really fun. Basically, you go online to discover geocaching clubs where they will give you the coordinates of sites nearby. These sites are where people have left “treasures” under different themes.
For example, one site may be a place where someone has left a video they no longer want. You go there and leave a video you no longer want and take the one that is there. There are others that have journals, photos and a variety of other themes. The calorie burning comes from walking (or hiking or climbing) to get to the cache.
Learn a New Sport
How about Cricket, LaCrosse, golf, or scuba diving? Try out something you have never tried before. And remember, calories don’t care how much skill you have and so you can be really bad at something at first but still be burning calories.
Take a Class
Like learning a new sport, taking a class can also be fun. What about taking salsa lessons from the local community center or tai-chi at the gym?
This is a neat way to spice up your regular routine especially if you cycle, walk or run. The basic premise is to first go slowly for a few minutes and then push yourself as hard as you can for a few minutes and then go back to an easier pace and to continue these “intervals” until the end of your work-out. There are a variety of ways to interval train depending upon how you want to do it.
Mop the floor
Yup, everyday household chores burn a heck of a lot of energy. Cleaning floors and painting burn the most calories, but cleaning the bathroom, doing dishes, and even making the bed burn calories as well.
Going to the Mall
Finally, just doing a few brisk laps around the mall burn up calories nicely as well. Just make sure not to stop and browse too long in any one place!
In the end, there are so many ways that you can make exercise fun and exciting. All you have to do is try!