We often think of exercise as aerobics or running. We never associate fun things with exercise, but you can get out, have a good time and get a good workout at the same time. Having fun activities can help you achieve all of the benefits of a fitness program without signing up for a gym membership or donning a pair of running shoes?
For some of these activities, if you are in really poor shape you may want to do something else until you’re ready for these. If you’ve been inactive for a long time, these “fun” activities could feel like they are going to kill you.
When the sun is out and the air is warm, there’s no reason to stay inside. These four activities are fun ways to spend your summer days, and they’ll get you in shape fast.
* Swimming. Swimming is an all-around shaper. It gives you great tone from head to toe. And during the warm summer months it’s also a fun way to cool off. Additionally, swimming is a wonderful aerobic exercise that strengthens your heart and lungs. If you’re in really bad shape, you can simply walk around the shallow end of the pool. Swim for a minute or two and then go back to walking. This is one of those exercises that is really easy to take your time and improve your endurance over time.
* Tennis. Tennis is actually great for the abdominals, back, shoulder and arm muscles. And if you’re playing someone with a great serve, you’re going to get some legwork in too. Tennis is fun, inexpensive and it’s a social exercise. You can play a friend during lunch and both get a great workout in.
This is one you may want to be careful with. It can be really active, but have no fear, you can start off light just playing by yourself and hitting a ball against the wall. This can help you build up strength and endurance without completely wearing you out.
* Skateboarding or inline skating. Any activity that requires the human body to stay upright while balancing on wheels is going to be great for the core muscles. Additionally, both skateboarding and inline skating are good for shaping the rear end, thighs and lower legs. All that pushing off the ground so you can pick up speed is an exceptional muscle shaper.
* Bike riding. You don’t need to put on a pair of bike shorts and ride the Tour de France to get great legs or glutes. Riding your bike casually around town is an excellent and very healthy activity. Plus with all of the cool cruiser bikes that are available, you can look great doing it too. Next time you need to run to the store, library or just want to get some fresh air, jump on your bike. You’ll get a great workout while you’re out and about. Don’t forget to wear a helmet.
When the days get cooler, we tend to head indoors. That’s okay. There’s plenty of fun to have indoors as well.
* Basketball. If you love team sports then it just doesn’t get much better than basketball. It’s great for your entire body from your shoulders to your calves. Join a league or catch a pick-up game during lunch.
* Dancing. There’s something simply joyful about dancing. When you move your body you not only tap into that expressive side of yourself, you’re also getting in shape. It doesn’t matter what kind of dancing you enjoy. Square dancing, ballroom dancing or getting funky with some hip hop – it’s all good for your body, spirit and mind.
* Snowboarding or skiing. Hit the slopes for a good workout. You’ll strengthen your core, build strong legs and you can even get in a good aerobic workout. Cross-country skiing is in fact one of the highest calorie-burning activities you can do.
* Walking. If the weather permits, walking is a great way to have fun and get into shape. You may think of it as exercise, but if you do it with a buddy it won’t feel like exercise. In fact, it’ll simply be a nice visit with a friend. You can also go to a mall and do mall walking. This is extremely popular in some areas of the country. Some malls even open the main doors extra early so people can come in and do mall walking. You’re there for the health benefits, but you can also do some window shopping as you stroll past the different shops.
It doesn’t matter what the weather’s like; there’s always a fun way to tone your body without feeling like you’re “exercising.” Find an activity that you like to do, ask others to join you and have a blast getting in shape and toning your body.