You probably have an Instagram feed full of #fitfam posts and friends that have jumped on the fitness wagon. You may have abandoned all free time for gym time and a DVR that’s full of motivating fitness programs that emphasize losing weight and keeping it off. These things probably make you want to get off the couch a little more often.
There is a catch, however. You also love to have a social life. You like trying new foods without counting calories and obsessing over whether that last bite will send you over the edge. You want to get or stay in shape, but you need a little balance. What you’re looking for is a non-workout workout. That’s right, it’s possible. You can get your heart pumping outside of the gym. In fact, you can do it without feeling like you’re working out at all. Sound too good to be true? Read on to find a few ways to incorporate workouts that don’t feel like workouts into your life.
1. Take It Outside
How many hours a week do you spend talking with friends on the phone? Are you lacking in this area? How many hours per week do you wish you could spend talking with friends on the phone? Chances are, you have some catching up to do.
There’s nothing wrong with laughing and reliving some old memories. Instead of making it happen on the couch or over a cup of coffee, why not take it outside? Remember, cellphones are designed to be portable. The next time you’re on the phone, go for a walk around the block. Walking burns 200-700 calories per hour, depending on speed and incline. Why not give it a go?
2. Learn Something New
Date nights are fun. They usually revolve around a form of entertainment and the table. They’re enjoyable; but they can also become mundane.
Don’t forgo the food on your next night out, but change up the entertainment feature by learning something new. By taking a swing dancing or couples yoga class, you can learn a new activity, have fun and burn a few extra calories at the same time.
3. Utilize Electronics
Who said video games have to be sedentary? In fact, today’s video games are often designed to be anything but that. If you enjoy digital entertainment and playing active roles you’d never attempt in real life, this is your solution.
Video game systems like the Nintendo Wii are designed to get players moving. From classic sports like boxing, golf and bowling to bringing your favorite animated characters to life, you can get a workout in your living room while earning a few bragging points when you reach new high scores. This is a true win-win.
4. Pick up a New Hobby
Maybe you’re stuck in a rut. You need to find a way to change up your routine. A good book or movie is great, but you could be doing more. By picking a new hobby like rock climbing, yoga, inline skating or something else altogether, you can work up a sweat while having fun, without clocking in at the gym.
5. Cool Off
There’s a universal truth about humans – we love the water. Maybe it’s because we’re made mostly of water; maybe it’s because of its calming qualities. Whatever it is, there’s just something about spending time in the pool.
Because it’s so enjoyable, you’ve probably not considered pool time to be sweat time, but the two can go hand in hand. By adding in a few laps or a game of pool basketball, you’ll be tricking yourself into a workout in no time.
6. Add Music and Speed to Chores
Cleaning your house is a necessity of life. Why not make it beneficial for more than just aesthetics? The average hour of house cleaning burns around 200 calories, but there’s no reason you can’t improve upon this.
To get started, add music. Put together a playlist of upbeat songs that make you want to move. From there, get going. Dance to the music and see how long it takes you to complete your chore list. Document it. Next time, try to improve your time without sacrificing quality. Cleaner house and a non-workout you can feel good about? Not bad.
7. Change Your Mode of Transportation
You probably have to work for a living. This might be within a few miles of your home or further. You also probably have a social life that includes meeting friends somewhere around your house. You probably jump in a car for either of these activities. Why not switch it up?
By investing in a new bike and using it instead of your standard vehicle as your primary mode of transportation when possible, you’ll be working out without trying to. Eventually you’ll learn how to time various distances appropriately and it will get easier; the more miles, the better.
8. Modify Your Happy Hour
Spending time with friends after a long workweek is essential. It’s a time to laugh, to unwind and to get yourself in weekend mode. Usually, this consists of drinks while sitting around a table. Now’s the time to make a change.
Gather your friends for an impromptu volleyball game at the local park or for something else that involves movement. Sure, drinks can be a part of the equation, but getting a good sweat in first is never a bad thing.
9. Go Explore
How many times have you actually explored what’s out there around you? Chances are, you’re surrounded by some form of nature that’s within a reasonable distance that includes trails, mountain paths or other areas that you have yet to explore.
You can increase your connection with nature, raise your heartbeat and feel a sense of accomplishment by getting outside and going on a hike. Want to increase your social credibility in the meantime? Take some epic pictures to boost your own social media feed. Beat that, gym-goers!
10. Relive Your Childhood
Chances are, when you were a child, you never worried about caloric intake, workouts or anything remotely related to them. You simply had fun. You went outside, you played on the playground, you jumped on trampolines. Bring some of those activities back to add a new workout to your routine. Start with a trampoline. Spend some free time each day jumping around and trying new stunts. Not only will you have a blast, you’ll also be expending extra energy.
Working out doesn’t have to include barbells, gym selfies and mundane treadmill workouts. Instead, by incorporating one or a few of the activities above into your routine, you’ll be having a little more fun and working out without realizing it.