If many of us are being honest, we don’t like the idea of exercise. This is evidenced by how many Americans are considered sedentary or inactive. Part of this is likely due to the fact that exercise often feels like work––it doesn’t feel particularly enjoyable. But many activities that people do all the time are actually great ways to exercise. This is important, because if you find an activity that you enjoy doing, you will be less likely to skip being active. And the more active you are, the more likely you are to glean the health benefits of exercising. Here are some activities that are fun but also great exercise:
Hiking is a great way to break a sweat, get into nature, clear your mind, and stay active. Hiking is a great activity, because it is so versatile; you can do it anywhere––even if its an urban hike––you can enjoy it alone or in groups, and you can go at your own pace. Hiking certainly beats a treadmill for most people and is a great way to stay active without feeling like you “working” out.
Snow or Water Skiing
These certainly require specific climates and equipment, but snow skiing (or snow boarding) and water skiing are great workouts for your lower body (and upper in the case of water skiing). Any of these are bound to get your heart rate up, which is beneficial for cardiovascular health. The added benefit is pretty scenery and the ability to enjoy these activities with friends.
Jumping in the pool can be refreshing and relaxing, but swimming some laps is a great way to get your heart rate up and work muscles out throughout the body. The benefit to swimming is that it removes pressure from joints that might otherwise ache under the force of activities outside of the water. Regardless, swimming is both fun and a great exercise.
You don’t have to be decked out in full Tour de France garb to enjoy the exercise afforded by a good bike ride. An afternoon bike ride with the family can be a welcome stress relief and a good way to get some exercise. Even a leisurely ride can work your leg muscles and get your heart rate up.
A chore for some, a hobby for others, working in the yard can be great exercise. Whether it is landscaping, mowing, or moving heavy things around, working in the yard is a simple way to get out of the house and be active. The added benefit is a great looking yard!
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