The New Year usually sparks a few resolutions to get fit, lose weight, tone up and eat healthier. However, it isn’t long before many of these resolutions are forgotten, and we slip back into our usual routines.
But… it is possible to improve your fitness without it feeling like a chore, and you can do this at any time of year – no need to wait until New Year!
If the mere thought of pulling on some jogging bottoms and huffing and puffing your way around the block makes you shudder, or you’re of the many people who suffer from gym anxiety, then why not look at exercising in a different way? The most common reason why people hate the thought of exercising is that they don’t see it as fun.
Plus, you can get fit and healthy without breaking the bank and signing up for an expensive gym membership. While some people actually benefit from committing to going to the gym, others may not have the available time to exercise in a gym regularly.
The best way to add some exercise and move your body is to make it fun and enjoyable and feel like you are not working out intentionally at all!
Changing your mindset
Changing the way you look at physical exercise is the key to making working out fun. Just look at how young children run around burning energy, laughing, giggling and screaming as they go! Doesn’t that look fun?
What about when you play with your dog? Having a dog is a great way to get out for some fresh air and exercise every day, but does your dog stop having fun once you get back home? Dogs will jump about, throw their toys around and dive on them, and dash around the garden looking for squirrels at every opportunity.
Young children and dogs go to sleep each night after a full day of burning off energy and having fun at the same time. Why can’t you too?
Putting the fun back into movement
You don’t need to attend an organised aerobics class or get dressed up in snug-fitting lycra to work out. Try putting the fun back into working out by simply wearing some comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and merely letting your inner diva out in your living room!
Put on your favourite tunes, or play some iconic music videos on YouTube and rock out. Dance like no one is looking and have some fun.
Dance like a child – when do you ever see a child doing a calm side-step to some music? Never! Throw those arms in the air, spin around, jump up and down, sing into a hairbrush and pretend you are the star of the show.
You will suddenly notice that you are sweating after three or four epic songs, your heart is beating, and you are a little out of breath. You have used a lot of joints and muscles, burnt off some energy and had great fun while doing so.
Join in with the kids
If you have children, why not join them for a bit of playtime fun! Remember when you were a child and used to make play the centre of your day? Teach your kids hopscotch and run around the garden playing tag.
When it’s raining outside, why not play a game of pirates or hot lava. Use furniture, cushions and mats as islands to navigate the shark-infested seas (or boiling lava), that is the carpet or the floor.
Jumping around your house as the pirate chasing your kids is like playing indoor tag with obstacles. You will be leaping and balancing, stretching and squatting and be having a lot of fun at the same time.
Instead of simply going for a walk on fine days, why not get a kite and take your kids to the park for a fun day of kite flying. You often forget how much you need to run around while trying to launch a kite, so this is another excellent way to have fun while using your muscles and burning lots of energy.
Learn a new sport
You don’t need to go to the gym or take up jogging to get fit. You could take up a fun sport that is both physically demanding and mentally stimulating (such as yoga or pilates)– but also lots of fun!
The main problem with starting an exercise routine is that we can often get bored, especially if our chosen exercise routine is repetitive and doesn’t stimulate the mind.
By taking up a new sport, you get to learn about the history of the sport, the techniques involved, the best equipment to use and more. A game like tennis or badminton engages the mind as you need to constantly keep your eye on the ball or shuttlecock.
Sports such as football, volleyball, basketball, rounders and more are reactive sports. You react to the ball’s direction and respond with movements that come naturally and are not planned or prescribed. You literally are kept on your toes throughout the game, and your mind is engaged the whole time.
Strictly go dancing
With popular dancing shows drawing in huge viewing numbers on TV, Latin and ballroom dancing classes have never been so popular!
Whether you like the look of the foxtrot or prefer the lindy hop, there is a dance style out there that you can learn and get fit and have fun at the same time. Why not try something new each week until you find a dance style that you really love.
From boot-scooting country and western line dancing to traditional folk dancing, or even morris dancing, you can find some fun new dances to learn, with or without a partner! How do you fancy learning belly dancing? You will be amazed at how toned your midriff will become when you learn how to Bellydance.
Get into geocaching
Thousands of people love nothing more than pulling on a pair of walking boots and exploring the countryside. However, if navigating a muddy style and dodging muddy puddles doesn’t float your boat, why not try geocaching!
If you love a good treasure hunt, then you can combine walking in the great outdoors with a bit of puzzle-solving adventure. You can use the GPS on your smartphone to find hidden treasures in locations all over the country.
Each geo cash holds hidden treasures such as trinkets that you can take or add to, a logbook to sign, and sometimes an extra unique travelling item that is meant to be taken and moved to a new location.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to get fit and active without thinking of exercising as a burden or chore that needs to be done.
There is also no need to spend a fortune on an expensive gym membership and exercise clothes. Why not try one of our suggestions and find out how much fun you can have while getting fit at the same time