By Matilda Davies
Most healthy adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise of 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week. Exercise fights stress, anxiety, and depression, can help you get better sleep, boost your heart health, improve brain function, build muscle strength and definition, maintain a healthy weight, and even reduce the risk of some diseases and cancers.
But getting your exercise in doesn’t have to mean a pricey gym membership, rigorous schedules, and boring workout classes. There are plenty of fun and creative ways to help you move more in your everyday life. Here are 32 of them.
- Go skating
Roller skating or ice skating, this is a sport that will seriously work your quads and core and provide some serious cardio.
- Instead of meeting for coffee or drinks, meet for a walk
It’s easy to get into the routine of a daily happy hour. But instead of making drinks or coffee your social outlet, meet friends for a run or a walk, go to a yoga or barre class together. Anything but just sitting!
Turn up the music and dance in the comfort of your own home. Search Spotify or YouTube for wedding reception playlists—those tunes will certainly get you moving.
I loathe vacuuming, but I always break a sweat! Ten to twenty minutes of vacuuming can work your arms, core, and give you a little cardio as well: you can burn as many as 119 calories in 30 minutes.
- Binge a show
Binge a great new TV series or podcast while you walk or run on a treadmill, pedal a stationary bike, or do some calisthenics.
- Walk to the coffee shop, bar, grocery store, drugstore, restaurant, etc.
The next time you have an errand to run, ask yourself if you can walk instead. This lets you enjoy the outdoors and save on carbon emissions too.
- Park farther away
If you can’t safely and reasonably walk to your destination, park farther away when you do get there and get the cardio between car and store.
- Jump on a trampoline
If you don’t have a trampoline of your own, grab a friend and hit a trampoline gym for an afternoon of childlike fun.
- Take the dog for a walk
Make it a habit to take the dog for a walk every day. Make an appointment with your favorite podcast or audio book and bring fido along for the journey.
- Hula hoop
Hula hooping is an aerobic activity that can help you meet your fitness goals, especially if you can do it for at least 10 minutes at a time. Put on some music, queue up a TV show, or head outside and hoop away.
- Take a family bike ride
Instead of crashing on the sofa for a movie this weekend, grab the kids and go on a bike ride.
- Power clean
Take ten to twenty minutes and clean your house as fast as you can. You’ll get in a work out and walk away with a clean house. win-win.
- Go on a scavenger hunt
Go on a scavenger hunt in a park, your neighborhood, or city. The only rule is that you can’t use a car, bus, or train—walking, biking, skating, or running only.
- Binge a podcast or audio book
The next time you find a great podcast or download an audio book, save it for a walk or a jog. This will leave you excited to get moving so you can indulge in the latest installment.
- Climb a tree
Get in touch with your inner kid and climb a tree! The next time your kids want to go outside to play, join them. Move and bond over the challenge.
- Play Wii
Make video games healthy by playing Wii Sports, which lets you play tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing all from the comfort of your own home.
- Join a rec sports league
Make moving social by joining a rec sports league. You can find adult baseball, kickball, basketball, soccer, and even running groups where you can make new friends and move while you’re at it.
- Make a phone call and walk
Call a friend or family member to catch up. As long as you’re on the phone, go for a walk and enjoy the outdoors and some vitamin D.
- Explore your city
Find your local tourism board’s website and get the scoop on what you’ve been missing in your own hometown. Walk an historic neighborhood or check out an historic home, explore a museum, restaurant hop, or visit local shops.
- Go to a museum
Spend a day at the museum, wandering the exhibits. Bonus points because you’ll be moving and learning at the same time.
- Play a pick-up game
Hit up your local park and jump in on a game of soccer, frisbee, or basketball. You might even make a few new connections during the game.
- Take a dance class
Samba, rumba, salsa, hip hop, ballroom, ballet, swing, waltz, tango, foxtrot, mambo, chacha. There’s no limit to the number of dance classes you can try, no matter your taste.
- Go paddle boating
Grab a date, find a local park, and rent a paddle boat. Get a little sun and work your legs in this relaxing lake activity.
- Go paddle boarding
Paddle boarding is an incredible core workout, and also works your legs, arms, and shoulders, improves, and is perfect for the watersports lover.
- Hit the batting cages
Hit the batting cages for a couple rounds of America’s favorite pastime. Most batting cages will offer baseball and softball pitching. Bring a friend or a date and make it a competition.
- Play with the dog
Dogs are social animals and need your attention. Make sure you give your dog attention beyond just daily walks. The next time your binging your favorite TV show, spend at least one episode playing tug of war or just roughhousing with your pup.
- Take a kickboxing class
Kickboxing is a great way to burn off some serious steam and get in a great upper body workout.
- Take a self-defense class
Check your local YMCA or community center for a self-defense class. More bonus points here because you’re learning something new and moving too.
- Go to the pool
Hit the pool with a friend. Even if you’re not swimming laps, treading water while chatting is a great way to move more. If it’s a neighborhood pool, remember to walk!
- Take a hike
Explore the great outdoors and take a hike. If you’re not sure where to start, contact your local parks and rec department who can point you in the right direction and connect you with guided hikes.
- Go horseback riding
Horseback riding can improve coordination, core strength, muscle definition, and quick thinking. This is a mode of movement that is great for physical and mental stimulation.
Matilda Davies is a health and wellness writer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. In her free time, you can find her walking her dogs, hiking, and doing yoga.