The health reports are looming. Obesity is on the rise and the latest diet fads say that eating too many carbs is bad for you. With most of us, we have received the message but are tired of the same old diets and the same old grind at the gym. Burnout is a common symptom of doing the same routine over and over and people tend to give up and quit going. Or maybe it’s been years since you’ve been to the gym or had a workout. Maybe it’s just seemed too daunting, or boring, or you don’t have time.
It’s easy to make excuses, but we do know for sure that we need to get up and move around to take care of our bodies and our minds. But how do we do this when we work at a desk for eight or more hours a day? It’s simple. All it takes is to think outside your fitness box to find new and innovative ways to incorporate fitness into your daily routine. Get your body moving in ways that you have never imagined and, chances are, that you’ll enjoy and you’ll be much happier for it.
- Take a Dance Class. Find a local dance studio in your community and start with a beginner’s course. Even if dancing doesn’t appeal to you, or you’re a bad dancer, moving around the dance floor is going to help burn calories. And the dance practices alone are going to help shed the pounds. Your muscles will awaken as you move your body in new ways and as you get your creative movement flowing your mind will open and enjoy the process as well.
- Get Outside. If you have a dog, get in a routine of taking your pooh for long, daily walks around your neighborhood. This benefits both you and your pet. If you enjoy tennis, basketball or swimming, look for a facility where you are able to take advantage of this and join a league. We’re not meant to stay in one spot for long hours each day. Get up and get out of your house, even if it’s tossing a frisbee to your kids in the backyard. You’ll burn more calories playing volleyball or catch in your backyard than you would watching a movie on your television.
- Go to a Yoga Class. There are dozens of styles when it comes to yoga. But, above all else, this type of exercise provides your body with more strength and energy. You’ll get stronger ab muscles, tone your legs and arms, and strengthen your core. While you are doing yoga, your body and mind enters a peaceful and relaxed state. Bonus: Yoga poses help get rid of muffin tops and other troublesome areas.
- Jump rope. Rewind back to your childhood days. This is an easy workout to get in and you don’t need fancy equipment. Jumping rope can be done anywhere and anytime. Just 10-15 minutes has the potential to burn up to 200 calories. Try to jump rope each day, while adding an extra minute each day. Over time, y body tones up. Jumping rope is one of the best cardio exercises out there…and it’s fun!
- Try Karate. for an adult karate classes at your local martial arts center. Karate offers the opportunity to learn self-defense too. Participating in martial arts teaches you mental focus and being in the present moment which gives you the bonus of toning your mind as well as your body.
- Play the Name Game. This is where each letter is assigned an exercise. Let’s say your name is Angie. A = 10 jumping jacks, N = 15 push-ups, G = 10 squats, I = 15 donkey kicks and E = 15 crunches. Each letter can be any exercise of your choosing with the quantity of your choosing. However, you have to do the exercises within your letter. If you want to spice it up, put two choices under each letter. For instance, A = 10 jumping jacks or 15 burpees. This gives you options. It may also be fun to have different choices for each day to keep exercise from going stale.
- Do the Popsicle Stick Workout. This is similar to the name game but different colored popsicle sticks represent different types of exercise. For instance, green popsicle sticks may be weight-lifting exercises while blue popsicle sticks may be cardio exercises. Or you can include other activities like ride a bike, go for a swim or hike, or take the dog on a walk. Store these sticks in a container and pull them out at random.
- Add Technology to Your Exercise Routine. These days there are all kinds of different apps that allow you to enhance your exercise experience. Add a new app each week to track your exercise, stream your favorite workout music, watch an instructional yoga video, or measure your steps or how far you ran. There are even apps that track your sleep and heart rate. There’s no end to the variety of ways to incorporate technology into your daily body movement goals.
- Have a Friend Join You. Make a commitment to exercise with a friend at least several times a week. Studies show that people stick to their workout goals longer when they have someone they are accountable to for showing up. Plus, the time goes by much more quickly when you spend it talking and socializing with another person than if you were by yourself!
Add Time to Play. If you have kids, set time aside to play with them. Go down the slip and slide with them and swing on their swing set. Not only does it feel fun to be silly and playful, but it’s a great opportunity to be present with your children. If you don’t have kids, think of things you used to enjoy as a child. Go to the park and swing, fly a kite, or play whiffle ball. You could also skip around, use a hula hoop, jump on a trampoline, or roller skate. It may seem awkward and goofy at first, but your inner child will thank you for playing and you might realize that it’s nice to take time for fun and not take life so seriously all the time.