Fitness and Exercise Ways to Exercise if You Don’t Want to Work Out

June 29, 2020

Video games
You can fence, box, dance, and play virtual tennis, basketball, and other sports. In one study, people who walked, ran and climbed on special mats in a fantasy role-playing game did more exercise than they did in the same amount of time they spent on a treadmill. As a bonus, if you play active games, you’re more likely to do more “non-game” sports.

Want to accomplish two things at once? If you wash and wax your car, clean your sink, or mop or vacuum your floors, you’ll get a “moderate” workout. This will help you get in better physical shape, and a clean car or house may also boost your mental health.

You may not think of it as exercise, but if you dig, bend and clip in the garden for 30 minutes or so, you’ll get a good workout. And it might even make you feel better. If you don’t have a plot of your own, consider volunteering at a community garden. They may need help.

You’ll burn 5 calories per minute, the same amount as a brisk walk. And you’ll use about the same amount of oxygen if you’re raking leaves. Plus, research suggests that it may help prevent heart disease, though that only seems to be true if you’re in a healthy relationship.

treasure hunt
If you like to go for walks with a purpose, you can look online for secret “geocaches” in cities, parks or along hiking trails. You follow the clues, usually GPS coordinates, to track them down. You can find a prize in the cache or sign your name in your journal to prove you were there.

It can be social and it’s a lot of fun, even if you do it yourself. It works your muscles and strengthens your heart and lungs. It can also get you pumped up. All you need is a little music to get you up to speed.

Take the meeting with you.
When you need to talk to a colleague, go for a walk on the trail (or sidewalk) and kill two birds with one stone. You’ll get some exercise, and it may make your meeting more creative. Just keep it to no more than two or three people. It’s hard for more people to actually participate.

Join the team
Regardless of your interest or skill level, there may be a sports league in your area that is right for you. You will be unlikely to skip out because your teammates will expect you to attend training sessions and competitions. And the heat of competition may make you forget you’re getting exercise.

outdoor sports
If you love being outdoors but don’t want to play in a league, head to the park for a game of catch, no matter what the sport: soccer, ultimate frisbee, touch football. Even playing catch will get you moving.

indoor sports
Don’t want to deal with the heat or cold? Indoor games can get your competitive juices flowing, such as basketball, squash or volleyball. You can also play many “outdoor sports” indoors – such as swimming, soccer and tennis.

interval training
Just three 20-second “sprint” intervals – such as running or cycling – seem to have about the same benefits as a 50-minute jog. Even with warm-ups, cool-downs and breaks between intervals, it’s only 10 minutes, whereas running takes nearly an hour. If you haven’t exercised in a while, ask your doctor about it and start slowly.

bat cage
If you’re on a team, you can either practice your swing for the team, or relive the glory days of your youth. Either way, you’re probably going to have to concentrate so hard on the balls coming at you that you won’t have time to think about how you’re getting some exercise. Just be sure to wear a helmet.

This doesn’t have to be a special trip to the store. Park in the back of the parking lot when you go to the store. Walk up to your co-workers and tell them something in person instead of sending an email. When you take out the trash or pick up the mail, keep walking around the block. All of these steps add up.

martial arts (in former times)
Exercise your body and learn how to protect yourself at the same time. It helps you focus and may keep your brain sharper than sports like running. And “light” contact type sports like karate, judo, and taekwondo are pretty safe compared to other sports, as long as you’re training with a qualified instructor.

zombie run
You say you only run when something is chasing you? Well, that can be arranged. Zombie courses usually have obstacles to cross, or a creek to run across, possibly on mud-covered trails. If that’s not incentive enough, members of the Living Dead watch from secret locations and jump out to steal your vital organs (in the form of flags) as you try to finish the race.