Make Fitness Fun: 8 Exercise Routines That Won’t Feel Like Work
When you were a kid, you probably spent the majority of your days running around, playing with friends, staying active, and finding fun ways to keep busy. It was exercise, but it never felt like it because you were having fun. If you’re starting to get tired of your same old treadmill routine, it may be time to add a little pep to your workout step. Why not start incorporating some routines that don’t feel like workouts? Try these eight fat-burning, calorie-blasting routines, which will bring you right back to your childhood days.
1. Boing with Kangoo
This class is offered at Crunch Gyms and requires you to strap on springy footwear. Shape writes that the futuristic looking shoes have springs on the bottom, ensuring you don’t put as much strain on your joints while you bounce, jog, and jump to fun music.
The bouncy shoes were originally designed to offer runners an easy-on-the-joints workout by reducing the impact of the workout by 80 percent, according to CBS Los Angeles.
“Everyone loves it. They say it’s super fun and it feels like they’re a kid again on the playground playing with friends. So this is not just for adults. They have sizes for children as well. It’s just a great workout,” Jasmine Artis, a fitness instruction, told CBS.
2. Martial Arts
Everyday Health writes that martial arts is a must-try if you’re looking for a workout that doesn’t actually feel like work. There are a lot of benefits associated with the self-defense practice, too. These moves incorporate strength, coordination, and mental discipline. A 150-pound person can burn about 340 calories for every 30 minutes they partake in karate, Aikido, or kickboxing. Just be sure you’re using proper training and equipment to ensure you remain injury-free, per Everyday Health.
3. Swing Set Fitness
Remember when you used to spend hours swinging at the park? Good news: this workout is all about swing sets. Total Beauty suggests trying Swing Set Fitness, which is a book and DVD-based exercise program. It’s designed to make you feel like a kid again by incorporating a swing set into your workout.
Try this move to see if swing set fitness is something you might enjoy. Push the swing to be about 45 degrees to the ground. Now hold the swing steady with your hands, bring your feet together, and do a set of inclined push-ups.
Hoping to resemble Rihanna or Jennifer Aniston? Stand up paddleboarding is the way to go. You can burn between 500 to 700 calories an hour, and the exercise requires you use a lot of core, back and arm muscles, according to Total Beauty.
If you want to amp up the calorie burn, perform moves on your paddleboard, such as modified push-ups, which will turn already challenging activities into extremely difficult moves. Hoping to work on your balance? Try incorporating a few yoga moves into your paddleboarding session.
“The reason so many people are drawn to paddleboarding is that it’s an amazing full-body workout that improves your core strength, cardio fitness, balance, and flexibility with virtually no impact,” Cody White, a certified PaddleFit instructor and co-founder, tells Men’s Fitness. “Plus, it’s fun to get out on the water and enjoy nature, so it hardly feels like exercise.”
5. Indo Winter Boarding
Here’s another workout offered at Crunch Gyms. If you love skiing, snowboarding, or surfing, this indoor class is a great alternative to heading to the nearest mountain or ocean. Shape writes that, “You’ll feel as if you’re boarding down a mountain without ever hitting the slopes.”
Here’s how it works: You’ll hop on an unstable Indo Board, resulting in improved strength and balance as you try to maneuver it throughout the class. You’ll also get perfectly sculpted legs and a lean, muscular body to match. Expect to burn about 500 calories in an hour when doing this routine.
“It’s similar to the Bosu ball because they’re both balance trainers, but the Indo Board surface is much more unstable, so you have to work your lower body harder to stay up,” Terrell Pruitt, Indo Board instructor at Crunch, tells Marie Claire.
A cross between racquetball, badminton, and tennis (without nets or walls involved), this workout will sculpt your arms and burn about 400 calories per hour, per Prevention. When playing, you’ll hit a speeder — which looks like a birdie used in badminton — back and forth using lightweight racquets. It will get you killer arms, a sculpted back, toned legs, and good hand-eye coordination.
This is something that can be done anywhere, too. You just need to get some equipment, and you can play on the street, beach, or even your own backyard. Prevention recommends bringing some chalk with you so you’re able to draw a court.
7. Ultimate Frisbee
A 150-pound woman can burn 572 calories playing ultimate Frisbee for an hour. This self-officiated sport can be compared to rugby, but it has one major difference: it’s played with a Frisbee instead of a ball. Leagues can be found pretty much anywhere, and it usually draws in a fairly laid-back crowd. The key to this game is coordination, so if you’re feeling a bit rusty, trying playing a few games with a pet or your kids first, Oprah suggests.
8. Circus Routines
Ready for a workout that lets you easily swing around? Here’s your chance. Many gyms offer circus-inspired workouts, which typically include a combination of tumbling, juggling, and trapeze work, according to How Stuff Works. There is one class that’s been endorsed and recommended by Cirque du Soleil, called Jukari Fit to Fly.
The Reebok-backed workout is offered at Equinox. The intense circus-inspired routine features circus equipment that’s been modified, so it’s easier and safer for people to use. It’ll tone your upper body and your core abdominal muscles as you happily fly through the air.
A Glamour review writes that, “We went through intervals of intense cardio (running through the studio on the Fly Set, jumping off the ground and getting the kind of adrenaline rush that only comes with flying), followed by periods of serious conditioning that brought our heart rates down but our glutes right up. We lunged, crunched, and pushed up, but none of it felt like a boring conditioning class, thanks to my fantasy that I was starring in Cirque du Soleil.”