There are days we all wake up and think about how we physically can’t bring ourselves to work out—much less figure out how to get in shape without a gym membership. For many of us, running is boring, and biking is a pain in the butt (literally). But working up a sweat doesn’t have to be a chore. There are a bunch of ways to get in shape without dreading the process. Here are some off-the-beaten path—but surprisingly effective!—workouts that can get you moving in a way that is fitness-friendly and actually fun.
1. Break Out The Frisbee
This leisurely beach activity isn’t just for fun in the sand. Toss a frisbee around in the backyard—and make sure you’re doing throws that require some movement and effort to catch. Or if you’re feeling extra motivated, gather a few folks and run an ultimate frisbee game. Playing one of those competitive games can burn 272 calories in just 30 minutes.
2. Try Out Hula Hooping
Swish those hips and enjoy the rewards of a fun and heart-pumping workout. Hula hooping can burn up to 165 calories per 30 minutes and works out the whole body. Plus, if you want to get serious about it, you can actually nab a weighted hula hoop to help tone muscles as you get the blood flowing.
3. Go For A Hike
One of the best things about hiking is if you’re doing it with a great group, you almost forget about how challenging it can be. Start out slow and work your way up to elevated terrain, but more importantly, take time to really breathe in the scenery. Hiking trails are often full of picturesque views and really, it’s about the journey, not the destination. Calories burned depend on body weight, but no matter your size, the act is a fulfilling one that will exercise the body and mind.
Ok, ok—when we say parkour, we of course immediately think of The Office episode where Michael Scott, Dwight, and Andy run into various objects around the workplace. But we promise when done right, it’s actually a pretty fun and effective workout. Before you leap off any roofs, remember to start slow. Try learning a few basic moves in your backyard and work up a real sweat (while being silly).
5. Get Into DDR
Granted, the dancing game with a cult-like following Dance, Dance Revolution is far more fun in an arcade, but it’s easy to cue up at home—and definitely doubles as a great workout. Compatible with most systems, the various DDR games available are worth the investment if you’re looking for a fun fitness regiment. Work your way up to a master level, and you could be burning 489 calories in an hour (which is more than you will burn doing a boring old jog).
6. Roller Skating
It’s time to dust off the pair you had back in the day. Whether you do it moderately or vigorously, roller skate or blade, we promise you’ll burn more than a calorie or two. In fact, the American Heart Association considers it an aerobic workout. Just one hour of skating a week is good for burning 600 calories, so lacing up will be equal parts fun and funky.
7. Have Sex
Listen, let’s get real. Sex can be a total body workout. Studies show that men can burn an average of 4.2 calories per minute while women burn an average of 3.1. It might not be a super charged workout, but the amount of calories burned overall isn’t insignificant… and there are other, dopamine-releasing benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked, too.
No matter how chilled out you are, we all need to let it out once in a while. Kickboxing is a perfect way to channel your rage and tone your body. Get a workout from head to toe while visualizing your childhood bully, and we swear, you’ll get a great workout. Kickboxing is great for your heart, strength, joints, balance and coordination, and with a few purchases like a punching bag and gloves, you’ll be good to go.
9. Jump Rope
It’s not just for the schoolyard: jumping rope is an excellent way to get the body moving at any age. Spend 30 minutes a day jumping rope and you’ll strengthen and tone muscles overall while working up a considerable sweat. And, if you’re feeling super nostalgic, sing an old recess song to make the time pass by even faster.
The best part about all of these workouts is that they can be done from the comfort of home, and make you forget you’re working out in the first place. Working up a sweat doesn’t have to be arduous, and with the right attitude, you’ll go from seeing working out as a chore to seeing it as a genuinely good time.