While there is the occasional person who loves every minute spent in the gym working up a sweat and grinding out one more rep, there are countless others who cringe at the idea of running on a treadmill or lifting weights. People tend to associate getting fit with torturing themselves with rep after rep of mind-numbing exercises until their body is ready to collapse in a wobbly puddle of pooled sweat.
If you're one of the 40% of Americans leading a sedentary lifestyle and it's due to a profound dislike of anything remotely close to exercise, this article's for you. There are a number of fun ways you can get in shape, most of which don't require pushing yourself to the breaking point. Let's take a closer look at 5 fun ways to get in shape:
1. Take a Hike.
No matter where you live, there's likely somewhere with trails you can hike on. If you're really out of shape, pick a short trail with a flat incline to start and work your way up to longer trails with steeper inclines. There's something about being out and about in nature that helps you forget you're actually exercising. Don't forget to bring plenty of water and a healthy snack or two...and a map. You don't want your nature hike to turn into a mountain rescue adventure.
2. Just Dance.
Dancing is a fun and exerting way to get your exercise in. Music helps take the edge off of exercise and you can dance at your own pace. Find a dance partner of equal skill and take a dance class together. Even if you don't feel comfortable cutting a rug at the local dance club, you can always draw the curtains shut and dance in the confines of your own living room.
3. Walk Somewhere Fun.
Walking on its own can be drudgery. Walking somewhere you enjoy being like the mall or a flea market can help you forget the miles you're putting in. Look for festivals, fairs, flea markets and other places you'll do a lot of walking when choosing your weekend activities. And skip the corn dogs and fried Twinkies. A single bad meal can undo an entire weekend's worth of walking.
4. Find a Partner.
People who exercise with a friend or family member are much more likely to continue exercising and are more likely to push harder when they see their friend pushing forward. In order for this to work, both partners have to be motivated and willing to give one another a gentle push in the right direction. There's nothing like good conversation to help you forget the fact that you're sucking wind after walking up the third hill of the day.
5. Fun Runs.
This one's for the person who's in moderate to fair physical condition and is looking for ways to push themselves to the next level. There are a ton of different 5K or longer runs out there that combine fitness and adventure in a group setting that's likely to drive you work harder than you normally would. Zombie runs, color runs, mud runs...You name it, there's probably a run for it. Well, I take that back. I've never seen a cronut run, but I'm sure there's somebody out there who will read this article and grant my wish...