Even if you have time to work out at the gym, you might not want to go every day. It takes time and effort to get to the gym and if you’re not trying to build a massive amount of muscle, there are better, more fun ways to spend your time getting fit.
1. Paddle boarding
Paddle boarding is one of the best workouts that also happens to be fun. You’ll strengthen your core with stand up paddle board. The slight movements you’ll need to make to maintain your balance require engaging your core the entire time you’re on the board.
No matter how long you’ve been paddle boarding, paddling is a great way to strengthen your arms, shoulders, and back.
Once you develop the muscle memory for balancing on a stand-up paddle board, you’ll be able to try more than just paddling in a straight line. That’s where you’ll get an even better workout.
You can do some cool things with a paddle board. For instance, you can catch waves if you’re feeling adventurous, or you can drift out to sea and do some yoga on your board. Talk about a great way to develop stronger balancing skills!
Surfing is another great sport that works your core because of the balancing skills required to stand on the board. However, unlike stand up paddle boarding, you’ll do far more manual paddling to catch waves. This means surfing will intensely work your upper body as well as your core.
Surfing has many health benefits in addition to building a strong core and upper body. Surfing increases cardiovascular strength, increases exposure to the sun to produce Vitamin D, and increases flexibility. Forget the treadmill—surfing is more fun.
You need to be a strong swimmer to surf safely, so if you’re new to surfing, practice in shallow water before heading out far into the sea.
3. Splitting, hauling, and stacking wood
There is no better workout for your lower back than splitting, hauling, and stacking wood. Splitting wood mostly works your upper body, including your forearms, which are often forgotten in traditional workouts. Hauling wood in a wheelbarrow works your lower back, and stacking wood works your upper body and engages your core.
If you don’t have time to go to the gym, just spend an hour each day moving a stack of wood from one pile to another. It’s guaranteed to leave you feeling like you just had a good workout at the gym.
Dancing is a great form of aerobic exercise that can improve your overall health. According to data published by Time Magazine, older people who didn’t exercise improved their health greatly after enrolling in salsa classes.
The study, called “BAILAMOS” (“we dance”), recruited 57 sedentary people around the age of 65 years and enrolled each person in a course. Some took dance classes that taught merengue, cha cha cha, bachata, and salsa, while the control group was assigned to a health education program.
When the study completed, both groups increased their levels of physical activity, however, the group that took the dance classes showed greater improvement.
Although dance classes are one way to get in a good workout, you can dance anywhere—in your kitchen, your living room, or your backyard. Just crank up the music and let yourself go!
5. Play with your pets
Your pets would probably love to play more if they could just get you to chase them around the house! You may not be able to get your cats to play with you, being the finicky yet regal creatures they are, but if you have a dog, there’s always more time for playing.
Make it a habit to go outside with your dog and play in your yard more often. If you don’t have a yard, drive your dog to the park and put them on a long training lead so they can run around without breaking any leash laws. Throw frisbees, tennis balls, sticks, and whatever else they want to chase. If you can find a dog park, that’s even better.
Fitness doesn’t need to come from the gym
Historically, fitness has always come about naturally through everyday activities and necessities to maintain a farm or a household. You don’t need to hit the gym to get fit. You can certainly buy workout equipment and work out from home, but you can also leverage fun activities to stay fit.