Fitness tips: exercises that are fun!

One topic I see often in my fitness group is how to make exercise fun. Not everyone gets a thrill out of exercising. I’m one of those people. I think the key thing is to find something you enjoy – and do that. Often.

So, let’s get right down to exercises that are fun and can easily be done from home or at your local community rec centre.

Walking or Hiking

What? Walking is exercise? Yes, it absolutely is. When I was in better shape, I used to go for long afternoon or even walks before going to bed. I’d walk all the way down to our River Valley and get out my camera. Sometimes I’d be gone for three or four hours and wouldn’t even notice it. Being outdoors in the sun or just getting some fresh air is great for mental health too. Just make sure to bring some sunscreen, a bottle or two of water, some protein snacks and a camera – if you plan on going for long walks along nature trails. The best thing about walking – it’s free!

Did you know that mall walking is a thing? It is a great place for seniors to get out, socialize and have fun while exercising in a safe environment.

I really miss hiking in the mountains. it was my spiritual reprieve from busy city life.

Dance your ass off

Depending on where you live – you may be able to join dance groups or attend some dance classes. There are all kinds of dancing that you can do, from ballet, ballroom, salsa, hip hop, or even just zumba dance classes. If you don’t have access to a dance studio – just hop onto youtube and check out some fun dance routines you can do from your own living room.

Dancing is not only a great way to burn off calories, but it’s fun, you can choose the tempo or music to dance too – and it can help to build on strength, agility and balance.

Kick Boxing, Tae Bo, Shadow Boxing

I loved cardio kick boxing when I was in my old condo. Unfortunately, the building I’m in now – there is too much vibration noise. But this routine got my heart rate up – and kicking and punching the air felt amazing – especially when feeling frustrated. Similar to cardio kickboxing – shadow boxing and Tae Bo.

I discovered Billy Blanks channel back in 2008 and I still go back to it once in a while.

Cardio Kick Boxing

Shadow Boxing is similar to cardio kick boxing which I absolutely loved.

Water Fitness

I keep coming back to water fitness. I’m trying to lose weight so I can fit into my old swimsuit – that I only wore twice before gaining weight. I only went to water fitness a handful of times but I loved each class. We would sit in the sauna after and it cleared up my skin and sinuses each time. I started experiencing toe cramping while in the water – so that stopped me from going for a bit. I also found it difficult to find friends to commit to weekly classes.

I’m hoping to go to some classes next year though. It’s a great workout – and I never slept better than I did on those nights. If you do an evening class, go home – have a shower, drink lots of water and go to bed. You’ll feel amazing the next day.

Our local pools also offer zumba water fitness which is just as fun.

Being in the water, I felt invincible. Suddenly, my knees weren’t an issue. I could move freely without pain. It’s a great class for seniors and those with joint issues.

Sports can be fun too

Are you more of a sports oriented person? If so, you are not alone. Sports absolutely count as exercise. Join a local sports team – soccer, hockey, baseball, rugby, basketball, volleyball – whatever is available in your area.

Not only is joining a sport fun, but it’s a great way to meet new people and make new friends.

My dad was an avid handball player when he first moved to Canada. It’s a major sport over in Denmark. It’s great fun, good exercise – and he met a lot of lifelong friends from his first team. Sports like handball – can be played in your own home – if you have a basement with padded walls. Please don’t do this if you’re in an apartment 🙂

If you are planning on moving soon, consider joining a neighbourhood with a rec centre, pool or active sports community. When I move in the spring, I’ll be looking for buildings with a gym, or easy access to community rec centres. Where I live – there is nothing around and I don’t even feel safe going for walks most evenings. It’s too hot during the day, and wandering around here at night seems unsafe.

I can’t wait to move.

Long post short – exercise doesn’t have to be boring or conventional. As long as you’re having fun, you keep your body moving – and you enjoy what you’re doing – then keep at it!

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