I’m a huge advocate of fitness for fun. As an experienced online health and fitness coach, I know that the best type of exercise is the one you enjoy enough to repeat often enough to get the results you’re after.
A well designed workout plan takes many factors into account, including your enjoyment. Understanding your personal preferences and what motivates you to push on and adhere to your plan are important pieces in the puzzle when it comes to kicking your fitness goals.
Today I’ve asked my fellow bloggers to share their best fun workout ideas. Honestly, there are a couple of really quirky ones in there, that might just be the ticket to helping you enjoy your fitness journey that little bit more.
Before we hear what they’ve each got to say about fitness for fun, check out the wee vid I made below. It showcases some of the ways I personally love staying fit [hint: they’re all fun ideas for fitness that don’t involve the gym!]. I hope you get some cool ideas from it to inspire you about what type of fitness activity you could try.
If you enjoy the video, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the bell button so you get notified when I post more like this.
- 1. Use an app to make walking more fun
- 2. Fitness for fun with a mini Olympics
- 3. Have fun with your yoga workout
- 4. A workout that will make you feel like a kid again!
- 5. Fitness for fun with playing cards
- 6. Have fun doing exercise AND get your housework done!
- 7. Fitness for fun with car exercises!
- 8. Boxing as a fun workout idea
- 9. Involve your pets to make fitness more fun!
- 10. Switch up your workout routine to keep it interesting
- 11. Dance like no one’s watching
1. Use an app to make walking more fun
Walking can sometimes get a bit boring, especially if your daily walk takes you along exactly the same path, day in and day out. One way to spice up the walk is to download one of many great apps to your phone to make your walk fun.
Geocaching is one of the most popular. It uses GPS to help you find various caches that other users hide in all sorts of places. They could be up a tree or under a rock. The fun is in using your skills to solve riddles or following the clues to find them.
Also very popular is Pokemon Go – yes, that craze that got everyone briefly hooked a few years ago is a great way to help you get out and walk. Pokemon Go isn’t the first game from it’s developers, nor the last. Ingress was the original game and has a much more “adult” feel to it, and now Wizards Unite is available for the Harry Potter fans too.
These are just a few suggestions, there are dozens more similar apps available online too. Whichever you choose, you will be having so much fun you will hardly notice you are exercising.
Written by Josie Kelsh.
[Elly: Read my full review about the top-rated FIIT home workout app that covers all your fitness bases].
2. Fitness for fun with a mini Olympics
Get together a group of workout buddies and turn your favorite exercises into a mini-olympics.
Each day, choose one or more different exercise(s) and compete to see who can do each one for the most repetitions or longest period of time. Record who wins each “event”.
At the end of the week or month (or however long you want to hold your mini-olympics for), tally up the results and see who the winner is. You can add to the excitement by having all contestants pitch in for the winner’s prize, such as a gift voucher, free lunch, or some fitness related item.
You can use almost any exercise as an event. Here are some ideas:
- Push-up repetitions
- Pull-up repetitions
- Plank pose for the longest time
- Fastest 100-meter sprint (either individual times or a running race)
- Fastest 50 meter swim
- Squat repetitions
- Handstand for the longest time
- Long jump
- One-on-one knockout basketball tournament (or something similar using your favorite sport)
Written by Sam Fury from Survival Fitness Plan.
[Elly: Challenges like this can be very effective for both exercise adherence and fitness for FUN! Check out the videos about fun workout ideas below. The first one shows the highlights of a 20 week fitness challenge I completed myself. I decided to get involved with it after the birth of my first daughter, and after training a number of clients in the same challenge during the years prior.
The second one was a 30 day handstand challenge I completed, not long after the 20 week challenge].
3. Have fun with your yoga workout
In recent months, I have come to the realization that a lot of people dislike going to the gym for many reasons and this feeling zaps the fun out of working out. This is when I discovered yoga.
It really isn’t just people sitting in odd positions with their eyes closed. It is in fact some of these positions that make it a very fun and effective workout.
Find a friend or use your partner, to help you get into a headstand. With your arms on the ground and the top of your head flat on the ground between them, try to kick your legs up to a vertical.
Now, even if you don’t quite make it anywhere near vertical, trust me, you will both be giggling throughout. Usually it is quite a few tries and someone dragging your legs up before you are in the air, but without realizing it you have just worked your shoulders, your back and your core. The motion of kicking your legs up together really engages the core and works on strengthening it without you ever feeling a burn.
Here is a little extra fun bonus position. It is called the crow. Stand with feet hip distance apart, squat and bring your hands to the ground. Now slowly walk your knees so that they sit just above the elbows.
Take a deep breath and slowly try to lift your feet off the ground. It may sound easy, but you will be falling forwards many times before you can get there. Again, if you’re with a friend, you will both definitely be laughing endlessly as you hit the floor!
Written by Manpreet, HelloManpreet.com
A few points to note about these fun yoga postures
[Elly: Please note that although they can definitely be classified as fitness for fun, both the headstand and crow pose are advanced yoga postures. You should be very warm if you are going to attempt them. Please only try them if it’s a suitable level for you. For some simpler yoga postures try these easy yoga postures for tension headaches.
I have included two photos below of the crow pose – the regular crow, and side crow].
For fun fitness activities for adults and children, check out the instagram post below. It’s another idea to make yoga more fun!
4. A workout that will make you feel like a kid again!
Working out may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you see a kids playground, but did you know it could be as efficient as a gym, and way more fun? Remember when you would spend hours climbing all over as a kid? Why not keep doing that as an adult, just with some modifications?
With the right approach, an outdoor playground can become an outdoor gym full of possibilities. You get to be in the sun, breathe the fresh air, get your sweat on, and you can let your creativity run free! It’s a way of turning your workout into playtime!
My favorite moves include:
- Pull ups and hand over hand on the monkey bars. Kids make those monkey bars look so easy! It’s actually a killer.
- Incline push ups on the swings. It’ll work your stabilizer muscles like crazy.
- Inverted row with the swings.
- Triceps dips on a ladder. Legs straight for extra work.
- Split squats and step ups using a bench.
Let your imagination run free and you can come up with an endless list of fun exercises. So next time you take your kids to the park, or next time you walk past an empty playground, channel your inner child and do a fun workout!
Written by Flo Meylan, an AFPA certified health and wellness coach passionate about fitness and healthy foods.
[Elly: Check out the video below to get started with some great playground exercises. Another workout that might also make you feel like a kid again is a jump rope workout. Here’s to fitness for fun!]
5. Fitness for fun with playing cards
One reason why exercise classes can be so much fun is that you don’t know what’s coming next, but you can create this sense of fun and spontaneity yourself is to use a pack of playing cards to decide what you’re doing during your workout.
Here’s how it works. You get yourself a normal pack of playing cards and take out all the cards numbered 1-5. Now assign each suit a specific exercise – or a body part. So for example,
Spades – Leg Moves – squats, sumo squats, lunges, wall sits
Diamonds – Arms and backs – press-ups, tricep dips, bicep curls
Hearts – Abs moves – sit-ups, crunches, planks
Clubs – Cardio – star jumps, running on the spot, skipping, steps ups
Shuffle the cards and then pull one out. The suit determines the move you do and the number on the card determines how many reps you do it for. The picture cards are 13 – you’ll hate them by the end of it! If you draw a Club, ignore the number, just do one minute of a cardio move. Keep shuffling and drawing cards for as long as you want to work out for.
You can chop and change your moves, or just stick to one per suit. If you want to focus on one body part, then just pick four different moves and assign each of those to a suit. The ways to chop and change the idea are endless. You won’t get bored.
Written by Helen Foster from Not Your Normal Health Blog
6. Have fun doing exercise AND get your housework done!
One of my favorite ways to make exercise (and cleaning) more fun is to work exercise into everyday life. We all must clean up our living spaces, so a certain amount of housework is necessary a few times a week or daily. There’s no reason that you can’t turn your chores into a workout and have a little fun while you’re doing it. What better way to make cleaning more fun!
Try timing yourself to see how fast you can get tasks done. This will really get your heart pumping and be a great source of cardio. You can also do walking lunges when vacuuming, squats when dusting, calf raises while folding clothes and putting them away. The possibilities are endless!
In addition to getting your house clean, you get a workout in! Not many people like to clean. And I know not everyone enjoys exercise. Turning your housework into a fun workout makes both tasks much more enjoyable. You also get the added benefit of killing two birds with one stone, you get a cleaner home AND get in a great workout.
Written by Desiree at Fitmomology
7. Fitness for fun with car exercises!
A fun workout idea that just about anyone can do is car exercises.
When you first hear of car exercises you might think of exercises to do while driving a long distance to keep yourself awake or to just keep your body active while you’re sitting sedentary for hours driving.
But, you can have even more fun in your car while it’s stationary in your garage or driveway.
As a fitness blogger I’m always thinking about new ways to stay active and enjoy resistance training in any environment so there’s no excuses not to exercise.
I came up with two such exercises, Seatbelt rows and Seatbelt Flys that are done using the seatbelt as resistance. [You can find out how to do these two exercises via the videos below].
While on the surface these exercises seem comical, the two general rules of resistance training is that you either lift heavy weights with few reps, or light weights with high reps.
So after 50 seatbelt rows or 100 seatbelt flys, you’re certainly feeling it! Talk about getting the most out of your car without putting any miles on the clock.
Give these car exercises a try, you never know, you might just cancel your gym membership. And at the very least, you’ll have a great laugh, especially if your neighbors see you exercising in your car in the driveway.
Written by Matt Adams from Exercises.com.au
8. Boxing as a fun workout idea
We have an adventure travel and fitness blog and we also run in-person and online group exercise sessions. Our goal with the group sessions is to make it fun and open to all levels of fitness in an effort to make exercise less intimidating and more appealing to more people.
Recently we started adding boxing moves to our routines and it has proven to be a huge success. We teach basic form and types of moves with no equipment or experience in boxing required.
Not only is it a great cardio and full-body workout but it’s amazingly fun and has become the group favorite. The men in the groups love it for pretty obvious reasons but we’ve found that the women are equally excited.
There’s something exciting and almost empowering about punching the air and improving their form and that seems to make people forget that they’re actually working out. It’s also a great way to exercise the mind because the combinations of moves and punches require a lot of focus.
Written by Nathan Sado from Fit Living Lifestyle
[Elly: Check out the video below of a bootcamp program I used to run, where we often included boxing (both shadow boxing and pad work). Bootcamps offer great fitness for fun in a supportive group atmosphere].
9. Involve your pets to make fitness more fun!
My cat is fourteen and he loves to ‘help’ whenever I am exercising. Anyone with cats can likely relate!
At first, I just tried to work out around him. If I was doing pushups, he’d be sprawled out beneath me and I’d stop my reps a bit higher. If I was stretching, he’d be winding his way through my legs forcing me to step around him. It was funny and cute, but could be frustrating.
Eventually, I realized that when I’m on my exercise mat, my cat sees it as play time. So rather than fighting it, I decided to include him.
First, we stretch. Just like us, our cats’ backs and joints can hurt. I start with floor stretches and my cat joins me, so I rub along his spine, hips, and shoulders to help him open up.
Second, we do our ‘cat’-isthenics. His favorite toy is a feather on a string, so while I do steps, I get him going forward and back, chasing the feather. As I move into either squats or jumping jacks, I’ll tease him into jumping for the feather.
Usually, I can get him moving around me at a good tilt. Eventually, he will stop for a breather and I can get in a couple of other exercises before he is ready to go again.
By getting my cat involved in my exercise routine, he gets a workout, I have a bit of fun, and then I can get on with my own exercises without his ‘help’.
Written by Andy from Natural Health Trend.
10. Switch up your workout routine to keep it interesting
Exercising or working out can become boring or feel repetitious after a while. And boredom, unfortunately, often leads to giving up on working out altogether. Before this happens, why not try to switch up your workout routine?
One way to make your workout more interesting is to try multiple activities and create different workout playlists for each. For example, hipster-style music for a vigorous session or relaxing music for deep stretching. You’ll find yourself looking forward to doing your workout if you’re not listening to the same music every time.
Another option is to have different routines based on the type of workout session or goals. For Day 1, you can focus on strength exercise, on Day 2: cardio, Day 3: flexibility and so forth. Aim to target different parts of your body, while you’re at it, to liven things up. The end result will always be the same, a sweaty body and rush of endorphins!
Keep in mind what’s also beneficial is to include rest days in between your workout regime. But, if you find yourself really in a fitness rut, sign up for several new workout classes like dance classes (belly dancing, Zumba, etc.), yoga or pilates to find the ones that you’ll enjoy incorporating into your lifestyle and workout schedules.
Ultimately, remember to enjoy yourself; just because workout contains the word ‘work’ doesn’t mean that you can’t do fitness for fun!
Written by Olga Maria from Productive Journey.
11. Dance like no one’s watching
I am not a huge fan of exercise but if I am having fun and can have a laugh it doesn’t feel like I am doing exercise.
One of my favourite fun ways to exercise is using utube to find a dance rountine and copy it.
I have two left feet but I love listening to some upbeat music and dancing the stresses of life out of my body.
YouTube is great for this type of exercise. I search for fun dance routines or energetic dance depending on what I am in the mood to do and then watch it on my phone and have a go.
The best thing about using YouTube to find exercise routines is its free and you don’t have to buy any other equipment. All you need is an internet connection and a little bit of space.
As a full-time travel blogger I can do this sort of exercise where ever I am in the world and fit it around my schedule.
Written by Jenni from Traveltorecovery
Pop Sugar Fitness is an awesome channel that offers a wide range of fitness classes, including dance-based ones. Check out the funky Latin dance workout below.
I hope you get loads of value from these wonderful suggestions to help you embrace fitness for fun. What are your favorite fun physical activities? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!