Finding the workouts you love
Whether you despise exercise or you’ve just never experienced that post-exercise boost of feel-good chemicals hitting your brain, it’s possible that you simply haven’t found the right exercise. So don’t think of it as exercise, per se, think of it as activity—because the science is clear that you need it.
A recent study from the American Cancer Society and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found a link between long periods of sitting and a higher risk of death from cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and diseases related to the kidneys, lungs, and liver; then there’s the increased danger of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and nervous disorders. In the study, prolonged sitting—six or more hours a day—was associated with a 19 per cent higher rate of death from any of these causes, compared to sitting less than three hours per day.
If you’re sitting too much, it doesn’t mean you need to sign up for a gym. Give one or more of the following options a try; you’ll find one that resonates with you—and none of them even feel like exercise. Plus, falling in love with one of these fun activities could lead to new hobbies, new buddies, a new waistline and a new outlook on fitness.
Photo: F8 Studio/Shutterstock
Play video games
If you’re a gamer, then you already have the equipment you need to get your heart pumping—all from the comfort of your living room. “Almost every popular video game platform has a fitness-based game that uses motion-tracking technology,” says Kami Price, a NASM-certified personal trainer and the head trainer at IdealShape. “Not only do they get you up and moving, they can also serve an even more fun purpose by bringing together your loved ones for a little friendly competition and bonding time.” Plus, if you have a tough time getting your kids to go out to play, this is a great baby step to encourage movement and you’ll serve as an encouraging role model.
Set up an obstacle course
Some of the best activities combine fun, the outdoors, and a challenge. “Create your own neighbourhood obstacle course,” says DeAnn Teixeira, fitness director at Skylonda Lodge, Woodside, Calif., which has a kilometre of obstacle routes tucked into a canopy of lush Redwood trees. “Look for playgrounds with monkey bars to traverse, park benches to leap over, balance beams, and climbing walls.” The fun challenge of an obstacle course can also take you back to the days of your childhood and the great memories of being carefree at the playground. The physical and mental challenge will help build confidence in overcoming other obstacles in life.