6 Ways to Exercise Without Feeling Like You Are

By Cynthia Brace

If you’re not someone who gets excited to spend quality time at the gym, going to exercise boot camp or really….doing any kind of set exercise, it can be hard to stay in shape and get all the health benefits out of moving your body.

Personally, I’ve tried the gym, boot camp, and a ton of other kinds of exercise, because you never know what you’ll like until you try it.

The key to consistently move your body (aka exercise) is to do something you like…or love.

First, let’s get to mindset.

What do you think and feel when I say the word exercise?  If its ugh, na thanks anyway, so time-consuming or dread, then it’s time to change things up.

Changing the wording to ‘moving your body’ can make a huge difference.  Think about it.  How do you feel when I say “go move your body.”  You may think, ya, I can do that, openness, feel relief (because you’re not thinking about going to a gym).  Personally, I think of dancing.

We all know what exercise is good for you.  It raises your endorphins (makes you happier), can lower the risk of heart disease, cholesterol, blood pressure, gets all your fluids moving (lymphatic system).  Okay, I’ll say weight loss because it does help.  Realistically though 80% of weight loss is what you eat.

So you can think of ‘moving your body’ (aka exercise) as something healthy that makes you feel great.  So WHY should you suffer through something you don’t like?

Okay then let’s get to:

6 Ways to Exercise Without Feeling Like You Are

1. Walking

If you’re just starting out with consciously moving your body walking is a great start.  It can get you outside and taking a break from work and home chores and reduces stress. Which are all excellent side benefits.

If you need to start slow, try 10 minutes and work your way up to 30.  Take new routes so you’re always discovering something new.

2. Sex

Yup. It’s exercise…that sure doesn’t feel like it.  It gets your heart pumping, clears your mind, and is great for stress.  If you have a special someone, make sure you’re taking advantage of this fun way to get some exercise.

3. Dancing

Ack! One of my favourite things to do.  I can be in the middle of a HIIT (High-intensity interval training) workout and just stop what I’m supposed to be doing to bust my moves. I’m moving my body to my favourite dance playlist, so it’s not surprising.

HIIT workouts are great.  Their quick, 20-30 minutes (one of the many reasons I like them) and effective.  BUT not my absolute favourite way to move my body until I throw in my dance mix.  That’s what makes it enjoyable for me.

Oooh, that was a whole offshoot to dancing. Okay, let’s get back to it.

Dancing on its own is a fantastic workout as long as you’re getting into it (moving your whole body and not just stepping from side to side), and you do it for more than one song.

You can also try Zumba, which is using dance moves to exercise or ballroom/salsa dancing; both are fun.

4. Swimming

Another one of my favourites.  Your local pools will usually have length swims for adults.  Don’t get nervous about this.  They have lanes for all levels, slow, medium, fast.  If you’re not a fantastic swimmer, they have kickboards (you hold on to them and just use your legs to kick).

Don’t worry about what you look like in your swimsuit. You’re not going to the beach where people are just lying around people watching.  I’ll tell you a little secret.  When you’re going to a length swim, no one really cares what you look like.

I know, profound but pretty much all the time true.  Everyone is just there to do their thing.  So slap on that suit and dive in.

5. Yoga

People who’ve never really done Yoga maybe wouldn’t think it’s exercise, but OMG they would be wrong.

Yoga is a great way to move your body….IF you’re doing it right.  I say that with knowing and sincerity.  I tried Yoga a number of times in my life, and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.

I could kind of follow the things that everyone was doing, but, wow my wrists hurt in downward dog.   I was pretty sure they weren’t supposed to, so I knew I was doing something wrong.

This is where the beginner/foundations Yoga classes come in. Every good Yoga studio has these and let me tell you; they’re golden!  At the time of writing this, I’ve just finished one and no more hurting wrists in a downward dog. Yay!

I’ve learned the basics and can confidently take a class and really enjoy myself.  AND it doesn’t feel like exercise, well until you leave anyway and your body gets that achy muscle feeling that’s it’s worked out well.

6. Jumping on a Mini Trampoline

I use one every time I work out.  It’s so much fun (especially with your favourite tunes going) and wow what a workout.

The key is to find something you LIKE doing, no matter what that is, when you do it, it won’t feel like exercise.

What have you always wanted to try but haven’t yet?  What are you waiting for?

Today is a great day to start.  Just take the first step.  Find out where the beginner class is in your city. Then sign up.

Then the most important thing….GO.  Don’t talk your self out of it. Who cares if you’re not good at it.

I went to Yoga class yesterday and was laughing at myself because I had no idea how to do a pose.  But I got a great workout and had fun. After class I asked the teacher to go over the pose I couldn’t do, yup still can’t do it….YET.  It’s okay to suck, just keep going and eventually you’ll get it.

Just remember to have fun while doing it.

Need Help?

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