7 Ways To Exercise That Don't Feel Like Exercise

by Teresa Newsome

Some people love exercise. They get up early and run until they’re red-faced and sweaty. They lift large objects over their heads at the gym while other people watch. Or they participate in group sports. On purpose. And then there are some people who think those people are insane — people who want to find a way to exercise without actually...exercising. I am one of those people. I hate exercise. I really do. I find nothing fun about physical pain. I find no joy in sweating. I do not understand the various sportsballs and their corresponding fandoms. I think it’s all exhausting. It’s definitely not something I look forward to.

That being said, we all have to move our bodies to stay healthy. It’s an inconvenient fact of science. Use it or lose it. And since reading books and obsessing over nail art on Instagram doesn’t burn that many calories, people like me, who only run if something with a knife is chasing them, have to find ways to exercise that don’t make us want to die inside.

So since exercise has a million health benefits, but also kind of sucks, what can we do?

1. Pump up the jams

I’m pretty much the clumsiest land mammal to ever grace the earth, and even I can close the blinds, lock the doors and drop it like it’s lukewarm. You don’t have to know a single thing about dance to just start moving your body to the music until you work up a sweat. Plus dancing for exercise makes you happy and improves coordination. So get your booty werk done.

2. Get a hobby

Are you a wannabe photographer? Walk around and take pictures. Artist? Hike to someplace beautiful and sketch or paint. Chef? Walk around the farmer’s market and look at all the colorful summer bounty. Garden. Split wood. Forage for wild mushrooms. Aggressively walk the mall. March for women’s rights. Get lost in a great book on the treadmill. There is probably something you love doing that you can tie to some form of physical activity.

3. Dip it. Dip it good.

Swimming is introvert paradise, and it’s my go-to form of fitness. Once you get past being in a bathing suit (and you look amazing in a bathing suit, FYI) you get to be under water where you can’t hear or see people. And it doesn’t matter if you’re hot and sweaty, because you’re in the pool! Plus being in the water is easy on your joints. I’m down for anything that’s the preferred aerobic activity of senior citizens.

4. Get a dog

Dogs force you to do a lot of things, like come home at a reasonable hour, get out of bed in the morning and spend money on things other than Amazon impulse buys. Perhaps the biggest benefit to having a dog is that they require exercise. And walking your dog at a brisk but comfortable pace is actually be one the best form of exercise there is.

5. Clean — beastmode style

You’d be surprised how much of a sweat you can work up by purging your closet, mopping your floors or washing your walls. A good way to add some stability to your routine is to tackle one labor-intensive chore per day, such as mopping on Mondays, dusting on Tuesdays, decluttering on Wednesdays and so on. Plus you’re killing two birds with one stone, so you’ll feel like Jillian Michaels meets Martha Stewart. Which is totally hot.

6. Explore the wild world of sports

Football and basketball may not be your thing, but there just might be a kind of fitness activity out there for you. Think less along the lines of hitting balls with sticks and more along the lines of roller derby, skateboarding, or kayaking. Maybe you’ve always wanted to channel your inner Michelle Kwan on the ice or Venus Williams on the courts. Cheer. Learn how to back flip. Construct a backyard wrestling ring. If you do something because you’re interested in learning a new skill, it won’t feel as much like drudgery.

7. Get it on

Sex is a fantastic form of exercise. Good sex burns about 69 to 100 calories per hour. While you won’t burn as many calories as many other traditional forms of exercise, you’ll probably feel just as good as if you had. Enough said.

Images: Giphy (7)