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How Can I Be Active Without Going to the Gym?


The best way to exercise is whichever way you'll actually do it. For some, that's going to the gym every day. For others it's yoga, or spin classes, or hiking, or evening strolls, or even playing golf!

I can enjoy the gym, but I'd much rather be outside if I can help it. (I know, I'm spoiled. Thanks, Chattanooga!)

I'm sure others have preferences as well. For me, as I've been trying to edge my way back into decent shape (it's a struggle), I've been looking everywhere for something active and fun.

What's cool about most of these is that you really don't have to be good to do them, or to enjoy them. And most of the time, you don't even have to have a partner! Here's a few ideas.

Ping pong. I burned more calories playing ping pong in college than any other activity. Which is saying something, since I literally hiked to class every day (perks of going to school on a mountain).

You'd be surprised how much moving around you do for that game once you get into it. Hikes and/or nature walks are a great option, too. Maybe you don't want to do anything hardcore, but you can at least enjoy being outside, and burn off last night's pizza and beer with a smile.

Disc golf has been a big one for me recently. A few of us at work and my wife have all gotten into it. If you do it right, it can be an amazing core workout. Yoga, of course, is another popular option. Bicycling. Swimming. Tennis. Croquet. Polo. 60 seconds of pushups. Carrying your kids around. Playing catch. Rock climbing.

There's a million and one ways to be active, even if you're not a big fan of going to the gym! I'm sure if you took ten minutes to brainstorm "what are some things that make me move?" you could come up with a couple dozen ideas. And I'm sure one or two or those would seem doable, even enjoyable!

The important thing is to be active, for a thousand reasons. If you've been sedentary for awhile, and can't do much at the start, that's okay! You can work your way into things. And if you don't think you have the time, you should really read this.

With a lot of these ideas, you end up having enough fun that you want to keep doing more. That's just the kind of positive reinforcement you need! Truthfully, for each and all of us (yes, me, too), it's inexcusable to not be active when there are so many options available at our fingertips.

Going to the gym might not be fun, but being active can be. What activity will you choose?