I miss the days of a house full of energetic exciting little kids. And I treasure the occasional days I get to spend with my grand kiddoes (sadly we live in Florida and they live in California). We spent a fun morning together in December and once again I was wowed by how much energy they spend. They were playing with my grand dog: putting him on a leash and tearing around the house, grabbing sleds (we were in Utah) and heading out back and running furiously up the hill then sledding down while he barked in delight, throwing the ball so the dog could catch it in mid air. It was a morning filled with high level fun and energy! I hope you are having this kind of fun earning your daily exercise points. I fear that instead our exercise sometimes falls into a “have to” on our to-do list and looms over us like drudgery until we get it checked off. Exercise should be one of our most joyful experiences of the day. Here are a few ideas of fun ways to burn calories:
Hiking, especially with friends – Isn’t it so cool the gorgeous things we can see when we just get outside and hike? Here in Florida we are more prone to see sand cranes than deer but you are really missing out if all of your exercise is in a gym. Yes even a few minutes hiking in snow can be a delight and always more so with a friend or family member.
Walking – No time to hike? Go for a walk. Even a 15-minute brisk walk is enough time to get close to a mile walked. Do you have a 30-minute meeting at work? Have a walking meeting instead. Steve Jobs was known for doing this. I have a son that can’t understand why people sit and wait to board a flight where they will sit for several hours. Instead he always briskly walks around the boarding area when he’s waiting.
Rock Climbing – Is there a gym near you? Have you tried it? Not only challenging but a great way to work muscles that rarely get any work.
Dancing – Ever tried swing dancing? Hip hop? Zumba? Tango? Flamenco? Belly dancing? Does your gym offer any dance classes? Try some you tube instruction to gain some new moves or just crank up the music and freestyle!
Roughhousing with your kids. Fun for them and for you. Spend a few minutes trying to mirror all their moves and you’ll get an amazing work out.
Stop meeting for lunch – If someone wants to meet up with you for lunch, suggest something active instead: throw a baseball, toss a frisbee, go for a hike – anything that gets you up and moving.
Clean – Not usually our favorite activity but why not make a game out of it? See how much you can accomplish with a single song blasting at max volume. Of course, after getting through one song, you’ve already started so you might as well keep going!
Yoga – Build flexibility, strength, and learn to relax. There are million kinds of yoga, so sign up for a few different kinds and see which one lines up the best with what you’re looking for.
Play video games that make you be active – Wii Tennis, Wii Fit, Just Dance, Dance Dance Revolution- remember how fun these are? Dust off your game consoles and have some fun moving.
Play on a playground –Go down the slide, swing across the monkey bars, climb the rope, balance on the balance beam. Create an obstacle course for yourself and see how quickly you can get through it.
Play a musical instrument – Did you know playing the violin for an hour burns about as many calories as walking around a track at a moderate pace? You haven't played for years- pull out your instrument and ENJOY!
Join a Rec league – Want to be active and meet people? Join a softball league, play some basketball, find a sand volleyball game to play in. You get to exercise AND it’s a great way to meet new people.
Bike to work or to do your errands – You get from Point A to Point B, you save money on gas, and you get a workout.
Play a childhood game – What games did you play as a child? Capture the flag? Kick the can? Simple tag? Get a few friends together and give it a try – it will be the most fun you’ve had in a while!
You guessed it. For every day that at least 10 minutes of your daily exercise is something "fun" you earn the 5 daily bonus points!