Creative workout ideas that don’t feel like workouts
I have a love-hate relationship with exercise.
Sure I love it because it keeps my body in shape and feeling great but if I let myself slip out of my routine for even a week, getting back into the swing of things can be a beast. Plus, I’m not entirely a fan of gyms (or strict exercise plans or workout classes or cardio equipment). I would much rather workout alone in my basement on my terms where no one can see me #thankyouverymuch
That’s why I enjoy getting in workouts that don’t feel like workouts as much as possible. Anything performed long enough (10+ minutes) that gets your heart pumping and major muscle groups working can be considered a workout (thank goodness).
Below are 12 creative ways to workout that don’t feel like working out. Most of these can be performed with minimal equipment at home or outside – no gym membership required. Aim for at least 20-30 minutes per day of physical activity most days of the week.
How to workout without feeling like you’re working out
Ok, I’ll admit it, some of these are going to be fairly obvious. Walking is not exactly a new concept when it comes to working out. But when we don’t feel like working out or are in a bit of a rut with it it’s easy to forget that, yes, you actually did exercise by walking to the park with your kids, and, no, you don’t need to feel guilty for not doing some crazy intense regimen (that you didn’t really want to do anyway).
The main principle here is to simply MOVE your butt on a regular basis! In words of Bon Qui-Qui, “Don’t get crazy!” Seriously, you don’t have to obsess over this until your tired mom-brain explodes #beenthere
Go for a walk
Walk around your neighborhood, walk to the park, walk to the store or library (instead of driving), walk around the mall. You can never go wrong with increasing the amount of steps you take each day!
Take a hike
Find new and exciting natural places to explore in your state to hike around. The Road Trippers app is perfect for this, just input your area and they’ll show you all nearby natural attractions.
Ride your bike
I don’t know about you but I’m no Lance Armstrong. I don’t wear fancy bicycle gear or ride challenging mountain trails or enter races. Lemme tell you what I do . . . I ride to the store and back. I ride on paved bike trails with my kids. I ride around my neighborhood with my husband as the sun goes down. So when I say “ride your bike,” this is what I mean.
No need to get crazy up in here.
PLAY A SPORT
Pretty simple. Pick a sport, any sport (well, almost any – baseball might not cut it) and play for 10 minutes or more: volley-ball, soccer, football, skiing/snowboarding, swimming, tennis, racket-ball, basketball, kickball (anything ending in “ball” should work).
PLAY WITH YOUR KIDS
Kids. They’re going to take up a huge chunk of our daily lives for approximately 18 years. Unfortunately, we can’t blow off exercise for that long. If you’re having trouble finding the time to workout, including your littles into the process may help, AND it sets an excellent example for them in what a healthy lifestyle looks like #winwin
Workout WITH your kids
There are many great workout plans you can use which incorporate babies and toddlers into the routine.
Another option is to include little ones (preschool age and up) and let them workout along side you (if you don’t mind it that is). When my kids were little they would copy my moves (push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, etc) and use tiny one pound weights. There are also simple workout videos made for young kids and parents to do together.
You can find several options kids (and moms!) love on Food Matters TV.
Jump on the trampoline
Rebounding exercises are fantastic for your lymphatic system. I like getting on the trampoline with my kids a couple times a week. (Just don’t play crack the egg with your man-sized teenage son – it may not end well #ouch #youvebeenwarned)
Workout AT the park
There is so much workout possibility at a park! Why sit there on your phone when you could be taking advantage of that prime workout real estate??
Try these full-body park workouts:
Backyard obstacle courses
Have you seen some of those amazing, elaborate obstacle courses parents put together for their kids?
My question is, why is this only for children?
Channel your inner American Ninja Warrior and create something fun (and workout-ish) you can do too. This doesn’t have to be over the top – a few hula hoops, old tires or even sticks to jump over, a jump rope, a ball, a mini-trampoline – get creative and use what you have available! (You’re kids are going to get a kick out of watching you struggle through their course, lol)
Ok, so Twister is like really awkward stretching, right?
Exactly. Try it.
Put on fun music, find your silly side and have a dance-off with your kids in the living room!
Geocaching is a fun treasure hunt type activity. (You can learn more here.) If you choose challenges hidden in a park, off a trail or within some other natural area, you’ll get a decent walking or hiking workout. Plus it’s great family friendly activity!
CREATE YOUR OWN WORKOUT
I’m loving this option lately. It keeps things fresh and relieves me of the need to actually squeeze out workout ideas from my overloaded brain. There’s a bit of prep time but if you don’t get fancy (as in keep it to ugly handwriting on scraps of paper) it doesn’t really take long at all.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Creative Ways to Do Resistance Training at Home (no fancy equipment needed!)
There you have it! 12+ workout ideas that feel less like exercise and more like fun. I hope you found something new and creative you’ll enjoy to incorporate into your fitness routine. Staying fit is more a matter of creating a lifestyle that incorporates regular movement (and a healthy diet) and less about following a specific plan or type of exercise.
So get up and move mama!
What are your favorite creative ways to workout? Let me know in the comments!
Hi! I’m Liane, a self-proclaimed ‘scrunchy mom’ (as in semi-crunchy). I have a passion for all things natural, healthy and holistic. My aim is to inspire you on your healthy living journey by sharing simple, everyday habits that can transform your well-being and life.