That’s right, I said it. Fun workouts! Fitness is FUN or at least it should be. If you’re dreading every single workout, your run down, injured and totally stressed out then you’re doing it wrong. Let’s talk about some ways to make sure that isn’t you.
I know the world is ablaze with “no pain no gain” mantras and “never miss a Monday“, but sometimes what you need on a Monday is to put your feet up and soak in a good book.
In fact, Monday’s are my active recovery day and I don’t feel bad about it at all because I finally fully understand that without recovery there is no progress.
If you don’t give your body a break for your muscles to repair and your system to relax…you will likely slam headfirst into the dreaded over training syndrome or wonder why you’ve plateaued.
A rest day doesn’t have to mean leaving a dent in the couch from a Netflix marathon, it can always include a great walk, some easy yoga or even a fitness class that’s totally for fun.
But enough about recovery, let’s focus on how to make fitness fun anytime!
10 Fun Workout Ideas
Is it normal to feel unmotivated to work out? Of course. We all get in a slump every now and then. So let’s talk about how to have more fun with your fitness…if you’ve unfortunately lost that lovin’ feeling, today we’re going to get it back!
Some of these are no brainers, but we all need reminders!
1. Workout With Friends – Zoom Dance Class
One study, showed that we are five times more likely to exercise if our spouse does! No need to fret my single friends, having a consistent buddy who is counting on you to show up or to help them achieve a goal is just as good.
For many of us workout time may be the only real time we take for ourselves, which is why group fitness classes are booming, friendship.
Michigan State University’s Department of Kinesiology found these results:
Participants who exercised as part of a team kept going, on average, two minutes longer than those who exercised independently with a partner — 22 versus 20 minutes — and twice as long as those who exercised without a partner — 22 versus 11 minutes.
The best news about this study?
The results were the same whether the partner was in person or virtual!
Check out DanceClasses Live, an app where you do classes on Zoom LIVE – I did a dance class on a similar platform with friends and I had a blast! Something I would not have done on my own. Plus, there’s plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’re into hip-hop, zumba, or salsa, they’re all great cardio workouts.
You can also join the Peloton App for $12.99 and connect with others during all sorts of other LIVE classes.
2. Run With Pals – Join a Run Club
Are you a runner who loves to socialize and talk about all things running, but none of your IRL friends are runners? Join our Virtual Run Club where we constantly have group goals, are sharing tons of support and kudos for just showing up!
You can also check out your local running store to see what group runs they offer. They often get a mix of all sorts of runners, from beginners to experts, so chances are you’ll find someone who shares your pace and distance.
3. Beat The Winter Blues – Take an Indoor Cycling Class
Need some fun cross-training ideas this winter? Cycling is an excellent cross-training activity for runners, but an hour on the spin bike at the gym can feel tedious. Mix it up a bit and find an indoor spin class where you can get hyped up with upbeat music, a fun instructor, and maybe even make some new workout friends.
Many local gyms and YMCAs have spin classes, and CycleBar has locations all over the country where you can choose from daily spin classes with fun fitness instructors and awesome playlists.
4. Channel Your Inner Kid – Hula-Hoop and Jump Rope With Your Kids
Have you ever hula-hooped? It’s SUPER fun and actually a really great workout. Getting outside and playing is a great way to get your workout in while spending quality time with your kiddos.
Instead of making every workout about health or a better body, move just because you enjoy it!
I love a dance party at my standing work desk and I love trying out new classes with ClassPass. When you leave the calorie burn or mileage focus at the door a lot of times you might even find the run you were dreading becomes a lot more relaxing.
5. More Fun Kid Activities – Hit Up the Playground
Looking for more fun ways to incorporate your children into your workout routines? Visit the playground! You’d be surprised how much swinging on the monkey bars will get your heart rate up. Not to mention it it will help workout your shoulders and forearms and even help improve grip strength.
You can also try regular push-ups or pike push-ups on the swing. Put your feet into the swing and your hands on the ground, almost like doing push-ups with TRX straps.
6. For Animal Lovers – Try Goat Yoga
Yoga is a great workout to incorporate into your exercise routine. Did you know that goat yoga is a thing?! Yes…you can actually workout with adorable goats. Human-animal interaction has been proven to improve both your physical AND mental health. Plus…goats!
It’s becoming a really popular workout these days, and you can find plenty of classes all around the country. Just Google “goat yoga near me” or check with your local yoga studio to see if they offer special classes.
Puppy yoga is something I’ve done with multiple friends now and maybe it’s not a workout, but it is absolutely a great mood booster! How do you even choose between puppies and goats? Well…usually the puppies leave less messes.
7. Try Something New – Go Rock Climbing
I’m blessed to have mountains nearby, but I realize not everyone can just pack up the car and drive a few hours into the mountains. But there are rock climbing gyms all over the country where you can learn the basics and get a good workout in.
And let’s be honest, I’m only climbing indoors with my friends. I’m still a newbie!!
Not only does rock climbing give you a good full-body workout, but if flexibility is one of your workout goals, it helps in that area, too. All that lifting and stretching your arms and legs will have you feeling more flexible in no time.
8. Get Outdoors – Go For a Hike or a Walk
Again, I know I have an advantage being in a part of the country where there are pretty much endless opportunities for hiking trails. But I’ll share a secret with you. You can hike pretty much anywhere in the world. It doesn’t have to be huge inclines or super technical. You can workup a sweat by finding any type of unpaved trail near you.
Just look for a place with a good dirt path, some trees, and nice scenery. A better mood means a better workout a getting outside has been proven to be a natural mood booster.
“Breathing fresh air opposed to the recycled kind can create a feeling of euphoria, which comes from the body’s release of feel-good endorphins,” says Robert Gotlin, DO, director of the Orthopedic and Sports Rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.
“It’s not that your muscles respond better to it, but rather your mind does, which in turn makes you want to work harder.”
ABC news also reported:
Exercising outside also creates greater feelings of revitalization, energy, and positive thinking than does working out indoors, according to a report published in Environmental Science and Technology.
What’s more, after an 30-minute walk in the park, 71 percent of people feel less stressed, while 72 percent of people who take their walks indoors actually feel more stressed.
If you’re struggling to get out the door in the winter, checkout these winter running benefits – from burning calories to a better immune system.
Other outdoor workouts to try:
- Stand-Up Paddleboarding
9. Challenge Yourself – Do a 30-Day Challenge
Monthly challenges are a great way to build new habits and mix up your workout routine. One of the reason I LOVE the online community is you can always find a challenge that will tap in to our primal drive to measure progress and have a bit of friendly competition.
Here are some fun 30-Day Challenge ideas:
- Burpee Challenge: Do a certain number of burpees every day (you can even increase the amount each week. 10 burpees on week 1, 20 on week 2, 30 on week 3, etc.). This can apply to other moves too (mountain climbers, sit-ups, squats, etc.)
- Pushup Challenge: The best way to improve your pushup form? Do more pushups. Like a burpee challenge, you can do a certain number each day or increase the number of over time.
- Plank Challenge: I love this one. Do a plank each day and see how much you can increase your time by the end of the month.
You can also challenge yourself by changing up your goals:
- Run for time instead of miles
- Try an obstacle race
- Try running stairs
- Focus on increasing your run/walk intervals
- Try lifting heavier for less reps instead of max weight reps
10. Mix It Up – Explore Variety with Apps
Maybe your lack of fun is because every workout feels the same? No cash to try out a ton of classes? Good news, there’s an app for that!
- DailyBurn 365 – try a new workout every single day (most are good for any ability level)
- Zombies, Run! – just in case you need to be prepared for doom’s day
- KrowdFit – join group challenges, get entries to big giveaways each time you workout
- Thank Dog – get fit while teaching your dog obedience, that’s multitasking at it’s finest
- Strava – I’m not in to it, but man the competitive streak it brings out in a lot of you is incredible
Added bonus? New research has shown that “gaming” can both enhance your motivation to work hard and to stick with a program! Checkout these free apps for runners>>
One study by Dr. Natalia Lawrence, concluded this:
“It is free, easy to do, and 88 percent of our participants said they would be happy to keep doing it and would recommend it to a friend. This opens up exciting possibilities for new behavior change interventions based on underlying psychological processes.”
What exercise is good for people who get bored?
If the 10 workouts above don’t bust your boredom, try finding something you can do in just a few minutes a day. Is a short workout better than no workout? Absolutely.
HIIT workouts are a great example. High intensity interval training can help you get faster, improve performance, and improve your body composition. Plus, they can usually be done in 30 minutes or less. Check out these 7 HIIT workouts for runners.
Other ways to connect with Amanda
Instagram Daily Fun: RunToTheFinish
Facebook Community Chatter: RunToTheFinish