7 Ways to Stay Active That Are Actually Fun

As a woman, I know that going to the gym can be intimidating and sometimes even uncomfortable. Many times, this simple truth deters women from wanting to stay active to feel like the healthiest version of themselves. Throughout the past few years, I have stayed active through various activities that are actually really fun for me. I don’t do these things for my body to look a certain way or be perceived as society’s standard of “fit”. I stay active because it boosts my mood, makes me feel healthy, and brings me genuine happiness. If you are unmotivated to go to the gym because of discomfort, cost, or safety measures due to coronavirus, I know several ways to stay active outside of the gym that are actually fun.

  1. Go for Walks

I think the easiest way to stay active is to go on a walk at least once a day. Not only is it good for your mental health to get fresh air, but a little bit of movement to break up the day feels refreshing. If you have a dog like me, the more they walk, the healthier they will feel. I think that is incentive enough to do it! If you don’t have a dog, ask a friend or family member to join you. Or just throw on your headphones and listen to your favorite feel-good music or an interesting podcast. Exploring areas around your neighborhood can be really fun and feel like a little adventure in the middle of the day.

  1. Yoga

I know that yoga isn’t everyone’s thing. But I would recommend at least doing some light stretches when you wake up in the morning. It feels amazing to kickstart the day with an untaxing exercise and a focus on your breath. Over time, your flexibility will increase which is good for preventing future injuries.

  1. Free Online Workout Classes

Youtube was my best friend when quarantine initially started and I was trapped inside during the Chicago winter. There are so many different workout videos available online with different difficulty levels. It can be hard to be motivated to try a class at first, but the feeling when it’s over makes it so worth it. There are fun classes like Zumba, pilates, and dancing if that appeals to you more. The after-effects boost my mood and make me feel like I can tackle the day in front of me. 

  1. Go on a Bike Ride

If you don’t have a bike, I highly recommend investing in one. Bike rides can be one of the most calm forms of exercise. I love to listen to acoustic music while I bike through my neighborhood. If it’s not snowing or raining, I think any temperature is perfect for bike riding --  just don’t forget to layer your clothes!

  1. Hiking

Hiking is one of my favorite activities and it turns into a workout without even realising it. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, hiking is an uphill trudge that you can do if you have some time on your hands. Search online to see if there are any hiking spots near you. You might have to drive a couple hours, but you can make it a fun day trip with friends or family. Don’t forget to pack snacks!

  1. Go to the Beach

This isn’t an option for everyone, but if you have a beach near you, use it to your advantage. Relaxing under the sun is always a great way to unwind, but there are also so many other activities that can be done at the beach. Playing games like beach volleyball, paddleball, or frisby are all fun ways to get up and move. Water games like marco polo and monkey in the middle seem childish but are actually so underrated and always have my friends and I laughing. If the waves are big, swimming, boogie boarding, or surfing can be a blast if you’re comfortable enough with your swimming abilities. If there aren’t waves, paddleboarding, kayaking, and canoeing are great for building upper body strength. There are so many enjoyable things to do at the beach other than sitting on the sand with a book (but don’t get me wrong, I love doing that, too). 

  1. Have a Dance Party

Whether you do this alone or with a group of friends, having a dance party in your living room releases music-induced endorphins that can completely turn your mood around. Queue up a throwback playlist and dance until you’re sweating. 

One thing that is important to remember above all else is that exercise should never be a punishment to your body. It should be an appreciation for what your body is capable of doing. By staying active, I have felt so much happier and I’ve learned to never take my body for granted. By experimenting with ways to stay active that are actually fun, I look forward to my workout every single day.