Keeping fit and healthy isn’t always fun – it can often become tedious, and if you’re already trying to balance out your busy schedule, spending time on something dull or difficult is not going to give you the full benefits of exercising, and may leave you to feel disappointed or exhausted. Whether you’re starting up a new routine, or want to switch things up a bit, we’ve come up with some different ways to try something new and reap the benefits of exercising to keep you fit and healthy while also having a bit of fun.
1. Dip Your Toes into Water Sports
If you’re used to land sports, trying out some water sports can be a great way to try out something novel and experiment. If you live near a body of water, the opportunities here are endless, so whether you’re a thrill-seeker or like to lay back a little, you can find whatever best suits your preferences.
If you are wanting an activity to get your adrenaline pumping, there are plenty of exciting sports you can do in the water. Sports like jet-skiing, powerboating, and sailing all require a boat – although it’s quite a big commitment, it’s well worth it to be able to speed along the top of a lake or sea, feeling the rush of cold air as you soar over those waves. Remember: if you do plan on going out on the water in a vehicle, you’ll need to take a safety course like this one from ilearntoboat so you can know what to do to keep yourself safe.
If you’re not so up for something so intense or don’t live near an outside body of water, you still don’t need to miss out on taking a dip – swimming is one of the best activities that you can do to keep yourself feeling healthy as it works out your entire body, and it can be adjusted to your level. Whether you’re a beginner and want to take it easy or want to push yourself to beat a personal best lap time, it’s a sport that can fit anyone of any ability.
2. Join a Group or Class
If you think that your options are limited when it comes to exercise, you couldn’t be more wrong – the easiest way to explore a huge range of exercises at once is by looking at local groups or classes near you. You’re sure to find a range of exercise classes and sports, some you may not have even heard of before, to get stuck into. This is great for lots of reasons – the biggest is that you get the opportunity to try out something completely new, especially if it’s something you know nothing about. Not only does this broaden your horizons and switch things up, but it pushes you outside of your comfort zone and improves your resilience and stamina in the face of challenges or the unknown.
Another great thing about classes is that you often can pay by the class. This means you can try out as many new things as you like until you find one that sticks – there’s very little commitment needed, so if you want to try something without spending a lot of money on equipment, or if you fancy seeing if an activity is right for you without feeling pressured to keep doing it if it doesn’t quite fit the bill, a class can help you get a taste of a wide range of things. If you do like something, this means you can focus on that class and make it a routine thing, helping you commit to exercising as well as getting your body in “routine mode”.
With classes also, you can meet a wide range of people. Not only is this great to learn and observe others, and take in some useful skills or work out tips, but it also makes it more fun. You develop a bond with the group, meaning you can feel motivated and happy with your routine as opposed to doing it alone. You can even find an accountability buddy if you find it difficult to motivate yourself!
3. Keep Your Mind Healthy Too
When focusing on keeping our bodies healthy, it’s incredibly easy to forget that while we exercise and keep ourselves fit, we also need to look after our minds. Exercise can put a lot of strain on the body, and without proper care of our mental health, this can lead to exhaustion, stress, lack of energy, and also feelings of disappointment or struggling to feel proud of your achievements. You want to make sure you approach your exercise session full of energy, ready to soak up all the benefits, and of course, to come out feeling happy and refreshed, as well as proud of yourself.
This doesn’t mean isolating mental fitness from physical fitness though – there are a few exercises that are great for the mind. Yoga is a great example – while forming poses and stretching your body, there’s a focus on keeping your breathing still and focusing on the sensations you feel in your body. This replicates mindfulness, and can be a great way to re-center any calm you need for the day, as well as to bring attention to any other feelings (physical or emotional) that may need tending to – after all, stress often creates tension in the body, so stretching out and taking care of that tension is a great way to relieve stress.
It’s also worth adding small challenges or changes to your routine every so often. This prevents exercising from becoming repetitive and therefore keeps your mind on the task and focused, as well as giving you something to achieve and mark your progress with. By keeping track of your progress, you can allow exercise to become a way also to feel proud of yourself, boost your self-esteem and self-confidence.
These three steps are so simple but can revolutionize the way you work out and give exercising a whole new meaning.