48 Fun Ways to Exercise

Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter.

A couple of 5th graders named Michelle and Casen recently asked me:

What advice would you give us when we know we should exercise, but we just don’t feel up for it?

My answer to them is what I’d tell anyone, child or adult:

Don’t look at it as exercise — instead, play games and sports and have a ton of fun! The main thing is just to get outside every day and do something you think is fun. You can play sports like soccer, basketball, baseball, or badminton. You can play games like freeze tag or ride a bike or do running races with your friends or family. You can go on hikes with your family or go swimming or paddling. Do lots of different things, and again, focus on having fun, and doing it often.

Michelle and Casen’s class, which has created the excellent Kids Read and Ride program, took this advice to heart and came up with 48 Fun Ways to Exercise. This is a good list for anyone:

  1. Aerobics
  2. Ballet
  3. Baseball
  4. Basketball
  5. Biking
  6. Boating
  7. Bowling
  8. Boxing
  9. Canoeing
  10. Dance Revolution
  11. Dancing
  12. Double Dutch
  13. Field Hockey
  14. Football
  15. Frisbee
  16. Golf
  17. Gymnastics
  18. Hiking
  19. Hockey
  20. Hopscotch
  21. Horseback Riding
  22. Hula hooping
  23. Ice Skating
  24. Jogging
  25. Juggling
  26. Jump rope
  27. Laser tag
  28. Paintball
  29. Ping-Pong
  30. Playing catch
  31. Rock Climbing
  32. Roller Blading
  33. Roller Skating
  34. Running
  35. Skateboarding
  36. Skiing
  37. Soccer
  38. Softball
  39. Swimming
  40. Tae Kwon Do
  41. Tennis
  42. Trampoline
  43. Treadmill
  44. Unicycling
  45. Volleyball
  46. Walking
  47. Weightlifting
  48. Wii sports games

My recommendation is to choose one of these activities, most days of the week (4-5 days perhaps). If you go out, have fun, enjoy the activity, it won’t feel like “exercise” … but you’ll be getting fit and healthy in the meantime.

Make the workout the reward.