We all have that one friend who HATES physical activity. (Some of us are that friend or used to be that friend.) And who can blame them? Typical forms of exercise can be really boring and really tough, especially when you’re out of shape. But for those of us who can’t sit still, love a good cardio burn, or at least recognize we’re a lot happier and more energetic after one, it can be hard to maintain an active lifestyle around people who can’t or don’t want to participate.
So, how do you get them to join in the fun? By getting creative! Here are a few easy ways you can get moving with almost any friend or member of your fam…
Play Disc Golf
Throwing a disc may not seem like exercise at all, but that’s what makes it so great! Disc golf has become pretty popular over the last decade, with more and more people realizing just how entertaining, inclusive, and active it really is. Whether you’re looking for a weekend activity to do outdoors with your kids, a unique “day date” idea for you and your spouse, or just a way to get your grandparents out of the house, disc golf is a sport for every age and fitness level.
And don’t even get us started on the benefits of walking (See our blog post on walking for a list.)! And being close to nature? There’s nothing better for your stress. Not to mention, since the sport is super low-intensity, you and your loved one will be able to catch up and converse about the things that matter without ever getting out-of-breath.
In case you or your gang needed another “good” reason to swipe the ole credit card, here you have it. As with disc golf, shopping can add a lot of steps to your day. And we’re not just talking 50 or 100. Try hundreds, potentially thousands, depending on how long you go at it! Shopping for just an hour, on average, burns between 250-350 calories—and if you’re lugging around shopping bags, BONUS POINTS! Taking the stairs instead of escalators? Parking at the back of the lot? Even more! And let’s be honest, most of us—when we actually convince ourselves to get off Amazon and go into a store—shop for at least two hours at a time. So, we’re talking potentially 500, and if you go the extra mile *pun intended* 1,000 calories, just for doing what we all love to do a little too much of.
Bored, got money to blow, or just in need of a couple things? Rather than blind-ordering them on Amazon, make a day of it! Invite your people, and get out there and shop ’til you drop! The more ya buy, the more ya burn—and they’ll never think a thing of it.
Jump on a Trampoline
Who says trampolines are only for kids? It turns out that jumping is as healthy as it is fun. This moderately strenuous exercise is great for building strength as it targets multiple muscle groups at once (leg, back, core, etc.). It also improves bone density as one study found that competitive trampolinists had higher bone density than their peers. And it’s good for your heart too! Like other cardio workouts, it exercises your heart muscles, thus decreasing the amount of work your body has to do to pump blood.
Last but not least, trampolining has been shown to relieve stress by releasing endorphins and increasing the circulation in your muscles. In fact, the simple act of “rebounding”—the tensing and releasing of your muscles when you jump—will leave you feeling super relaxed afterwards.
Ready to tap into your inner child? This activity is sure to make for a good time for everyone involved, fit or not.
Take a Walk
Seeing a theme here? A workout doesn’t have to be grueling to be effective, and walking is proof! Scientists believe that walking at a brisk pace may be the only type of aerobic exercise we need. Yep. According to studies, just going for a 45-minute stroll once a day can add 15-20 years to your life, lowering your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and more. Other benefits include enhanced brain function, lower levels of anxiety and depression, and even weight loss just to name a few.
Next time you and a friend need to catch up, instead of kicking back, put your kicks on! A hour-long walk will go by in no time and give you both a solid calorie burn (250-400 calories depending on pace).
Outdoor Game Night
If indoor game nights are a thing, why can’t outdoor game nights be one too? Outdoor Twister, a DIY obstacle course, Tic-Tac-Toe, a balloon dart throw, corn hole, flashlight tag, sack races, water balloon volleyball…the list of options goes on. And we’re not talking about playing these like you did as a kid; we mean adult-size with adult prizes (and snacks, of course) to make the night even more of a blast. After all, there’s nothing like a silly game to bring out the competitive athlete in all of us! And if you’re an active person, then you know from experience that when you’re having fun, physical activity feels a lot less like physical activity. Plus, peer pressure (the “everyone else is going/doing it” kind) will no doubt work to your advantage.
Get to brainstorming, maybe even recruit a few friends to help you plan, and invite your crew of favorites over for some good times. Who knows?! Outdoor Game Night may be such a hit that it becomes a new tradition, and a healthy one at that. For game ideas, use your pal, Google!
That’s all we’ve got for now! And if your friend decides to take things a step further and do a typical workout with you, don’t forget to introduce them to our XPO Trainer—an easy way to have fun with friends while pushing your body to the next level.