Health & Wellness

10 Great Ways to Get Exercise When You Hate Working Out

Health & Wellness

Let’s face it, for a lot of us, working out isn’t fun – it’s, well, work. Even if you manage to make it to the gym, how consistent are you? Routine tends to feel old after a while and that’s the last thing we need when trying to keep ourselves young.

Maybe the idea of a gym or exercising with equipment intimidates you. Maybe you’re just curious to find some ways that can make exercise fun. Maybe you just find yourself short on time or budget and are looking for a way to work out at home.

Whatever the case, this article is going to explore some options for those that gravitate away from conventional and towards adventurous.


10. Get a dog. Already have one? Two? Even better. I don’t think it’s any surprise to anyone just how much energy dogs have.

They will happily be ready to play given any opportunity to do so. My advice is, give them an opportunity to do so. Not only can getting out and being active with your four-legged friend make getting some exercise fun, it can also help to better your state of mind.

Take them for a long walk or a brisk run. Better yet, hit the dog park and have all kinds of dogs to play with.


09. Dance! There are a crazy amount of dance styles and any one of them is a groovy place to start. Make one up if you want to, the point is simply to get moving.

Think of a dancer or the last time you saw someone dancing either in person or in a video. Chances are, they looked to be in fairly good shape.

Again, no exercise equipment is needed here, maybe just some of your favorite songs.

Need some inspiration? Look no further than Panderz (@panderz_) who has made a career out of dancing as a panda. I’m not too sure about what is more fun than that.

08. Video games might be more your style. Hear me out. With advancements in technology, video games have gotten far more immersive and interactive.

Every major gaming console today has exercise games and even video capabilities. Anything from Wii Fit to Zumba Fitness, to EA Sports, to Xbox fitness, consoles have you covered. These games allow you to completely customize your routine and some can even calculate your BMI.

If you have a gaming console, you’ve already got home fitness exercise equipment.


07. Yoga is only as relaxing as you want it to be and is another work out at home option on the list that can be done without needing much of anything. It’s the perfect workout no matter your skill level as there are many different styles and practices.

You may want an instructional video or yoga mat, but that’s about the extent of any exercise equipment. The benefits of yoga also go far beyond physical improvements.

To get started, Claire Fountain (@cbquality) is a great yogi resource to help make exercise fun. Even better, she caters to non-traditional yoga body types.

06. Surfing may be one of the more challenging mentions on the list, but I promise you, it’s also one of the most fun. Anyone that has even been in the ocean can tell you how much of a workout it is.

Now add a giant board that catches the water and drags you with it. Exercise! So for this, you obviously need some equipment but it can all be rented fairly cheap to test the waters, so to speak, before fully diving into the hobby.

It is definitely a workout but surfing is so much fun that you will likely forget about being tired. Would you rather exercise at the gym or at the beach?


05. Swim without the surfboard attached to your ankle. Maybe the idea of surfing isn’t for you or maybe you don’t live somewhere that it’s conveniently possible. Luckily, just swimming is one of the absolute best full-body workouts available.

Whether you set out to the water specifically to get some exercise, or you just want to cool off, you’re going to burn calories. Summer is the only excuse I need to find a pool or hop in the river with some friends.


04. Bowling might also just be the perfect sport for people who hate sports. It’s definitely not an activity that you need to be in excellent shape for so no discouragement there.

If you’ve ever bowled, you know that it’s not nearly as much of a work out as some of these other activities. It is probably one of the most fun ways to get a little exercise though.

Some time at the alley gets your circulation going, can boost your metabolism, and lower cholesterol. Gather up some friends, they won’t even know they’re exercising, and careful on the snacks!


03. Hiking is a great excuse to get outside and get moving. There’s definitely no exercise equipment or gym needed here. All you need for this one is the great outdoors.

Enough water and some comfortable shoes can take you places you never knew existed. This is another workout on the list that is as easy or as difficult as you choose.

If you pick a hike with a summit, you’ll feel accomplished once you’ve reached it and the view is usually worth the trek. If you’re a little more adventurous, try night hiking.

It’s just as much exercise but can be even more fun with nocturnal animals and night-blooming flowers.


02. Karate chop your way into better health! Martial arts is a surprisingly great exercise, especially because there are so many variations. You may want to find a martial arts related exercise gym or dojo, but karate can also be used as a way to work out at home.

Many workout programs actually incorporate mixed martial arts into their regimen.

The only exercising equipment you’ll need is for this one is determination. Martial arts from a trusted instructor is also helping build a great mentality.


01. Rock climbing is an excellent full-body workout that is a lot of fun. A word of caution to anyone that hasn’t tried it, it is quite challenging. Climbing is strangely addictive as you will constantly push yourself to do better.

Here you will need some equipment and ideally, a gym if you’re new to the sport. Climbing outside can make the exercise more fun and enjoyable but climbing in a gym can also be a blast.

If you’re a beginner, fear not, there are plenty of routes and climbs designed specifically for you. Climbers are also an amazing community and welcome all fitness and experience levels.

Sierra Blair-Coyle (@sierrablaircoyl) is the kind of climber that makes climbing look easy. It isn’t. Luckily, she also makes it look really fun and really cool. It is.

Time For The Cool-Down

The ideas listed here are only a small sample of the hundreds of ways to make exercise fun. The main point is to get moving, regardless of if you want to work out at home or have any exercise equipment.

Hopefully at least one of these sounds like fun to you:

  • Get a dog
  • Dance
  • Video games
  • Yoga
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Bowling
  • Hiking
  • Martial arts
  • Rock climbing

All of these activities are also great ways to socialize and spend time with your friends. Maybe you don’t actually mind working out at the gym and just want to take a friend with for the camaraderie.

Sometimes when you’re enjoying something you can lose track of how much work you are doing. Don’t overdo it, have fun, and stay healthy.