I know plenty of people that more than dislike exercise but rather hate it with a passion. They will take off the opposite way if the word exercise is mentioned. Here in the U.S., there’s a fitness culture that promotes exercise and fitness gadgets like clockwork, yet again, some still hate exercise no matter what’s presented to them. They’ll buy the workout clothes, put the outfit on but never workout in them. Well, if you’re one of these people, I have some good news for you. Despite what many would tell, you don’t need to exercise but you do need to be physically active to get fit. Thankfully there are activities called hobbies in which can provide you the physical activity you need.
Now you may be wondering, what’s the difference? The difference is that one is a subset of the other. Exercise falls underneath physical activity. Exercise is defined as a bodily activity for the sake of improving physical fitness while physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure. Exercise typically has more structure to it while physical activity just requires movement in general.
Today, I’m going to provide you with a list of hobbies you can do that require physical activity but won’t seem like traditional exercise as you know it. When you have a hobby, you’re doing the activity in your leisure time for your own pleasure. Exercise may not be pleasurable to you but a hobby will be. If I can convince you to partake in a hobby that gets your body more frequently, you stand a better chance of meeting the recommended amount of weekly physical activity to reap health benefits to help get you fit.
Let’s begin, shall we?
I know plenty of former athletes that hate working out but as soon as you mention playing sports, they’ll be the first ones to jump up. That competitive nature and comradery light a fire. If this is you, join a recreational sports league or start your own. Pick a league that matches your skillset and fitness level starting out. I would suggest picking a sport that requires continuous or bouts movements that challenge you yet not to the point that it’s not fun. Examples: Flag football, basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, rowing, track & field.
Living a self-sufficient lifestyle will definitely get and keep you fit if you haven’t modernized or automated everything. Manual lobar isn’t always a bad thing. Lifting bags of soil, shoveling, hauling materials are all part of the lifestyle, working your entire body. This type of lifestyle will keep you moving pretty much every day. There is always something to do from gardening, feeding animals if you choose to have some, upkeep of your property, and/or making your own products to use. You could essentially start a small hobby farm and make money while getting physical activity in all at once.
Love music, consider dancing to get fit. Now, of course, there are various forms or types of dancing, some more strenuous than others. Pick one that you enjoy and can do for at least 20-30 minutes 2-3 days a week. I would say hand or line dancing will probably be your easiest option with breakdancing or other forms of dancing involving more use of your total body to be the hardest. I suggest mixing it up here and there. Challenge yourself and try something new.
Martial arts will not only help you to get fit but it could also help with mental health, self-esteem, self-control, emotional and spiritual well-being. It’s not always about self-defense or combat, there are some martial arts schools that focus purely on therapeutic aspects. In middle school for gym class, we did Tae Bo by Billy Blanks, a martial artist who used his martial arts background to help people get in shape. It was great, I couldn’t wait to get to class. He took martial arts and made it fun and enjoyable.
That’s right, obstacle courses. It has been quite a craze with shows like American Ninja Warrior, Wipe Out, Spartan Races, Ultimate Beastmaster, and American Gladiator. Start doing obstacle courses for fun. There are places that offer obstacle courses for you to do for their business. Can’t find one, make your own course. Get creative put different challenges in the course to work on different elements of fitness like balance, strength, agility, and so on. Have a family or group of friends? Get them involved too, have them surprise you with a course but make sure they know to make it safe.
Go and enjoy nature while getting fit at the same time. Give your lungs some fresh air to breathe in to oxygenate your blood. Work the most important muscle in your body, the heart with challenging terrain. Hiking isn’t your usual walk around the block and will definitely put your body to work. Just be sure to get the proper attire.
Biking, an activity I believe many of us took for granted as a child. We saw it purely as fun or a way of transportation. The whole time, riding our bikes, we were conditioning our bodies. Think about, all those races you had against your friends working your anaerobic system going as fast as you can. Then taking those long rides across town working your aerobic system and standing up driving those legs to get uphill building strength in your legs. Biking is definitely a hobby to get into to get fit. Want to take it to another level, go mountain biking. Take your bike off-road with challenging terrain but sure to get the correct type of bike. Remember to wear a helmet, safety first.
One of my favorite forms of cardio because it’s fun and doesn’t feel like a workout to me. I started doing this because I always found it fascinating how boxers would jump rope during training and even more once I saw all the tricks professional jump ropers performed. Just trying out new tricks make you forget about it being a form of exercise. You’ll be improving your cardiovascular system, coordination, bone density, and more jumping rope.
Roller Skating or Blading
A pastime that’s easy on the joints and will have you gliding across the floor. Go roller skating or blading indoors or outdoors. I suggest you do it outdoors if possible to benefit from fresh air and the sun. This hobby is great for the heart and working the core and lower body especially as you get better at performing more advanced moves.
This one I wouldn’t personally try but I did have a client that participated in parkour regularly and she was amazing. Parkour is traversing environmental obstacles by running, climbing, or leaping rapidly and efficiently. Now, doing it as a hobby, you want to ease your way into it. It will definitely challenge your entire body but it’s risky. It requires a lot of precise movements and skill but if you’re up for it, go for it.
Love the outdoors and to be challenged, give mountain climbing a go. It’s physically and mentally demanding. You’ll spend long hours working your way slowly up and down a mountain with a heavy pack on your back. Furthermore, it requires a fair amount of technical skills and can be extremely dangerous due to weather, wildlife, falling rocks, and more. Mountain climbing is definitely a hobby that builds endurance in all areas. I strongly recommend you to take a class and hire a mountaineering guide first before going on your own. This is definitely one of the harder hobbies to take up.
Climb up, down, or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls to get in shape. I personally would stick to the indoor rock climbing walls, seems to be a more controlled environment. The pegs on the wall are more secure than the unknown out in nature. Rock climbing is a total body workout that will push your body, especially as attempt to climb more advanced walls indoors. If you the great outdoors and never done it before, try it indoors first and then find a mentor or class to prepare you for the outdoors.
Run or Walk for Causes
Although this may remind you of exercise, it probably won’t feel like it as much because it’s not a competition and more about the cause. There is no need to exert yourself to the max, just finish the walk or run. You could be out there with a loved one to support them and have to go at a slower pace anyway. This a great way to get some cardio in regularly and show some love. Before, you starting walking or running for a cause, please have the right type of shoes on. If you don’t your feet may in up in a world of pain afterward.
Play Childhood Games
Remember when you were a child? You didn’t do traditional structured exercises, you went outside and played games. The thought of working your hamstrings, pectorals, or abdominal muscles didn’t cross your mind. It was all about having a good time. Star playing games like you used to. Below I’ll list a few games to play to help you get fit. Play them with family and friends.
- Tag Variations
- Nerf Gun Fights
- Capture the Flag
- Potato Sack Race
- Interactive Video Games
As you can see from this list above, you don’t need traditional exercise to get in shape although weightlifting and jogging make great hobbies. Ultimately, you have to find what works best for you. Having a hobby that keeps you in shape, you now have one of three hobbies everyone should have. I wish well you on your health and wellness journey. Be sure to pay my healthy lifestyle shop and resource page a visit to further aid you in becoming a healthier you.
Be Healthy, Be Balanced, Be You