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Did you know fun workouts can positively influence your drive in life? A 2021 study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine about physical activity and life’s sense of purpose proves its possibility. The study found that more exercise led to a greater sense of purpose in life in American adults.
The authors of the study, Ayse Yemiscigil and Ivo Vlaev, were interviewed by Gretchen Reynolds of The New York Times. Yemiscigil, a Harvard University Human Flourishing Program postdoctoral research fellow, shared an interesting thought.
She said that post-workout, “people often report more self-efficacy“. What makes this important? She says that exercise may have moved these people to set new life goals because of their newfound sense of capability coming from exercise.
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So if you’re wondering, “do 10-minute workouts do anything?” This study just might be the sign you’re looking for as it shows that fun workouts can do you a whole lot of good. You get an increased drive and sense of purpose in life on top of a fit body.
If that sounds like a good enough motivation, here’s a list of fun workouts you can try at home. You can even go outdoors and exercise anywhere you can get your heart pumping. You can also try these to get yourself out of feeling stuck if you’re already bored with the exercise routine you’ve become comfortable with. So, are you ready to trade in your exercise blahs to hurrahs? Let’s hit it!
Fun Workouts You Can Do at Home
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You don’t need fancy equipment or trendy exercise subscriptions to experience fun workouts at home. All you need is a routine that will get you moving and a little music to make things exciting. But having a little help from machines and the pros in those subscriptions wouldn’t hurt if you’ve got the budget for it.
If you’ve been thinking, then, “what are some fun at-home workouts?” This one’s for you. Get to know these fun exercises that will spice up your workout routine at home and flex those muscles.
Fun Workout #1: 7-Minute Standing Workout by Johnson & Johnson's Chris Jordan
This 7-minute standing workout is the combination of 12 fun workouts in one high-intensity regimen. Best of all, you’re done in seven quick minutes!
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It’s an exercise created by Johnson & Johnson’s director of exercise physiology, Chris Jordan, that will produce results and that you can easily do at home. The only things you’ll need are a chair you can balance yourself with, a supportive wall, and a good pair of shoes.
Fun Workout #2: Cardio Workouts by Fitness Blender
Fitness Blender has cardio workouts that don’t need fancy machines. Because of that, their fun workouts at home are perfect for those just beginning to exercise and even for seasoned fitness buffs.
What’s also great about Fitness Blender is their wide range of free fun workout videos you can choose from. They have over 500+ exercises and counting! Take your pick from fun workouts at home without equipment to those that need extra resistance using weights, benches, or ropes to build your muscle.
Fun Workout #3: Cardio Dance Workouts
Have you always felt like movement was your thing but couldn’t really get the feel of the usual exercise routine? Fun workouts you can try are cardio dance exercises like Zumba and hip-hop abs. Other great options are Latin dance cardio, Afrobeat, and pop music.
Check out these YouTube channels that have fun workouts recommended by Women’s Health:
Fun Workout #4: Pilates
Fun workouts are best enjoyed with a community of like-minded people and exercises that are doable even for beginners. Pilates is a good exercise to consider if you want to get toned and get connected to people with whom you share a common goal.
Routines are also widely available on YouTube channels like Blogilates so you won’t have to scramble to find out where to start. Pilates has fun workout routines with or without equipment too. So no worries there if you’d like to take it easy.
With Pilates, you can strengthen your core, gain new friends, and enjoy better well-being too because of your stronger body.
Fun Workout #5: Kickboxing
This one will need you to ideally train with a pro if you’re just starting and may even need you to go to the gym. Kickboxing is one of those fun workouts that need proper instruction and proper equipment.
Once you know the proper techniques, you’ll enjoy improved flexibility and strength. The thrill of getting physically stronger in every kickboxing training is the fun in the workout.
Don’t want to leave the comforts of your home? Very Well Fit recommends online kickboxing classes like Les Mills and Crunch Live. They’re online, affordable, instructor-led, and have an excellent range of kickboxing exercises.
Fun Workout #6: Krav Maga
Next to kickboxing, martial arts has another fun workout called Krav Maga. What makes Krav Maga different from kickboxing is its focus on self-defense in real life both for you and anybody you’d need to protect. It’s a great workout to try because you get to build your body’s strength, self-defense confidence, and endurance.
Fun Workout #7: Indoor Cycling
Did you know indoor cycling was originally a training designed for serious outdoor cyclists who wanted to get fit without needing to ride outdoors? It’s a fun workout created in 1987 by Jonathan Goldberg to simulate outdoor terrain that gets cyclists in shape without having to leave home and face the stress of the outdoors.
We mentioned this because that’s an interesting thought to keep in mind. Knowing that your indoor cycling skills developed in the spin studio or at home can be used outdoors will motivate you to purposefully exercise.
Indoor cycling is one of those fun workouts that will build your resistance, improve your cardio, and train your cadence. Get a good bike for spinning at home or find a good studio like Soul Cycle to get started.
Fun Workout #8: Barre
Looking for fun workouts that help you become lean and strong? Barre workouts just might become your thing once you learn that this fun exercise tones your body up like a dancer’s through ballet-inspired moves. The focus here is toning and strengthening your core and limbs.
Plus, you don’t need an actual barre to get started. Check out fun workouts on YouTube or studios like Physique57 and Pure Barre who also have online classes to get an idea. Women’s Health and Greatist have useful articles about barre that you can also read into.
Fun Workout #9: On-Demand Fitness Classes
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Fun workouts don’t have to be confined to one particular type. You can have fun working out with different kinds through on-demand fitness classes that offer a variety of exercises to choose from.
Programs range from HIIT to low impact, full-body to targeted exercises. You won’t run out of choices to have fun with. Best of all, you’re guided by vetted instructors like Rebecca Louise on the BTES app and Kayla Itsines on Sweat.
Fun Workouts You Can Do Outdoors
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How about taking fun workouts to the great outdoors? Whether that simply be in your own backyard, the neighborhood park, or out in the wild, you can have fun getting fit outside! Take a look at these fun workouts that will give you much-needed fresh air.
Fun Workout #10: Ultimate Frisbee
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Ultimate Frisbee is one of those fun workouts you can do with your family. So if you’re looking for fun workouts for kids, Ultimate Frisbee is a good choice. It’s a sport you can play together in your own backyard.
On top of getting to bond together, you can look forward to the following health benefits according to Health Fitness Revolution:
- Improved ability to sprint and do endurance running
- Improved metabolism resulting in you being able to burn more calories
- Improved body agility
- Improved mood
- You get a full body workout
Fun Workout #11: Playground or Park Workout
Circuit training at your neighborhood park or strength training at the playground? Take your pick! Fun workouts can start at any of these accessible places. All you need is a routine that helps meet your fitness goals so you’ll know what part of the park or playground to use.
Fun Workout #12: Brisk Walking
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Did you know fun workouts like brisk walking can help improve your memory and increase your brain’s cognitive function? Not only that, it helps bring those happy hormones in and lowers your stress levels.
The challenge is, how do you make walking brisk? Healthline recommends targeting your heart rate. Walk at a speed that will increase it to the rate that’s ideal for your age. This way, you’ll get to see if you’re walking at the pacing that’s right for you.
Here’s Healthline‘s formula to determine your heart rate’s ideal range:
- Low end: (220 beats per minute – your age) x 50% = ideal heart rate
- High end: (220 beats per minute – your age) x 85% = ideal heart rate
- Ideal range = low end to high end
Active.com has great brisk walking workout routines you can read if you’re getting into it. Their article has fun workouts for beginners, intermediate walkers, and advanced.
Fun Workout #13: Trail Running
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Trail running is a fun workout where you wouldn’t want to get out of the woods because of the refreshing experience you’ll get from nature. It’s a good break from running on the gym’s treadmill or the city’s concrete slopes.
Before you go, bring along a trust water bottle and a light snack as you’ll be in the woods where food and water aren’t readily accessible. Take a lightweight jacket too in case it rains or gets chilly.
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Having a first aid kit will also be handy to treat any blisters or insect bites. Lastly, wear shoes specifically for trail running to protect your feet and make sure you’re comfortable enough to enjoy every moment on the trail.
Check out Trail Link’s maps that let you explore over 40,000 miles of trails. Knowing where you’re going is an essential part of trail running as well. Enjoy without getting lost while also staying safe outdoors.
Fun Workout #14: Hiking
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Take a scenic trip to your city’s hiking trails for a change in scenery from the urban jungle. Hiking also makes for a fun workout because it builds your body’s strength and endurance while also improving your digestion.
Jesse Kropelnicki, the owner of triathlon training company QT2 Systems, shares hiking’s benefits with Outside. He says,
“The total time spent on your legs and eccentric loading [that is, lots of downhill] are great for strength…and the extended duration of taking in nutrition while working relatively hard helps train your gut to efficiently digest and use calories while active.”
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Fun Workout #15: Outdoor Cycling
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Ever wondered why your indoor cycling class always had views of the outside projected on the screen? That’s because it was created to simulate riding outdoors as shared earlier.
If you get a good workout from a good spin indoors, you’ll get an even better one outside. That’s why outdoor cycling is included in this list of fun workouts.
Spinning those wheels outdoors not only gives you fresh new sights but also builds your muscle. On top of burning at least 400 calories per hour, outdoor cycling gives you a stronger immune system and boosts your mental health too.
Fun Workout #16: Swimming
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Watersports like swimming are fun workouts you can do either in pools or open waters to cool off while getting fit. According to Shape, swimming helps build your body’s muscles and strengthens your cardio. You also get to burn calories while you’re at it.
Verywell Fit shares that swimming’s one of those fun workouts for beginners that gets them active while not being too taxing on the body. Swimming goes easy on your bones and joints while remaining challenging enough to get fit.
Just be careful of swimming in open waters like oceans or lakes. These are fun locations but research first and prepare well so you can stay safe while working out. Outside and Training Peaks have helpful articles to help you be equipped with the right knowledge.
Fun Workout #17: Rowing
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Late three-time Canadian Olympian Kathleen Heddle told the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum what got her hooked with rowing. “I liked the balance between brute strength and power with finesse”. Sounds like you? Fun workouts like rowing are a must then for you!
Rowing is a competitive sport in itself while at the same time, being a fun workout too. People often experience this through indoor rowing machines. But why not get out of the box and row outdoors instead?
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Fun Workout #18: Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
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Looking for more fun workouts in the water? Try out stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) this summer. It’s a fun workout where you’ll be able to strengthen your arms, legs, back, and core. You’ll also get to improve your balance with this watersport.
SUP is a great way to reenergize yourself through the outdoors too. So get on that board and enjoy working on your fitness!
How to Put the Fun in the Workout
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Even with the best of intentions and the most fun exercises at hand, some days just feel too blah to get a good workout. You might be asking yourself this question on those days, “How can I make exercise fun?”
One tip is to change your perspective about exercise. Try shifting it from looking at the pain to looking at the greater gain you’ll enjoy in pursuing it.
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Additionally, you can do these four things suggested by Lifehack to make fun workouts a lifestyle discipline to maintain:
- Exercise on a scenic route. Think about the reason why people keep on coming back to hiking trails, the ocean waves, and even the urban roads. Natural scenery and even cityscapes naturally inspire us to do more. It also renews our sense of purpose. So try going outdoors next time you’re in a rut.
- Workout with music. Get your heart pumping with music that excites you. Whether that be Beyonce’s Love on Top while doing cardio or even the Jurassic Park theme song while running, go for it.
- Get equipped with accessories. Lifehack recommends downloading apps appropriate for your workout that help keep track of your vitals and the progress you’re making.
- Exercise with a friend. Try getting the kids to exercise with you through role-playing. Let them play with a dinosaur puppet whose role will be your workout buddy for the day. It’s a good way to engage their interest, bond together, and get them moving too.
So there you have it! We hope you’ll enjoy these 18 fun workouts you can try at home or enjoy outdoors. And we hope the tips on how to make exercise fun when you’re stuck in a rut will prove useful on lazy days. Here’s to a happier and healthier year!