3 ways to exercise without exercising

Disclaimer: actually, you will have to exercise to exercise (<–someone just taught me this the other day…who would’ve thought??), but it won’t feel like you’re getting a workout!

Channel your inner B

If you aren’t on close terms with her like I am in my head, B is short for Beyonce.

Dancing is one of the most fun ways to twerk up a sweat, burn a ton of calories, and just feel good. According to the Mayo Clinic, one hour of dancing can burn up to 533 calories for a 160 pound person (now all you have to do is make sure you drink fewer calories than that in the adult beverages you may be consuming while dancing…)

I love breaking it down during a night out with my girlfriends or at an event, but I really love learning choreographed routines in classes or from videos. Last year, I took a six-week hip hop dance class at the local community center and it was SO fun! Not only did I leave each class feeling like a music video diva, but I was always drenched in sweat! Mmmm.

See the resemblance to B below? No? That’s because you need an eye doctor appointment.

Do the double dutch

You saw this one coming, right? If not, you should definitely schedule that eye appointment.

Joe and I have been members of a competitive jump rope team for almost our entire lives, but even simple single-bouncing (when you turn the rope and bounce repeatedly) is a challenging, entertaining, and humbling experience for most people.

Even more difficult and fun than jumping by yourself is trying to coordinate with (at least) two other people to get some double dutch going. Remember doing this on the playground in elementary school with rhymes?

If you haven’t double dutched since the playground, recruit a couple of your friends who don’t mind embarrassing themselves in front of you and go to town. The best thing about jump roping is that you can do it almost anywhere, and all you need is a rope (or for double dutch, two ropes). You’ll get some great cardio activity (Mayo Clinic estimates that jumping rope torches up to 861 calories per hour for a 160 pound person!), work on your coordination, strengthen your leg muscles, spend time with friends, and feel so completely uncoordinated that you are not unlike a baby deer using its legs for the first time.

Yep, I took the time to make that one-of-a-kind graphic. I call it “Fawn Roping.” You’re welcome. Speaking of animals…

Play like your pet

Ever noticed how many times per day your dog or cat goes from completely motionless to full-on-sprinting-for-his-life? Some days I think Willoughby is secretly training for the 100-yard dash at the Olympics and hasn’t invited me yet to watch him compete (he better not even think about not inviting his mother…).

Instead of having your significant other toss frisbees to you and risking an emergency dental appointment, gather a group of your buddies and head to a nearby park to play kickball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, or flag football. All of these sports will have you going from zero to sixty repeatedly – meaning that while you’re wrapped up in the game, you’ll be inadvertently doing interval training. Intervals are is a super efficient way of burning fat, increasing your anaerobic threshold, and revving your metabolism for a longer period of time after your game than steady-state cardio activity would.

Now go play! I’m off to do #1 in front of the mirror.

What activity gives you a workout and doesn’t feel like one? On a scale of 1-10, how much do I look like Beyonce in the second picture? Just kidding, don’t answer that second one (…unless it’s above a 7).

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