Ways to exercise that don't feel like exercise

If lycra and excessive sweat are your personal ideas of hell on earth, then Joe Gorman's five simple tips for getting active without ‘exercising’ are definitely for you.

This can help if:

  • you and exercise are not best buddies

  • you want inspiration to include regular exercise in your day

  • you want exercise ideas that don’t involve a gym.

Hip hop dance class

Ways to exercise that don’t feel like exercise

1. Start a social sports team

If the idea of going to the gym fills you with dread, what better way to exercise than by playing a social sport? Social sport is to exercise what fruit is to a pavlova. Surrounded by enjoyable stuff (pav = friends + fun), you barely notice you’re actually consuming something that’s good for you (fruit = exercise). Starting a social sports team is a great way to keep fit while hanging out with friends and meeting new people. And it’s so much better than competitive sport, because you can pick and choose different teams each week, all ages and all genders can play together, and it’s free.

2. Walk to work/school

This is an easy one. Wake up a little earlier, and instead of catching the bus or the train to work, just walk. Yes, it might take a little more effort, but walking is good for you in different ways. It’s good for your health; it allows you to slow down and take notice of your surroundings; and if you’re stuck inside all day, it’s a nice change from staring at your computer or your smartphone.

3. Run to your transport

Can’t wake up early enough to walk to work? Live too far away? Sometimes it’s impossible to walk everywhere, but that doesn’t need to stop you from exercising. Ever tried sprinting to your preferred mode of transport?

4. Offer to help carry things (and build your biceps)

Maybe you don’t enjoy lifting weights? They’re too heavy, and people who lift weights in the gym are generally already huge and muscular. Well, a good way to exercise your arm muscles and help a friend (or a stranger at the supermarket) is to offer to help carry their stuff. They’ll appreciate the gesture, and slowly but surely, you’ll build those biceps and triceps without the gym work.

5. Dance

What better way to exercise than to dance? Go out to a club, or to a friend’s party, put on your favourite music, and get down to the music. If you’re like me and have no rhythm, you might need to do this in the privacy of your own home.

That GIF, tho’. You're welcome.

What can I do now?