Exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise

Don't fancy heading back to the gym? Here's some other activities that will get you moving

Gyms in England are reopening from 12 April, but maybe you haven't been missing them. Sometimes the idea of dragging yourself to the gym and hitting the treadmill can fill you with dread, especially if you're not feeling ready to risk enclosed spaces just yet. Let's be honest, lying in bed watching Narcos seems far more appealing than lunging across a sticky gym. 

It’s easy to associate fitness with push ups and intense cardio, but it doesn’t have to be that way. To get some inspiration, we asked The Student Room’s community what fun gym-alternatives they enjoy.

Shake your tushy

You can burn up to 360 calories an hour busting some moves to your favourite bangers. Time to blast your favourite playlist and get moving!

EstelOfTheEyrie says: “I love Just Dance on the Nintendo Switch. I get really competitive when playing against others online, or whenever anyone else joins in - and I usually do well or win!”

Assassinbunny123 agrees: “Put on any music and just dance to it - imagine you're the singer! A rock-hype tune would make you sweat quite a bit.”

Get bouncing

Trampolining is so good at keeping you fit that even NASA are into it. Research by the space agency shows it improves your balance, gets your heart rate up, and is 68% more effective than jogging. Looks like you can somersault your way into great fitness.  

Danny Dorito is already on board the trampoline train: “I recently discovered trampoline parks. They’re a great laugh and remind me that fitness can be fun!”

WestDragon agrees: “Trampoline parks are so much fun! I was at one last weekend - great exercise method.”

Do something social(ly distanced)

A good way to get your raise your heart rate is to get moving with your mates. Outdoor sports and activities are back, and less of a risk than indoor ones. Whether it’s a kick around, a team hike or a game of rounders, blending socialising with sports is always a winner. 

TheRealLifeBane explains how he likes to keep fit: “Playing a chill football game with friends, strangers or the general community. Also messing about; dancing, sparring or play fighting with my brothers gets me moving without feeling like exercise."

Assassinbunny123 finds sport with friends is great for fitness: "You're so focused on the game, you forget you're running. Playing full-on table tennis, like hardcore competitive table tennis, makes you sweat so much and you don’t really feel tired after either". 

I like to ride my bi-cycle  

Want a way to keep fit that’s fun, cheap and good for the environment? Grab yourself a bike and get pedalling.

Jamesz173 loves cycling: “I've been riding to and from school since year 8, which means I can eat guilt-free cake... Now the 20-mile-in, 20-mile-out ride to my sixth form takes me an hour and does not feel like exercise because I have no other choice but to ride in.”

Make it part of your everyday routine

When you’re short on time and have deadlines looming, sometimes exercise can feel like one more demand on your to-do list. If you can't find time for dedicated exercise, just blend it into your day-to-day.

“I try walking to uni a lot” says DrawTheLine, “it’s a 40 minute walk, so if the weather's good and I’m feeling good I will walk.”

You can even incorporate it into your weekly chores, like CoolCavy: “I love hoovering!”

Mesopotamian agrees “Me too. A clean floor is so satisfying.”

What activities do you enjoy doing to keep you fit? Got any suggestions for any gym-phobes out there? Comment on the thread below!

Related on TSR:

Five ways exercise can help your mental health
How to get fit on a budget
How to get started at the gym

People are talking about this article Have your say