Sometimes the key to staying healthy is finding the fun in it.
Are you laughing? It’s okay to laugh. But contrary to popular belief, fitness can actually be fun. I’m sure that there are some people who enjoy working out the traditional way by going to a gym. I am not one of them. I need to find the fun elsewhere.
Okay, let’s back up for a second. Technically speaking, fitness doesn’t have to be fun. It can literally be a chore that you don’t really enjoy, but you still do it consistently to achieve those end results. A lot of people go this route, and the motivation is clearly the results they see.
That just isn’t enough to keep people like me interested. In order for me to stick with a fitness routine, I need something that can hold my interest. Just sweating it out at the gym won’t keep me coming back. Eventually I drop the routine, and I’m back to where I started.
That’s where finding something fun comes in. It makes a workout feel less like work. When something is more fun, we are much more likely to keep doing it, and that consistency is what we need for workouts to actually, well, work.
Luckily, there are plenty of fun fitness options out there these days. You don’t have to hang on the treadmill to get your heart rate up or hit the leg press to work on those glutes, unless you want to. You can get to new heights with an aerial yoga class, or take it back to the playground with hula hoops and trampolines. There is a little bit of something for everyone looking for a unique workout experience.
While not all of these unique fitness classes are guaranteed to be offered everywhere, many of them can also be found online. So if you need to add a little fun to your routine, try out some of these unique fitness classes.
As it turns out, those hula hoops from our childhood years were a really great workout. Fighting to keep that hoop spinning around is actually a full body workout that can burn tons of calories, improve your balance, and strengthen muscles in our abdomen, back, arms, and legs.
Fitness hooping will often take it to a new level, with a larger and heavier hoop that will have you working a little bit harder to maintain the spin. And if you can find an instructor-led class in person or online, you’ll be moving to music and keeping up with the group.
If you are familiar with high-intensity interval training (HIIT), tabata will sound familiar. Tabata is a higher intensity version of HIIT, and the intervals are shorter. A round includes 20 seconds of exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for four minutes total. Four rounds with a minute of rest between makes up a full 20-minute circuit.
Don’t let the shorter intervals fool you, though. It consists of really intense intervals that are designed to push you to the limit. This workout is great for anyone short on time, because it packs a lot in to a small amount of time.
You have probably done yoga on the ground, and you may have done it in the water. But if you are looking to reach new heights, aerial yoga could be your next fitness adventure. With this fitness class, you will do yoga poses while being suspended from a silk “hammock” (a strong loop of fabric hanging from the ceiling). Yoga poses will be similar to those you’ve already done, but the hammock frees you from added stress and joint compression. Plus, you have to admit it looks cool.
Other forms of martial arts are certainly more well-known, but this Brazilian art form is definitely worth a try for anyone looking for something different. It originated among Brazilian and African slaves during the 16th century. Capoeira is a martial art disguised as a dance, with high kicks and punches melded together with beautiful movements.
Unlike some other martial arts, it emphasizes flowing movements rather than fixed stances. Capoeira will teach you strength, flexibility, balance, endurance, and agility. Performed to musical instruments and traditional Brazilian songs, it will also help your rhythm.
If you grew up doing tricks on a trampoline, I have good news: you can get a great workout with a trampoline, even as an adult. With rebounding, you’re doing aerobic exercise while jumping on a mini trampoline. It will definitely get your heart pumping while strengthening your muscles, all while putting less impact on your joints.
You can likely find rebounding classes at fitness studios in your area, but you can also purchase a rebounder for your home. They don’t take up a lot of space, and many fold for easier storage.
Yoga With Puppies and Other Animals
If you would love an extra dose of cuteness with your workout, you might want to try out yoga with some four-legged friends. I have seen kitten yoga and puppy yoga from local rescues (including the humane society) most often. However, you can also find yoga with goats, alpacas, and even butterflies.
As you can imagine, cute creatures will boost your mood while you do your poses. It might also boost your mood to know that your class fees are likely going to a good cause, too, as these usually benefit the organization putting them on.
Don’t let the beautiful lines and elegant movements fool you. Barre class is extremely challenging – but in a good way, of course. It blends elements of ballet, yoga, and pilates together into one smooth, intense workout. It will put every muscle in your body to the test!
You don’t have to be a prima ballerina to take advantage of it, though. These classes focus on strength, cardio, and stretching much more than perfect dance technique. If you stick with it, you will find yourself with increased flexibility, more muscle strength, improved endurance, and even better posture.
This one is probably going to be skipped by the more conservative folks out there, but pole dancing is taking the fitness world by storm. It’s a really effective total-body workout that will up your strength and flexibility. If you’re not afraid to get a little sensual with your workout, it could be the fun (and challenging) workout you’ve been looking for! Although it requires a ton of athleticism, flexibility, and skill to do all the tricks, none of those are required to get started! The strength and skill will come with training over time.
Bouncing around with a bungee cord looks like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? This unique workout using a bungee was only developed a handful of years ago in Thailand, but has since spread all over the place. It consists of being tethered to an elastic cord that is attached to your back via a harness. This allows you to do all kinds of exercises and fun tricks, without added strain that happens with other high-impact workouts. It also gives you the ability to do moves and poses that you weren’t otherwise able to do, like handstands, flips, and more.
Don’t let the name of this one fool you. You don’t have to be a fighter to reap the benefits of fitness boxing. You don’t even need to take a punch. Boxing movements have been adapted into exercise routines that you do yourself, without a sparring partner.
You will still learn to throw punches and dodge correctly, but you’re just punching at the air or a punching bag instead. The whole thing is an incredible workout that will improve your strength and coordination, while keeping your mind engaged.
Just like with boxing, kickboxing has also been given a fitness makeover. The punching, kicking, footwork, blocking, strategy, and more have been incorporated into fitness routines to provide a challenging full-body workout. Although you do learn real kickboxing moves, this one is also a no-contact workout. All punches and kicks are thrown at the air or a bag instead. This fun and engaging way of working out will have you feeling stronger and more healthy, without ever feeling like your workout is boring.
There are a lot of unique fitness classes out there these days, but perhaps drumstick fitness takes the cake. As the name implies, you will do this workout with drumsticks, and it’s inspired by the workout you get from playing the drums.
They aren’t just regular drumsticks, though. These are actually lightly weighted to give your workout extra oomph. Holding them, participants drum to the beat of music that is blasting in the studio. You will find yourself dancing, singing, and sweating as you rock your way to a rock-hard body. And while the drumsticks are in your hands, this works out way more than just your arms.