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7 Fun Ways To Exercise (Without Even Knowing It)

I think many of us at some level know that working out and exercising is something that should be incorporated into our lifestyles.

But I also think that there are many people out there who don’t know where to start, see exercising as something too large to get into at the current point in their lives, or just don’t see traditional weight training as something that interests them.

The good news is that there are many ways to exercise and improve your health besides going to a gym and lifting weights, and we are going to go over a bunch here in this article. While I do believe that some form of weight training is a key piece of overall health and wellness, just getting started on some of these can be a great jumpstart to your fitness journey.

What I love about these, is that many of them have a barrier to entry that is so low that all it takes is just a bit of discipline and effort to get started.

These may also act as a “gateway” to other areas of improvement in your life. After a short time of engaging in your new routine, you may have a drive to start looking after your nutrition and eating better as well.

The snowball effect is real, and it all starts by taking one small step after another.

Speaking of steps, that brings me to my first form of exercise…

1. Walking

Just simply getting yourself moving a little more each day than what you are currently doing can go a long way in helping you become more fit.

I’m sure most of us have heard of the commonly mentioned standard goal of 10,000 steps per day, and while this is a fine number to shoot for, don’t think that you have to start here right away for your efforts to be effective.

The initial goal is to just do a little more than you have been currently doing, and when able, do a bit more than that if and when you’re ready, and so on.

In the very beginning, walking for exercise may just be putting those sneakers on and doing a lap or two around the block. That is a very attainable goal and most importantly, builds momentum to build on going forward.

Once your walks become a habit, you can start to set step or distance goals for yourself if you want something a bit more structured or progress-oriented.

Getting outside and moving your body has other benefits as well beyond physical fitness.

These are great times to get together with a friend or two who you may not get to see as often as you’d like and spend some time catching up.

And even if you remain solo, bring along some uplifting music or listen to an audiobook or podcast and learn something along the way.

2. Play A Sport

Playing a sport, whether organized or just a pick-up game at the park is a great way to get yourself moving, improve your cardiovascular strength, burn calories, and even make a couple of friends while you’re at it.

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Photo by Jed Villejo on Unsplash

If you’re playing outdoors, you’re even taking in Vitamin D as well.

It doesn’t have to be a super competitive endeavor either if that’s not your thing. Go out to the basketball courts with a couple of friends and play a game of H.O.R.S.E., or toss a baseball around and field some fly balls and grounders.

If you’re on your own and still want to get some athletic activity in don’t worry, you have options. You can work on your jump shot and dribble in preparation for your next game or do a few rounds of shadow boxing right there in your bedroom.

There’s something about throwing combos at the air and slipping imaginary jabs that just make me feel good.

3. Active Hobbies

Exercise doesn’t even have to look like exercise on the surface.

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Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

Do you have hobby that you love doing that keeps you moving and active?

Guess what? You’re exercising.

It can be gardening, woodworking, dancing, snorkeling, paint balling, the list goes on and on.

If any of these are things you enjoy and have been participating in for any length of time, then you’ve been exercising and may not have even realized it.

I’m not a gardener by any means, but do I think that that time spent carrying bags of soil, digging and planting, and maneuvering in the dirt accumulates workout points? It sure does in my opinion.

4. Martial Arts

This one might be a little intimidating to some people, and understandably so.

From the outside looking in you may see participating in different martial arts as dangerous or scary.

And if I’m being honest from my personal experiences, it can be a mix of both. Especially depending on where you train, how you train and who you train with.

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

But on the other end of that, it is also exciting and very rewarding.

Whether it’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kickboxing, Muay Thai and so on, there is probably a martial art out there that fits your style and personality.

The obvious benefits of practicing a martial art are improved cardiovascular fitness as well as muscular endurance. Not to mention being even a bit proficient in a martial art is pretty bad ass overall.

But some of the benefits that might get overlooked are improved confidence as well as enjoying the friendships and camaraderie between gym mates that develop as you all travel along the martial arts path together.

5. Don’t Take The Easy Route

“Park further away so that you have to walk more to get to and from the store.”.

“Take the stairs instead of the elevator.”.

These are tips that I’m sure we have all heard a million times before. Yet how many of us actually practice them day to day?

These little drops of activity can add up in our exercise bucket as long as we remember to do them when the opportunity presents itself.

I try to make it a habit to do these whenever they fit practically into my daily routine.

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Photo by BENCE BOROS on Unsplash

When I say “practically”, I mean whatever suits your level of fitness or desires at that time.

If you work on the 20th floor of your office building, maybe you don’t walk up the entire 20 flights of stairs but walk in between flights throughout the day as you need to during your shift.

If you have errands to run on a nice day, perhaps walk to and from your destinations rather than driving or taking public transportation (as long as it is safe to do so of course).

These can be modified in many ways to fit into what you are currently capable of overall as well as for that particular moment in time. The main takeaway is to “steal” tiny moments of activity when you are able.

6. Bodyweight Movements Throughout The Day

Ok, so you will probably realize that you are in fact working out when implementing this one. And that’s ok, this can work well for those of you who want to start exercising but aren’t ready just yet (or ever) to get into a gym and lift weights or do something super structured.

One way you can start doing this is to pick an exercise for these 4 movements: Hinge, push, pull, squat.

For your hinge movement, you can choose an RDL variation, for your push, a pushup variation, your pull, a pull-up or inverted row variation, and finish it off with a traditional body weight squats or a single leg squat variation.

This article goes a bit deeper into calisthenics.

There are so many ways in which you can get these in throughout your day, and the level of structure is very adaptable as well.

You could start with a round of 10 each (or whatever your level of fitness allows you to do) in the morning before you start your day, and repeat this at different times throughout the day that work for you.

If you prefer a bit more structure, you can set a specific time per day for a few days per week, in which you do a full-body session using all of these exercises. You can track your reps and sets and try to beat the logbook over time. You can regress these movements as well as progress them with external resistance if you so choose, or a combo of both as your fitness level and goals change.

The possibilities are vast and seeing yourself become more capable with your own body can be very rewarding which makes this a fun way of getting your dose of exercise.

7. Stretch It Out

Stretching can be a great way to get your body warmed up for a training session, or help you loosen up and unwind. It all depends on how you do it.

You can stretch dynamically or statically, or a combination of both.

Dynamic stretching involves actively moving your body through different positions with no appreciable time spent holding those positions. Think trunk twists and leg swings.

Static stretching involves getting your body into whatever position it is for the muscle you are trying to stretch, and holding that stretch for a certain period of time.

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Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

Dynamic stretching is usually best suited for before activity, while static stretching is best saved for after training or any time that you feel like loosening up and chilling out.

Just like the bodyweight exercises mentioned above, a stretching practice can take on many different forms.

If you prefer structure and guidance, you could give a Yoga class a shot.

If you want to freestyle, you can play around and experiment with your body. Start slow and see which positions and movements feel good and help you feel more relaxed.

I know for me, I almost always feel soothed and calm after some time spent freestyling and taking different parts of my body through different ranges of motion.


These are just 7 of the many, many ways to exercise in a way that is also fun and enjoyable, and I hope that you’ve found at least one that resonates with you.

Which one (or few) of these are you going to start adding to your daily routine?

How many of these have you already been doing regularly?

Let me know in a comment, as well as any other fun ideas that you have been doing to stay fit, active, and healthy as well.

Disclaimer: None of the information in this article is intended to be medical or health advice. Always consult with a qualified physician before taking part in any exercise or fitness regimen. Always exercise responsibly.

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  1. I absolutely love these ideas! I surely agree that walking and playing a sport are the best ways to exercise without knowing it. Awesome tips!

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