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The Unworkout: 7 Ways to Get Fit Having Fun

Enjoy exercise that doesn't feel like exercise


One of the latest (and most strenuous) physical fitness crazes is Capoeira, a blend of dancing and martial arts. "It was developed by slaves in Brazil who weren't allowed to have martial arts or weapons," says Swencionis. "So they developed a martial art that came from a part of Africa that's now Angola. It looks like dancing, and it's all done to music. They turn on their backs and heads using moves that could either be dancing or kickboxing."

3. Go on a treasure hunt. Take the whole family (or a group of friends) on a geocaching adventure. Geocaching is a hot new adventure that involves using a handheld global positioning system (GPS) to find a hidden cache of trinkets and a logbook. It's not as easy as it sounds, and cachers add new twists all the time. For example, an item that's labeled "hitchhiker" is supposed to be carried from one cache to another. (Mr. Potato Head is a well-known hitchhiker.)

Getting to a cache is half the fun. It can be as leisurely as a walk in the park, or can require expertise such as rock-climbing ability. All you need to get started is a GPS device (about $100). Information, including geocaching etiquette and cache locations in and around your ZIP code, is posted on geocaching web sites.

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4. Train for an active vacation. Ever thought of doing a wine-country bike tour, escaping to a ski resort, or living out your dream at a fantasy sports camp? These are the kinds of vacations you'll never stop talking about. But whether you come away with fond memories or a pulled ligament can depend on how well prepared you are. To prevent muscle soreness and injury, train before your trip (using the upcoming vacation as your inspiration). Do general strength, cardiovascular, and flexibility training, including exercises that target the muscle groups for your sport.

5. Spice up a dull routine. Tired of your routine walk around the track? Walk to the park instead, and fly a kite. If you're bored with the treadmill or elliptical trainer, spice up your workout with multimedia. Clip a tape or CD player to your belt, get audio books from the library, and enjoy "reading" while you work out. Or set up a portable DVD player and watch a movie.

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