The Unworkout: 7 Ways to Get Fit Having Fun
Enjoy exercise that doesn't feel like exercise
More on The Unworkout
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
6. Try something new. Go horseback riding. Try inline skating. Join
in a community trash pickup. Build houses for Habitat for Humanity.
7. If you love a challenge and want to see real results, sign up for a
civilian boot camp. Dave Johnson of Austin, Texas, generally keeps fit by
running alone. But when a friend urged him to enroll in CPT Luke's Total Boot
Camp, he was game. The month-long boot camp met three nights a week, and
(except for the mosquitoes) Johnson found it highly motivating. "There's a
big difference between thinking I have to get out of bed and run, and knowing
that I paid money and people expect me to be there," says the 48-year-old
Johnson found he enjoyed the social aspect of boot camp: "You're passing
a medicine ball or holding a partner doing sit-ups, and you develop camaraderie
with your workout buddies." And in the end, he saw "a huge
improvement" physically. "They used the exact same fitness scale as the
Marines. I'm not sure where I started, but I finished in the 98th percentile.
And my running time improved dramatically."
A Change of Perspective
In an ideal world, people would spend at least 5-6 days a week doing a
balanced program of cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility exercises. But
for many people, that's neither realistic nor appealing. The fact is, only a
little more than one-fifth of Americans get at least 30 minutes of moderate
exercise a minimum of five times per week, according to a survey published in
the Archives of Internal Medicine.
In spite of all the emphasis on exercise over the last 20 years, the
percentage of people who exercise regularly hasn't changed significantly.
Perhaps we've gotten the idea that unless we follow the national exercise
recommendations to the letter, buy all the latest gear, or hang on every word
of the fitness guru du jour, why bother?
"We need to modify our perspective," says Bryant. "Too often, we
want to focus on what's 'best,' and that may be one of the reasons we've been
"We need to look at 'good, better and best.' Walking is good, maybe
jogging is better, and maybe running is best. But our goal is to encourage
people to make physical activity something they do consistently. Movement is
key. Identify those activities you find enjoyable, and make the choice to