Let us be honest, exercising is not nearly as fun – or easy – as the online fitness influencers try to make it seem. It hurts, it makes us sweaty, and we all end up sore for the next three days – silently regretting why we did it in the first place and if it was all worth it.
When it comes to some cardio like running – while it is one of the most common exercises done by many looking to lose or maintain weight – is absolutely not for everyone. If you are one of those people who does not feel like hitting the weight rack, dreads the thought of waking up at the crack of dawn to go on a run yet wants to either lose or maintain their weight, or simply wants to do more cardio, then you are in the right place.
Exercise does not always have to be a serious thing and this is where fun cardio comes in. Fun cardio exercises are activities that are in fact workouts that don’t feel like they’re workouts. They are a simple way to trick yourself into moving and sweating more while having fun at the same time.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, keep reading to find out how to incorporate fun cardio workouts in your daily routine.
Read More: Steady-State Cardio Vs. HIIT: Which One Is Better And Why?
What Are The Benefits Of Fun Cardio Activities?
Before delving into the list of fun cardio workouts at home, what might be the benefits of adding these activities in your daily routine?
- Improves your cardiovascular health – These exercises help improve circulation which in turn helps lower your blood pressure and heart rate.
- Improves heart health – Research shows that not only do these exercises keep your heart strong, but they also help reduce your risk of heart illnesses (5, 4).
- Helps regulate blood sugar – Several studies have shown that cardio as well as other forms of exercise are especially important for people suffering from Type 2 diabetes as they help keep their blood glucose in check (8, 10).
- Helps you lose and manage your weight (2, 9) – Unlike resistance training, cardio is easily accessible to anyone who would like to watch their weight, as hardly any money or equipment is needed for many forms of this workout.
- Prevents cognitive decline especially in older adults (3, 6, 7).
Other benefits include better sleep, better memory, improved mental health, boosting your mood, reducing chronic pain, and much more.
Unique And Fun Cardio Workouts To Try Today
- Martial arts – Not many people will automatically think of martial arts as a cardio workout but it is a good way to burn some calories and get your body moving. The best part is that you also get to learn some self defense in the process
- Dancing – You don’t have to be good at it to do it – the point is to have fun. The best part of this is that you could put on your favourite playlist and just dance around in your house/room, or if you have the means, pay for a class to become a dance master while getting in shape.
- Parkour – We have all seen the videos on social media sites and on YouTube. If you are the more adventurous sort, find a parkour class near you and get on with it.
- Adult gymnastics – Gymnastics are often done by children but adult classes also exist. This is a good way to not only shed some weight, but also improve your balance, coordination, and flexibility.
- Try some organized sports – Footballers, rugby players, and other athletes are among the fittest people around. If running isn’t cutting it for you, find a sport that you’ve always wanted to try (or used to play back in high school or college). Perhaps you can sign up in your local league/gym.
- Try hula hooping – This is a fantastic activity that should help you break a sweat. For those who are parents, this is a great activity to help you bond with your child.
- Get a trampoline – It is a lot of fun for kids, so why can’t adults enjoy it too. If you have a backyard with enough space for one, buy it and jump on it every evening after work. It’s a great way to distress and workout without it feeling like you are exercising.
- Try rock climbing – If you want to workout your body, especially the upper body, then this is for you. This fun cardio can be done outside for the thrill seekers or indoors for anyone whose sense of adventure is not that high, or anyone who’d like the experience without nature getting in the way.
- Walk some dogs – Not only is this a great way to earn some extra cash, but it is a fun way to get a workout in. Dogs are especially hyper when outside and so while running around with them you can have a proper workout.
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How Can I Make Cardio More Fun?
What happens if you have limited options on where or what kind of cardio you can do? If you are unable to fit a dance class in your schedule, don’t have a dog or kids, or simply you only have time to do your cardio on a treadmill? How can you make those 30 minutes to an hour more fun?
Here are some options
- Get some music – Nothing gets us moving and amped up as much as good music does. You can either make a playlist or look up ‘cardio playlist’ on your music app of choice – such songs are always loud, high energy and can make your session more fun.
- Do your workout in front of the TV – This may seem counterintuitive for some, but concentrating on something else other than your workout is a great way to distract yourself from fatigue.
If you can afford it, purchase a small television and connect it in your home gym right in front of the treadmill or stationary bike. If this is too expensive, load up a movie on your phone and place it on the treadmill screen and concentrate on that instead.
- Get an accountability partner -Accountability partners can help you make sure that you’re actually following through with your plans to exercise. Another benefit of having a workout partner is that working out with someone makes the session more fun. You can talk, challenge each other on duration and endurance, and essentially play around making the whole situation more fun than work.
- Try group classes – This works in almost the same way as having an accountability partner. Remember that difficult tasks always seem to end faster when you do them with someone else.
- Variety is the spice of life – Doing the same thing over and over for weeks or even months will automatically leave you bored and in a rut. Switch up your cardio routine as often as your body allows it. Instead of running or swimming all the time, try incorporating any of the above mentioned fun physical activities for a more. effective and enjoyable cardio session.
Read More: Best Cardio For Weight Loss: 11 Best Workouts To Help You Stay In Shape
What Is The Most Fun Cardio?
Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. When it comes to answering ‘what is the most fun workout?’, the answer is very personal and largely depends on individual tastes. In the same way that not everyone has the same hobby or fashion sense, so is it that not all of us will think that one specific workout is the most fun cardio ever.
The best way to find out what is the most fun cardio for you is to try different cardiovascular exercises so you can find the one that brings you the most joy. One person might think that adult gymnastics is the most enjoyable workout while another might truly believe that cleaning while dancing around to a playlist is the most fun thing ever. Find what works for you and make that your thing.
What Cardio Burns Fat The Fastest?
According to Healthline, when compared to most common cardio exercises – including hiking, rowing, swimming, cycling, and jumping rope – running burns the most calories in an hour. Depending on how much you weigh, you could burn anywhere between 652 to 965 kcal/hour (1).
The Bottom Line
For anyone tired or not interested in traditional cardiovascular workout options like swimming, hiking or running, the above listed fun cardio alternatives are the way to go. This is a great way to not only get and stay in shape, but to also experience nature, meet new people, and laugh – which are all fantastic things for your general and mental health.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 12 Exercises That Burn the Most Calories (2019, healthline.com)
- Aerobic exercise alone results in clinically significant weight loss for men and women: Midwest Exercise Trial-2 (2013, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Aerobic Fitness Reduces Brain Tissue Loss in Aging Humans (2003, academic.oup.com)
- Cardiovascular Effects and Benefits of Exercise (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Exercise and Cardiovascular Health (2003, ahajournals.org)
- Exercise counteracts declining hippocampal function in aging and Alzheimer’s disease (2013, sciencedirect.com)
- Long-term exercise training improves memory in middle-aged men and modulates peripheral levels of BDNF and Cathepsin B (2019, nature.com)
- Resistance Exercise Versus Aerobic Exercise for Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (2013, link.springer.com)
- Role of Physical Activity for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance (2017, diabetesjournals.org)
- The essential role of exercise in the management of type 2 diabetes (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)