If it’s extremely fun, is it still exercise? Yes, but don’t tell your brain that! Exercise can often feel like a chore — just one more thing in an endless to-do list. And sometimes, depending on the week and world events, exercise can feel like an insurmountable task. Much of our struggle with exercise is mental. Have you ever dreaded going to the gym, but then felt great once you were there and in the swing of things? It’s mental!
We’ve put together the most joyful types of exercise and movement to help you get over that mental hurdle. There’s only ONE rule: no self-judgement allowed!
1. Exercise like a kid
Remember how much you moved around as a kid? It was because it was fun! You got to play and explore and feel free. You can bring back some of that feeling as an adult by doing whatever movement you enjoyed as a kid.
If you liked gymnastics or jumping on the trampoline, buy a mini trampoline! If you loved to hula hoop, buy a hula hoop! You know what they say, five minutes of hula hooping a day keeps the doctor away. Just kidding, they don’t say that, but we do! Believe it or not, hula hooping is aerobic. If you liked jump roping, buy a jump rope. Did you know jump roping burns more calories than running?
Whatever it is you choose to do — whether you enjoyed it as a child or it’s totally new to you, chances are you have positive associations with those activities stored in your brain. So go get your play on!
2. Go retro
We (along with the rest of Instagram) have fallen in love with Oumi Janta’s dreamy roller skating videos. She makes roller skating look like a form of roller dancing and we’re here for it. Skating can be as aerobic as biking or running, but it feels totally new and novel. So dust off the old roller skates (or better yet, buy a cute retro pair), watch her skating tutorials to nail down some basics, and hit the pavement.
3. Dance, dance, dance
If you’re anything like us, you feel a little silly dancing alone at home to Britney Spears in what feels like an uncoordinated mess. That is...until we mandated that you do this for your health! Dancing is actually intense cardio in disguise. It gets your heartrate up and — if you go for long enough — gets you sweating, which is what we want! It’s also great for your mental health. Many studies have shown that dance reduces depression and anxiety. Try Ryan Heffington’s donation-based Instagram dance classes, which he actually fittingly calls “dance parties.” Just remember the rule, no self-judgement allowed!
And as always, once you’ve broken a sweat, reward yourself with a tall glass of water and a stick of your favorite Cure.