For a lot of people, “fun” and “losing weight” don’t belong in the same sentence. Huffing and puffing on a machine at the gym while surrounded by strangers does not sound like an exciting way to shed extra pounds. Or maybe you’re bored by the monotony of the elliptical trainer or repetitive weight lifting. If this sounds like you, a weight-loss plan you can do at home -- and one that you’ll actually stick with because it’s fun -- might be the solution. There are lots of exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home, and having a few fun activities in your workout repertoire will keep you on track to reaching your target weight.
Not everyone is a born dancer, but everyone, regardless of skill level, can benefit from this fun form of exercise. According to the American Council on Exercise, dancing can burn anywhere from 260 to 500 calories, depending on the intensity of the dance. Dancing is also beneficial to heart health, can improve bone density, boost your mood and reduce stress. There lots of different types of dances to try, too, so you can find one that’s enjoyable for you. You might like the quick pace of Latin-inspired zumba, or maybe ballroom is more your thing if you have a partner to do it with. Even belly dancing can provide a stellar workout for weight loss. The best part is, since you're working out at home, no one has to witness your less-than-skillful moves if you’re not a great dancer.
Workout While You Watch TV
Exercising can also be made more fun if you have an entertaining distraction -- like your favorite television show. Doing a workout while you watch the morning news or a funny sitcom can help pass the time while you work off extra weight. There are a number of different exercises you can do, including aerobics and strength-training moves. To get in a dose of cardio, you can set up a treadmill or stationary bike in front of the TV, or do jumping jacks, jump rope or even run in place if you don’t have a machine. Strength-training exercises like pushups, crunches and squats don’t require any equipment and can easily be done while watching television, or you can use weights or a resistance band to increase the intensity.
Taking part in fun outdoor activities, like shooting baskets or tossing a Frisbee around the backyard, will also burn calories and help with your weight-loss plan. Walking or jogging around your neighborhood will require you to leave the confines of your living room, but these are both excellent cardiovascular workouts that can help knock off a few pounds. If you have a workout routine, moving it outdoors can also bump up the fun factor. The change of scenery and addition of fresh air will boost your mood. Also, depending on the activity, the uneven terrain of your yard can increase the intensity. For instance, you could try an outdoor yoga routine; performing the poses in the grass can challenge your muscles even more.
Changing up your workout routine regularly can have a huge impact on your calorie burn, giving you faster weight-loss results. Variety also makes exercising more fun, so you're less likely to get bored. At your home, you can do this with interval training that alternates high and low intensity moves for both cardio and strength-training benefits. For instance, you could try a routine that calls for one minute of fast jump roping between each strength move. Strength-training exercises, like rows or lunges, should be varied to work your whole body.
- American Council on Exercise: What are the Benefits of Dance Inspired Workouts?
- Helpguide.org: Easy Exercise Tips
- ShapeFit.com: Calories Burned During Exercise
- MayoClinic.com: Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour
- Idea Health and Fitness Association: Fun & Fresh Air: Time to Go Outside!
- Yoga Journal: Back to Nature: Taking Yoga Outdoors
- Shape: 15 Full-Body Workouts Under 15 Minutes: Jump Rope Intervals
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