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Want to Make Exercising Fun? You Need Alternatives to the Gym!

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Have you fallen for the myth that “exercise” and “fun” are mutually exclusive terms? 

If you’re used to getting your exercise by working out in a gym or by pounding the pavement, you might come to the conclusion that getting and staying fit isn’t necessarily fun. 

But some alternatives can make your workouts a blast — to the point where you look forward to doing them. Do you want to learn more? Keep reading to see some fun options.

Ultimate Frisbee

Playing ultimate frisbee is a great way to stay fit and have fun — at the same time. It’s a non-contact team sport you may or may not be familiar with. One thing that differentiates ultimate frisbee from many other team sports is that it relies primarily on self-officiating. 

So, there’s no need for a traditional referee. It’s governed by following the rules and good old-fashioned sportsmanship. You can learn more about the rules of this great sport here.


Fencing is a two-person combat sport that includes sword fighting. There are three branches of fencing, and each of them requires a specific type of blade. The three disciplines are the foil, the saber, and the épée. Your best option is to find an academy that provides instruction in the sport. 

If you like the idea of putting on traditional fencing garb, including the helmet, and wielding a sword like a modern-day gladiator, fencing might be the right sport for you. It’s proof you can have fun while burning calories and staying fit. When you find an academy that teaches fencing, you’ll learn how to do it right. But you can also check out fencing rules beforehand. 


Did you know that rowing provides a full-body workout? When you row, you’ll target major muscle groups like the glutes, quadriceps, and calves, and you’ll also target the pecs, obliques, arms, and abdominals. Rowing is also suitable for people of different fitness levels, has a low impact on joints, strengthens the cardiovascular system, and more. You can get those benefits whether you use a rowing machine or a rowing boat on a body of water. The latter can be more beneficial since you’ll be surrounded by nature, the warm sun, and fresh air. 

One way young people can get a feel for this fun and engaging activity is through rowing camps. Chances are that they’ll be hooked when they get their feet wet.

“I see young athletes with a good amount of potential finding fitness in community at our rowing camps,” says Ryan Sparks from Sparks Rowing, whose rowing camps for youth are headed by some of the best collegiate-level coaches in the country.

Cross-Country Skiing

Do you enjoy winter sports? Perhaps you’ve gone downhill skiing or cross-country skiing as part of a high school class. Skiing can be a fun way to get the physical activity you need to be healthy. If you live in a state that gets lots of snow during the winter, get some appropriate gear and enjoy some cross-country skiing. 

One benefit is that you won’t necessarily need to go to a ski resort since you can cross-country ski over relatively flat terrain. It’s also a great sport to enjoy with others. So, you can go out as a group and enjoy working out. In addition to getting your blood pumping and keeping your heart healthy, cross-country skiing will engage muscles in your shoulders, core, legs, and more.


Paint ball game
Image by Evan Cornman from Pixabay

Have you ever tried paintball? It’s a competitive team shooting sport where teams seek to eliminate opponents on other teams by hitting them with capsules filled with paint. The capsules break when they hit their targets. It’s a harmless sport that will help get your adrenaline pumping. Paintball can add variety to your normal exercise routine, boost strength and endurance, reduce calories and weight, lower stress, and enhance teamwork and collaboration skills.

If you’re looking for a way to make workout time fun, try one or more of the recommendations above. It’s essential to get into the habit of working out. In fact, failure to get enough physical activity can lead to a lot of issues down the road. 

Finding alternatives to traditional physical activity can give you added incentive to get the exercise you need.

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