Let me start off by saying that I am by no means athletic.. at all. I can't throw balls, kick them, and I definitely am not a team sport kind of person. I have been a horseback rider for the past seven years, but I have to work my tail off to get better and make progress. With all of that being said, I think you get the idea, I am not athletic.
Although I lack in the athletic exercise department, I love to exercise. And if you're anything like me, not athletic but want to exercise, don't fear, there are plenty of activities the non-athlete can do to exercise and stay in shape.
Now I know horseback riding isn't for everyone, though I highly recommend it because it is super fun and an amazing workout, but there are plenty of other ways I enjoy exercising. These are just a few alternatives that anyone can participate in and have fun while working out.
1. Group Exercise Classes
I absolutely love group exercise classes, they are so fun! I know some of you might be thinking, "I don't want to do yoga" or "I don't want to do a senior aerobics class" but I am going to stop you right there. There are hundreds of different classes out there to try, all unique, enjoyable, and providing a different kind of workout. Try looking up different classes online (the YMCA offers tons of classes!) and you're sure to find something that interests you.
P.S. Don't worry about looking out of place or silly in a group exercise class, no one is watching or judging you! Everyone there is there just to have fun and get exercise, promise!
2. Going to the Gym
Some of you may roll your eyes or sigh after you saw "the gym" but please bear with me. Before December of 2015 I was the same way. I thought going to the gym was a pain and a chore I wanted to avoid doing as much as possible. But then in December of last year, I gave the gym a chance, a real chance. I took it slow, only doing what I was physically able to handle. As I started going more, the more I looked forward to my trips there. There are machines for every type of workout, and the gym can be a great way to de-stress, along with breaking a heavy sweat.
3. Walking or Hiking
Take a friend, a family member, a dog, or even your cat. If none of the previous are interested, grab your phone and earplugs and bring some great music. Walking and hiking is honestly one of my personal favorite ways to exercise. I already always have my earplugs in, but I love to grab my dog and take a stroll around my neighborhood. If you go with another person, you can gab and gossip all while working out. Drive to a beautiful destination to add a splash of scenery to your workout.
Though I fully consider dance to be a sport, I feel that this is a sport everyone can do and have fun while doing. Though not everyone can be a Black Swan level dancer, anyone can bust a move and get their hearts going. So grab a friend, or even by yourself, turn on some good music, and move those feet! This is a great and very fun work out!
5. Join an Intramural or Recreational Sports Team/League
If you want to play a team sport but aren't super athletic, seasoned, or don't have a ton of time to commit to a competitive team, joining an intramural or rec league can be a great alternative. These teams are fun, less stress, flexible and are a way to play a sport you love without the extreme commitment of a competitive team.
6. Geocaching/Scavenger Hunts/Treasure Hunts
All a bit different, these activities will take you all around, giving you a great workout, as well a fun activity that brings out your inner kid. Geocaching is a glorified scavenger hunt that uses GPS devices to find a geocache (the treasure). These are great ways to get on your feet while having a blast.
7. Exercise Apps
Technology is great for so many reasons, and it can be used in practically everything. Now you can even use it to get exercise! There are hundreds of apps to download that give you fun, quick exercises to do that only take minutes out of your day. Exercise apps give you small exercises that you can do from your desk or in between tasks at work. They are often short and timed, allowing you to get a quick workout in wherever you are!
There are hundreds of activities and sports out there to discover. Some may be a little strange, or you may wonder "How could this be considered exercise?" well I say, ignore that pesky voice. Try it! Try everything you can! As long as you're up and moving, you're doing great. Just get up and moving, and if you try a new activity, you may just discover a new passion as well as get in a workout.
Now I have just scratched the surface of alternative ways to exercise. There are thousands of ways you can exercise without having to play a sport. Take some time and research different activities, or just give things a try. You may even surprise yourself, or at least get a good laugh and story from it! So get on those feet and start moving!