It’s the end of a long workday, and you trudge through the rush hour crowd, your workout gear in hand, to a harshly lit gym where you run quietly on a treadmill. There are two things to look at: the muted evening news, or your reflection in the mirror. The whole place smells like stale sweat and energy bars. For many people, this is what exercise looks like – a boring grind, meant to serve one function, to get you in shape by any means necessary.
But it really doesn’t have to be like that. There are methods of physical activity out there that can be as fun and engaging as a video game, only with the added benefit of toning your muscles, boosting your endorphins and increasing your overall health and wellbeing. These activities make getting in shape just another way to have fun in your daily life – after all, between work and household chores, you have enough on your plate. If you’re looking to mix fun and exercise, try one of these five awesome activities.
Created in 1968 by a group of New Jersey high school students, this sport has seen a steady increase in popularity ever since. If you’ve never had the pleasure of playing Ultimate Frisbee, essentially, the goal of the game is to try and score points by throwing a Frisbee to your teammate in the opposing team’s zone. It’s a little like football, if that analogy helps.There are Ultimate Frisbee leagues all over North America, including the AUDL (American Ultimate Disc League) and Ultimate Canada, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding people to play with.
Have you ever picked up a set of darts, and thought to yourself, “this isn’t badass enough”. Well, then the sport for you is definitely axe throwing, which has gained an insane amount of popularity over the past decade. The rules of the game are even more straightforward than Ultimate Frisbee: you hurl an axe at a wooden target, and try to hit the bulls-eye. Axe throwing tournaments are frequently set up in cities all over North America, and all you have to do is join a league, like the Backyard Axe Throwing League (with plenty of locations spanning the continent) to partake. Even if you don’t want to join a league, there are still drop-in hours on the weekend, or you can book a private axe throwing lane for an event or party.
Beer League Softball
Ah, the classic “dad sport” – softball. It’s the perfect way to get in shape (minus those beers!) while having fun with friends. Pretty much every city will offer rec leagues, so it’s just a matter of rounding up some friends, coming up with a pun-focused softball name, and practising your batting. The only downside of using softball as your primary means of exercise is that it gets awfully difficult in the winter months.
If you thought this trend went away sometime in the late 2000s, think again. Geocaching is still around, and it still has a dedicated following of treasure hunters and thrill seekers. If you’re unfamiliar with Geocaching, it is, according to the dictionary definition, “the recreational activity of hunting for and finding a hidden object by means of GPS coordinates posted on a website.” What makes it such a wonderful exercise is that, along with all that fun and treasure hunting, you end up doing a good deal of walking!
Whether you do it outdoors or in a rock climbing facility, there’s no doubt that this activity has its diehards. Even though it’s perfectly safe, you still get that exhilarating feeling of hoisting yourself up a rock face and defying gravity. And not only is it exciting, but it just might be one of the best full body workouts around, since it engages your core as well as several different muscle groups.
As you can see, there are ways of getting in shape that don’t involve slogging away at the gym. Try one of these five amazing activities and introduce some exercise in your routine without sacrificing on fun.