Exercise for People Who Don’t Like Exercise
Not a big fan of exercise? Rather spend time on the couch and avoid working up anything that even resembles a sweat? You’re not alone. But let’s be real – the old saying “use it or lose it” is absolutely true for our muscles. We all need movement that contributes to our flexibility, balance, strength, and endurance.
If you have the opportunity to work from home, you may not be getting the typical movement involved in commuting to work. For people who don’t exercise regularly, even the walking involved in going to work was good for fitness. Without even that, our bodies can really suffer. It’s important to find something you can stick to on a regular basis.
If the thought of exercise bores you, we’ve got a few suggestions that might liven things up. If it’s fun, you might actually stick with it or “graduate” to something else. But please remember that if you’ve been sedentary for a while, it’s important to check with your doctor first before starting any exercise. That said, try these ideas or use them to brainstorm your own.
Join the pickleball craze. Whiffle balls, ping pong-style paddles, and a mini-sized tennis court? Sign us up! You could think of pickleball as an easier form of tennis—a lighter ball, a more manageable paddle, and a smaller court. Pickleball (pictured above) is loved by families and people of all ages and abilities. Check with your local parks department, fitness club, or senior center.
Make your own obstacle course. Using simple items from around the house, you can create a backyard course to get moving. Play tunnels, baskets, hula hoops, boxes, orange cones—the list of possible materials and activities is limited only by your imagination. Get more ideas from Google or YouTube. It may make you feel like a kid again!
Go to the pool. No need to join the local masters (adult) swim team—although many masters programs welcome swimmers of all abilities. Just jump in and move around. Take lessons if you need to. Or try a water exercise class, which is especially good for people with arthritis.
Toss around a frisbee. This is also a great way to enjoy a nice spring day. You’ll get in some lateral movement (cross-wise or side-to-side movement) and some steps and short jogs. You could also swap this out for playing fetch with your dog.
Any of these activities will give you the four types of exercise we all need: flexibility, balance, strength, and endurance. Just be sure not to overdo it—you want to avoid injuries, of course, but also the discouragement that can come with injury.
Get started this month—May happens to be National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. If you need help or advice, the physical therapists here at CPT can tell you what activities are safe for you or suggest modified activities.