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When it comes to exercise, many people picture going to the gym, becoming a runner, or taking a fitness class. While those are great options for some people, others might have a difficult time finding the motivation to go. Luckily, there are many other ways to get exercise! Let’s discuss seven slightly unconventional—but equally effective—ways to be active.


Hiking is a great way to exercise while enjoying the great outdoors. It is a low-impact activity that can improve your cardiovascular health, strengthen your bones, and help with weight loss. Moreover, hiking can reduce stress and anxiety, and research has shown that spending time in nature can have a positive effect on your mental health.

Kayaking or Paddleboarding

If you live near a body of water, you might want to try kayaking or paddleboarding as a form of exercise! Paddling engages your arms, core, and even your legs all while enjoying your time on the water.


Rollerblading is a great option for exercising while also getting fresh air and enjoying some time outdoors. Rollerblading is relatively simple to learn, and once you get the hang of it you can cruise around your neighborhood or local park for a leisurely workout.

Hula Hooping

Believe it or not, hula hooping can be a fun way to exercise your abdomen! If you’ve never tried it before, there are plenty of tutorials online to get you started. Once you get the hang of it, hula hooping can be a great workout that can be done from the comfort of your living room.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is another fantastic way to exercise that can be done both indoors and outdoors. Whether you have a rock climbing gym in your area or opt to scale real-life rock faces (with all the proper safety equipment and training, of course), rock climbing is a great full-body workout that will get your heart pumping.

Dance Classes

Who says exercise has to be boring? If you enjoy moving and grooving, try signing up for a dance class! There are plenty of different types of dance to choose from, so you can find one that suits your taste (and your preferred speed). Group dance classes will offer a rigorous workout and may provide a new sense of community!

Recreational Sports

Whether it’s ultimate frisbee, softball, basketball, volleyball, or anything in between, signing up for a recreational sports league can offer varying intensities of exercise while also having a good time and making new friends.

Each of these activities can help keep you active and offer a perfectly good workout without ever going to the gym. Do you have any other favorite unconventional ways to get exercise?

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