It’s September, and the temps are starting to cool off. I don’t know about where you are, but in Texas, we say “Hallelujah!” After many, many weeks of highs in the 100’s, autumn is our friend.
Cooler days are great times to get outdoors and be more active. You just feel like moving more when you don’t break a sweat to walk from the door to the car. So, in the name of all things cool and crisp, here are 30 fun activity ideas for moving more. Let’s not think of it as exercise, but as move-it-more-ation. The more you move, the more you want to move. You’ll enjoy your life and the people you do life with more if you do it on the go.
Seven people sitting in the same room staring at their phones or the television are only sharing air.
Seven people playing at the park, swimming in the pool, or hiking in the woods are sharing memories.
Which sounds more fun? The answer is memories. Always memories.
So here we go. Thirty ideas for a month of move-it-more-ation.
- Park further from the door. Now that the heat reflection from the pavement won’t melt your face off, park at the back of the parking lot and take extra steps to shop.
- Take the stairs. Elevators and escalators are for wimps. Unless they’re in underground parking garages. Some people don’t like clowns. I don’t like stairwells in underground parking garages.
- Dance. Shake, shake, shake with KC and the Sunshine Band. Yes, I just dated myself in the worst way. Dancing is a great date night with bonus points for groove.
- Walk on your lunch break. Take a brisk walk around the block to work out the morning kinks and energize your afternoon.
- Wash the car. A drive-thru car wash doesn’t count. Get out the water hose and sponge and scrub all the summer dirt off your car. Lots of stretching and bending there.
- Bike a trail. Every place I can think of has biking trails. Grab your bike and helmet, and go explore nature.
- Play Family Olympics. Get everyone involved in obstacle courses, relay races, hula-hoop contests, and ball tosses.
- Chores. Noooo! Yessss!! Sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and dusting. You can’t beat a two-fer-one deal with exercise and a clean house to boot.
- Join a neighborhood sports league. If you played a sport in your youth, try your hand at it again. Even golf counts, as long as you walk the course. A golf cart is cheating.
- Form a family sport team. If you have friends who like the same sport, challenge them to a game. Think tennis, volleyball, softball, or apple schmear (from Cheaper by the Dozen).
- When it’s warm, turn your yard into a water park with water balloon tosses and sprints through the sprinklers.
- If it’s snowy, the options are endless. Skiing. Sledding. Hiking on snow-shoes. Building a snowman.
- Skating. Ice or roller blading.
- Stand while you work. Standing keeps your mind engaged and your body active.
- Walk inside to do your business. Drive-thrus are great in hot or bad weather, but walk inside the bank when you can.
- Garden. You get yummy vegetables and the joy of spending time outside.
- Take a class – jazzercise, pilates, yoga, kick-boxing. Whatever sounds like fun. Not to mention, the social aspect will keep you motivated.
- Hire a trainer. Put your money where your mouth is. If you’re paying someone, you’ll be more apt to show up.
- Shoot it out – with a water gun or paint gun. Chase each other around in a fun-for-all war. My girls love to gang up on their dad with the water guns. You can hear everyone screaming and laughing for a mile. Paint guns leave stains, obviously. So, dress accordingly.
- Sit on an exercise ball. The ball forces you to sit up straight and engage your core.
- Take stretch breaks. It’s easy to get too focused. Before you know it, you’re one big knot. Stretch your shoulders and back with some deep breathing to overcome the afternoon slump.
- Go shopping. Park in one place and walk from store to store. Now, I didn’t say spend money, so don’t use this as an excuse to blow your budget.
- Play on the playscape. When you take the kids to the park, don’t sit on the sidelines watching them. Join in the fun.
- Find a walking partner. If someone is counting on you to show up, you usually will.
- Learn something new. Check out the community boards for ideas or call the parks department. There are often rentals, classes, or group activities for local attractions, such as canoeing.
- Sign up for a 5K. Nothing like not wanting to come in dead last to motivate you to get in shape.
- Scavenger hunt. Another fun way to beat the socks off your kids. Brainstorm a list of 20 or so objects that you must find in say an hour. Break up into teams, and scramble to find as many as you can. You can do this at a park, the mall, or in the neighborhood.
- Walk the dog. Most dogs love activity. Get your walk in while you’re walking them. You’ll probably get a little resistance training in, as well, because dogs also like to explore every scent they pick up. I was never very good at making mine heel. If you’re a cat person, I have no words of advice. They are basically comatose balls of fur with short bursts of frenzy thrown in at 3 a.m.
- Swim. This isn’t just for summer time. Many places have an indoor swimming pool. Swimming is great cardio and resistance exercise for people with joint problems.
- Yard work. When we had a smaller yard, I loved to cut the grass. The white noise of the mower. The scent of freshly cut grass. The monotony of walking back and forth. All of it had a sort of therapeutic effect when life was crazy. Now, we have an acre around our house. A riding lawn mower or a grass-eating animal are more practical. Except grazing animals (cows, in my case) eat my herbs. A fence is at the top of my honey-do list.
Now, you have no excuse. Thirty fun activity ideas for boosting your exercise. We’re talking real life here for the 12 Steps to a Healthier You Journey. If you’re not into the gym, you’ve still got a lot of options for exercising. So, go find something that floats your boat!
Want to add something to the list? Leave your favorite activity in the comments.