Each year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions to make major changes in their lives. In 2018, one of the most common resolutions involved losing weight or getting in shape. That’s nothing new, as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 49.1 percent of Americans made an effort to shed some pounds during an average year, as revealed by data stemming from 2013 to 2016.
However, it’s important to note that only 23 percent of Americans actually meet all national physical activity guidelines, according to a 2018 report from the CDC. Certainly, it’s entirely possible to lose weight by focusing mainly on nutrition rather than exercise. But in order to improve your overall health and keep the weight off, working out on a regular basis will prove to be a necessary component of your routine.
Let’s face it: no one wants to spend hours on the treadmill or the elliptical. It may be effective in some cases, but it’s also downright boring. And although the CDC reports that losing weight gradually and steadily (e.g., one to two pounds per week) is best for long-term results, it’s not always easy to stay motivated when you aren’t excited by your workouts. Many people will acquire help from a weight loss center in their area to get started, though that may not always be an accessible reality for others. Fortunately, embarking on a weight loss journey doesn’t have to be a drag or require any special equipment. Here are just a few fun ways you can lose weight without dealing with a tedious workout routine.
Dance to the beat
Dancing can be an excellent way to burn calories, get lost in the music, and have an unforgettable time. Whether you head to a local salsa club, sign up for ballroom dance classes, or throw an impromptu dance party in your living room, there’s arguably no more enjoyable way to work out. Although the number of calories burned in an hour of moderate intensity dance will vary from person to person, you could burn anywhere from 330 to 488 calories per hour (or more). Dancing for an hour a day could yield a one-pound weight loss every seven to 11 days. Better yet, engaging in dance can improve muscular and aerobic strength, increase your social engagement, and even boost your memory.
Play some games
We often think of exercise as a chore we have to push through. But you’ll probably end up getting a better workout when you don’t even realize you’re fitting in physical activity. Playing games with your family and friends can be a sneaky way to lose weight and spend quality time with the people you love. Playing hopscotch or teaching your kids how to double dutch can be rewarding in a number of ways, while putting together a kickball team or bowling league with your work colleagues can build company culture and improve everyone’s fitness levels. Just because you’re hanging out in the backyard or are enjoying an evening with friends doesn’t mean you aren’t working up a sweat.
Explore your city
If you don’t like spending hours cooped up in the gym and you’d rather not jog around the track by yourself, there are other ways to get a great workout and learn something new. Why not play tourist in your own city (or in a vacation spot)? Sightseeing can be great exercise, especially if you involve a friend or loved one. Even if you never leave town, you can embark on a new adventure and appreciate your area through fresh eyes–and burn some calories. Make a point to check out a park you’ve never been to or scour the internet for some hidden gems in your hometown. It’s a great opportunity to bring out your bikes or go hiking, too. With all of the interesting sights to observe, you probably won’t be conscious of how active you’re really being.
Losing weight certainly takes a lot of hard work and mental commitment. However, it doesn’t have to feel like a huge sacrifice. By prioritizing enjoyable activities that have a physical component, you’ll end up losing weight without spending hours on the treadmill. And when you have a good time working out, you’ll only want to do it more frequently–allowing you to reach your goals even sooner.