In today’s times, more than ever, it’s important to stay fit, healthy, and active. The benefits of doing some kind of physical activity or exercise at home are well touted. But why put yourself through an hour in the gym every day if you’re not enjoying yourself?
Keeping your body active is super important, but so is keeping your mind and soul stimulated. The regular ways to exercise all provide those great benefits, like increased cardiovascular health and stress relief.
But if you really want to improve your health—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual—choosing interesting recreational activities to keep your body active and add an element of joy to your day could be the key.
Here are 8 interesting, unusual, and exciting activities to try when you need something new.
#1: Take A Dog Training Course
Dogs are an automatic body, mind, and soul booster! If you’re looking for something to stimulate you on every level and help you bond with your pup, this could be a super thing to put some hours into.
It’s not only beneficial to you by getting you out in the fresh air doing a bit of exercise, but it’s a great bonding exercise between you and your dog. If you do it right, you’ll also end up with a better behaved dog who has some neat skills to show off!
You can easily find dog training courses online, so you don’t even need to worry about social distancing. All you need is yourself, your pooch, some treats, and some space.
Depending on how much this idea excites you, you can find a short free course or a more comprehensive paid course. Paid courses usually offer a certificate at the end, so you can even turn this into a serious hobby or career change.
Healthy and holistic for you, and healthy and holistic for your dog. What’s not to love? This is an easy exercise at home activity.
#2: Indoor Golf
If you’re a sportsperson and you’re keen for a game, indoor golf could be a fun way to get your sports fix. Indoor golf is actually an umbrella term for a variety of golfing activities that can be done indoors, from indoor driving ranges to high-tech golf simulators.
A bottom-of-the-range simulator will set you back a few hundred dollars. If you aren’t able to set up a full-on golf simulator, you can rig up a decent indoor golf setup with just a mat and net. It’s also easy to find a space for a putting green!
The beauty of this is that you get a good workout in any weather. While you won’t be burning the same amount of calories you would if you were walking 18 holes, you’re still getting your body moving and working on your handicap.
It’s also super for both group activities and solitary sport. No matter the day or hour, an enjoyable workout is right at your fingertips.
#3: Learn to Dance on YouTube
Dancing is an amazing form of cardiovascular exercise. It’s easy to socially distance yourself while dancing too!
If you’re keen to learn in the comfort of your home where you can just go wild and work on your style at your own pace, YouTube is a treasure trove for learning some moves.
Some of us just have the rhythm. If you feel like moving up a level, there are a number of paid dance classes online. If you prefer a bit of social interaction, dance classes are a super way to get a workout and improve your ability and also exercise at home.
Of all the items on this list, this may be the one you’ve never heard of. If you’ve ever had the childhood dream of running away and joining the circus, slacklining could be the first step. It’s basically another term for tightrope walking.
It’s a legitimate sport that’s super easy and fun to do in your own backyard. There are different styles you can aim to achieve, such as timelining (seeing how long you can stay on the rope), tricklining (performing handstands, bounce walking, and running), and even slackline yoga.
Simply buy a slacklining kit and set it up to begin. It’s another thing you can practice alone or with family and friends, and at any time of day or night. Steadying yourself on the rope improves your core strength, balance, and concentration and focus.
#5: Learn Jump Rope Tricks
Jumping rope is one of the oldest fitness activities and something we’ve all done at some point in life. It’s superb exercise, not only for cardiovascular stimulation, but for muscle and strength gain too.
If you’re keen on learning speed jumping, get a lighter rope so you can whip it around with extra speed and perform fast-paced tricks like double-unders. If you want something that’s going to burn calories, increase your strength, and provide a bit of a physical challenge, try out a weighted rope.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, try some of these tricks:
- Side straddle.
- Double side swipe.
- Criss cross.
- Double criss cross.
If you’re a fan of action movies and have secretly always wished you were a ninja, parkour could be the perfect active recreational activity for you. Ever wanted to do one of those run-up-walls and do a backflip kind of things in public? Then this is definitely up your alley
The dictionary definition of parkour is: “the activity or sport of moving rapidly through an area, typically in an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing.” Basically, all those moves you see the hero doing in action movies when outrunning the bad guys.
We all have access to walls, pavements, trees, chairs, tables, and a variety of other obstacles in any given environment. That makes parkour easy to practice anywhere. It’s also an all-natural form of training your muscles – no gym necessary!
This exercise at home activity is not only great for your body, though. Learning how to do parkour effectively and safely improves your judgement (it’s a survival thing… you’ll only faceplant walls so many times before your judgement improves) and helps increase your focus.
Although there are some pretty cool tricks you can build up to, it’s definitely advisable to start small and slow. Falling off a park bench or taking a branch to the groin aren’t things anyone wants to encounter!
Calisthenics is a great fitness option for those who enjoy pushing their muscles to the limit but want the freedom of not having to go to a gym. It incorporates a variety of equipment, but many calisthenics exercises use bodyweight alone.
You’d be surprised at how effective bodyweight training can be. Some common calisthenic exercises include:
- Push ups.
- Pull ups.
- Core exercises.
- Bodyweight squats.
- Bodyweight lunges.
- Muscle ups.
If you think this sounds rather boring, think again. It’s a complex mix of getting your form right and challenging yourself to do more and more reps every time.
There are many ways to increase the intensity of your workout. Changing up the angle of your exercise makes a big difference. If you can do 10 flat push ups, try doing them on a decline. If your pull ups are getting too easy, try doing them with one arm.
If you get very into this exercise at home activity, you can invest in a pull up bar, medicine ball, resistance bands, and gymnastics rings.
#8: Doggy Yoga
Dog people, if you’re looking for a chilled out, zen way to spend time with your pooch and get some physical fitness in at the same time, why not try doggy yoga, or doga?
Yep – it’s a real thing. Yoga has plenty of well-known benefits, including an increased sense of calm and feeling more in-tune with your body. Dogs could do with the same benefits, and doga also facilitates a closer bond between pup and parent.
You can practice doga together at home (easy to do if you already have a daily practice), or take a doga class near you.
Don’t expect it to be all ohms and slow motion, though. Your dog is likely to be so excited the first time round that you’ll both get quite a serious workout. Keep working on it together, though, and you’ll both start to feel a sense of zen and be physically and mentally nourished.
Try not to do doga right after feeding your dog, though – the excitement and physical stimulation could result in a bit of an accident!
Keeping yourself fit and active definitely doesn’t have to be boring. If you’re tired of running around the block, tracking your steps, or setting aside time for the gym, pick one of these interesting exercise at home recreational activities to keep your body active.
There’s something for every type of person on this list, and most of them require no time, equipment, or even leaving the house. Some can be great group activities but are equally as fun or effective when done alone.
Whatever your fancy, keeping yourself active and healthy should involve doing something that not only stimulates the body, but keeps you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually fulfilled too.