By Alice || Edited by Go Ask Alice Editorial Team || Last edited Mar 15, 2024
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Alice! Health Promotion. "What are some ways to make exercising fun?." Go Ask Alice!, Columbia University, 15 Mar. 2024, https://goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/what-are-some-ways-make-exercising-fun. Accessed 24, May. 2024.

Alice! Health Promotion. (2024, March 15). What are some ways to make exercising fun?. Go Ask Alice!, https://goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/what-are-some-ways-make-exercising-fun.

Dear Alice,

I have two questions:

(1) What are the benefits of jumping on a mini-trampoline?

(2) Are there any benefits to using a hula-hoop?

As you can probably see, I'm looking for exercises that are fun.

Dear Reader, 

Finding physical activity that you enjoy can make the prospect of being active less daunting. That said, you don’t have to jump through hoops to find ways to make exercise enjoyable. As you mentioned, mini trampolines and hula-hoops are among several fun ways to move, and both have benefits for your health. 

With regards to your first question, bouncing on a mini trampoline isn’t just fun—it can also be a good form of physical activity. When you jump, you’re working your heart health, engaging muscles in your legs and core, and improving your balance. Jumping on the mini trampoline is also lower impact and easier on your joints than jumping or running on hard concrete. 

One downside of this activity is that it can lead to injury if proper precautions aren’t taken. To stay safe, you might consider jumping when someone else is around to keep an eye out for any falls. It’s also recommended to have only one person jump at a time to avoid collisions. Additionally, while it might be tempting to do acrobatic tricks, it can be best to leave somersaults and shoulder, stomach, or back landings to the pros. 

Similarly, exercising with a hula-hoop can be a legitimate workout! Using hula-hoops can help you become more coordinated, and you might even get some light cardio benefits if you hula long enough. You could also consider exercising with a weighted hula-hoop, which would add some light strength training to your practice. 

If you want to explore even more activities that make moving more exciting, it might be helpful to think about your exercise goals. If your goal with exercise is simply to enjoy it more and maybe even do it more consistently, some other fun ways to get moving could include skipping rope, going on a bike ride, having a dance party, or rock climbing. Additionally, there are a few things you can do to make any old form of exercise more engaging: 

  • Try new activities: Just as you’ve been thinking about a mini trampoline and hula-hoops, there are plenty of ways to be active that don’t involve going to the gym. This can range from dancing, outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, or roller blading, and water activities like paddle boarding and kayaking. 
  • Turn it into a game: Many video game consoles now have games that encourage movement. They can have different storylines that immerse you in the game, which can make it more fun and help keep you motivated. 
  • Pair activities together: If you enjoy watching TV, try exercising at the same time. You can pair all types of activities together to help get you moving while doing things that you already consider fun and exciting to do. 
  • Make it a social event: Ask some friends or family members to join you for your activity. Whether you want to be competitive or not, having people that you have fun with around you while exercising can make the activity more enjoyable for you. 
  • Use mindfulness while moving: Focus on how your body feels as you do the exercise. Think about how your body is moving, such as how you’re breathing and how your muscles feel. 

List adapted from HelpGuide 

Additionally, those with limited mobility can still have fun while being active. Activities like chair yoga, water aerobics, or doing seated boxing activities (such as through a video game system) can all still build strength and get your heart rate up. 

If your exercise goal is to burn calories, you might not need to resort to wild acrobatic feats; you may already be doing things outside of working out that burn calories, even if you don’t realize it. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) describes somewhat simple activities people may be doing naturally throughout the day that burn calories. These could include taking out the trash or working at a standing desk. By reframing what you consider calorie-burning, you might be able to transform seemingly mundane daily activities into exercise. If this interests you, you might consider taking the stairs instead of elevators, doing your weekly chores with a little extra vigor, and running or biking to work. 

Mixing it up a little is good for your fitness and happiness. Anything that keeps you moving and puts a smile on your face is probably worth the effort. 

Have fun finding new ways to move your body! 

Additional Relevant Topics:

Nutrition and Physical Activity
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