A workout doesn’t have to fit in a box…

…in fact, it doesn’t even have to feel like a workout to be a workout.

The best workouts are the ones that don’t feel like workouts. They feel like you’re playing. Why are (most) kids so thin? Because they’re always moving. Are they on the elliptical? No! They’re running around with their friends, racing bikes up and down the street. They’re little calorie-burning machines without ever realizing it.

I was about average size until I went to college because until then, I was always playing some kind of sport. I never went to the gym, but I was playing tennis or doing gymnastics almost every day of the week. I loved it, so I never considered it exercise. I went to college and the gym sounded boring. [You know the rest of the story – I found myself 4 years out of college and 50 pounds overweight. I turned gym rat/runner/started eating right and dropped the weight.]

To drop the weight, I spent a lot of time in the gym – working out with Joel and doing lots of cardio. I’m now training for a marathon, and I like running, but the past month or so, I’ve had no desire to go from the florescent lights in the office to the florescent lights in the gym. I’ve been running a few days a week, biking when I can, taking classes at the gym and doing exercise DVDs. (Reviews coming soon.) The DVDs have actually been really fun because they’re such a departure from what I usually do (and I laugh at the earnestness of the instructors), so they don’t feel like exercise. I’ve been doing some yoga because it feels like great stretching rather than boring exercise. 

You know that changing up your routine is good for your body, but it’s also good for your mind. So try something new. It could be a new machine at the gym or a new class at the gym, or it could be an exercise DVD, or something that doesn’t feel like a workout at all — like hiking or kayaking. 

What’s your favorite doesn’t-feel-like-a-workout workout?

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