Exercise and an active lifestyle are, inarguably, essential for health and wellbeing. That doesn’t mean they’re always easy or even fun. Sometimes it takes a bolt of creative brilliance to get us off our bottoms and moving. The good news is that creative ways to exercise are out there. The key word here is “creative.” Hopefully these examples will help you start thinking of other out-of-the box ways to get moving.


Dance is a powerful way to burn calories–and it’s a fun way to burn calories. Aerobic dance can burn over 440 calories per hour. There are tons of dance options out there. If the idea of a technically-based dance class is intimidating, gyms often offer dance-inspired classes like aerobic dance or Zumba that are accessible to anyone. On the other hand, you may want to develop a new skill or hobby. Should this be the case, see if any local dance studios offer ballroom dancing, tap, jazz, or even ballet for adults. Lots of studios offer beginning-level or drop-in classes for adults. What’s cool about these specialized dance forms is that they also develop muscular strength, control, and flexibility. Additionally, learning routines is great for keeping your brain in shape, as well as your body.

Niche sports

Perhaps you like playing sports and are looking for a way to spruce things up. There are tons of fascinating–and even hilarious–spin-offs of popular sports. Granted, a lot of sports spin-offs are currently more popular in other countries, but there’s probably a local club near you–or why not start your own donkey basketball club?

There’s knockerball, which is a life-size game of soccer in which the players wear giant bubble tubes with shoulder straps and handles. It gives the players inside–who are being kicked and knocked all over the place–the sensation of defying gravity.

Then there’s head ping pong. This game is mostly played in Germany. The ball is seven inches in diameter, and you hit it back and forth with your head. If you look at pictures of this game, you’ll see that the players engage their whole body. This makes it definitely more aerobic than standard ping pong!

If you dig biking and/or football, take a gander at unicycle football. The rules for passes, and goals are like standard American football, only the players are on unicycles, and they use flags instead of tackles. It can be played on any surface suitable for unicycling.

Your pets

Spending playtime with your pets is an easy way to work activity into your daily lifestyle. A 150-pound person burns about 204 calories per hour walking his or her dog.

Playing with your dog is also a great way to stay on your feet and get moving. And, of course, if you have horses, remember that riding them is good exercise–but so is mucking out stalls, brushing the horses down, and lugging big bags of feed! (Just be sure to be careful of form, to avoid any injury.) Simply petting your cat or dog releases endorphins, so spending time with pets will improve mental and physical wellbeing.