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Activities for Inactive People


Getting Active is All About Having Fun!

It's hard breaking the cycle of inactivity. The more weight you gain, the less motivated you are to move which causes you to gain more weight and on and on until you don't want to do anything anymore. Then you wake up one day and realize that getting out of bed is getting hard to do too.

If you're already to that point or just trying to avoid it, try some of these fun activities each week. It's not a competition. It's for fun but you will still reap many benefits from simply moving a little bit more! It's all about simple ways to lose weight and getting more exercise.


Start out slowly. Relax. Enjoy the scenery and get to know your neighborhood. It's not a race. If you can only walk a block, that's enough. Maybe you'll be able to walk two or three blocks next week. Try to work yourself up to at least a mile a day.

Besides meeting your neighbors and getting to know your community, there's other positives to walking as exercise. If you have a dog you can walk, they'll get their exercise too. If it's a sunny day, you'll get your daily requirement of Vitamin D. It's just so important to get out and get some sunshine along with exercise.

Count your steps each day

Counting your steps every day is a good way to get motivated and a great way to see your progress. Every day, try to add a few hundred steps to the day before. You can do it! It will get easier the more you walk and soon you'll be able to do other exercise.

Pocket Pedometer

Jump Roping - High Tech is the Way to Go!

Jump roping isn't for little schoolgirls anymore. There's so many health benefits to jump roping that everyone should do it. It takes muscles to get your body up and over the rope and it really gets the heart going. Two great things to strive for!

The new jump ropes aren't your gym class jump ropes and they're definitely not the ones that you used to get in party bags. These are jump ropes that are made of durable materials and will stand up to your grown up jumping. They're made for serious exercise.

You can find jump ropes made of rubber, leather, rope, nylon, and more. You can buy them weighted so that it takes a little more work. They have swivel handles so they're easy on the wrists. Lots of different colors and fairly inexpensive.

I love horseback riding!!

I love horseback riding!!

Horseback Riding

Riding a horse is exhilarating and inspiring. If you are under 275 lbs, most places will let you trail ride. It's a great feeling when you are able to make your horse listen to you. It's a big confidence builder and confidence isn't the only thing it will build - you'll use muscles that you didn't even know you had. If you've been inactive for a long time, those muscles might be a little sore at first but once that fades away, you'll feel great and look forward to the next ride!

If you think that horseback riding is an exercise for lazy people because the horse does all the work, you're wrong! It takes a lot of back, thigh and core strength to ride a horse. It's one of my favorite fitness programs.

Trail Riding

Play Some Basketball

I'm not talking full court basketball here. I'm talking about one basketball hoop, a basketball, and a few people. Remember dribbling a ball? You can still do it! Walk around while dribbling. Toss the ball at the back board a few times. Doesn't that feel good? Get a game of H-O-R-S-E going. Remember, we are exercising for fun and activity. Doing something, anything, is better than being stationary.

Hoola Hoops

Get those hips going! You might not be able to keep that hoola hoop up for long but the shear act of bending down to pick it up every few seconds will keep you moving! And heck, you might be better at it then you thought you would be. Another great new exercise for you to try.

Learn How to Hoola Hoop

Autumn Leaves

It's beautiful hiking through the woods on a nice autumn day.

It's beautiful hiking through the woods on a nice autumn day.


This in a way is the same as walking except you head out to the trails. Once you've built up to being able to walk at least a half hour in your neighborhood, hiking trails are the next logical step. A little more scenic and with built in hills, you'll get a little more exercise.

Paddling in a Paddle Boat - Pick a fun one!

Paddle boats are a lot of work!  Relaxing yet they get your heart rate up.

Paddle boats are a lot of work! Relaxing yet they get your heart rate up.

Out on the Water in a Paddle Boat

Paddle boats are fun and fun to look at but they take a lot of leg work to move even the littlest bit. You'll definitely feel like you've had a huge workout if you ride one of these around for at least a half hour. When you get tired, you can stop and rest for a little bit and enjoy the serenity of the water. This is another one of those "exercise for lazy people" exercises. It's really not as easy as it looks!!

Ride a Bike

It's true, once you learn how to ride a bike, you never forget. Dust off that bike in your garage and instead of driving to the store, ride the bike. You'll get exercise and save money on gas and with the price of gas these days, it's definitely worth it!

Many community parks are adding mountain bike trails. These trails are groomed, scenic, and a lot of fun to ride on! They are local so you don't have to travel far and they're usually free to ride on so it's more free exercise. Make sure that the bike you get has a comfy seat so you'll be able to ride longer.

Do you need a new bike?

Bikes come in all different varieties. Different colors and sizes. There's something for everyone! I even had a Panasonic bike once. It was white and purple.

Dancing Exercise

If you don't like to dance in front of other people, that's fine. Close the curtains and have at it! Dance your booty off!! You'll be amazed at all the dance exercise you can do. Added bonus - you'll feel great about yourself! (Dancing exercise is like singing, everyone thinks they're better than they really are! But it makes you feel good inside :-)

Learn to Zumba!

Zumba - The Best Dance Workout

There are thousands, maybe even millions, of Zumba videos on YouTube. They are in every level from complete beginner to advanced. You don't have to go to a gym or spend any money on this. You only need a little bit of room where you can dance your way to better health and fitness!

YouTube exercise videos are the greatest for many reasons:

  • They're free
  • There's millions of them
  • You can find the level you need
  • You can find the music you like to dance to
  • They're fun!


Cleaning isn't necessarily that much fun but it can be a good workout and even better, it will give you something to feel good about. With things a little tidier in the house, you'll feel like you have a little more time to exercise and take care of yourself. Once you get started, you'll soon feel how much cleaning feels like exercise. Bending down to pick things up. Reaching up to put things away. Pushing a broom or vacuum cleaner around. Wiping down windows and mirrors. All those things count when you're trying to be more active.

Lazertag is a Fun Way to Get Moving!

This is so much fun that you’ll wish you were in better shape to keep up with the kids. You can get lots of movement by playing Lazertag and it's so fun that you won't even think about it as exercise. I love playing laser tag. It's so much fun and it really is a good work out. Here's a few places near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since these places are popping up all over, you shouldn't have a hard time finding one.

  • CMP Milwaukee
    This place is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It's so much fun!! It's so much more than regular lazertag. You have missions that you have to accomplish with your team such as arming and disarming a bomb.
  • Blazzin' Lazers
    Here's another Lazertag destination in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This one is the regular point and shoot type.

Ping Pong

It's amazing how much energy it takes to hop around trying to get that little ball before it leaps off the table. You'll be leaping too! Unless you're a real pro, you'll get a great exercise workout with this one! And you'll probably be laughing by the time you're done too.

Roller Skating and Roller Blading

Roller blading and roller skating are both great workouts but with these you need to be a little more careful. Sometimes the feet go flying out from underneath you and landing on a tailbone isn't the most fun thing to experience. It's quite painful. If you think you have pretty good balance, give it a try. It can be a great exercise if you don't get hurt.

Nintendo Wii

Lots of people have used a Nintendo Wii to lose weight successfully. But remember, our goal is just to have fun moving and a Wii is a great way to do that! Try your hand (and whole body) at skiing, running, jumping, walking a tight rope, karate and much much more!

Exercise with a Nintendo Wii

Weeds Garden in Cedarburg, Wisconsin

Weeds Garden in Cedarburg, Wisconsin

Yardwork Is Hard Work

This is kind of along the same lines as cleaning. Do it because it makes you feel good inside and you'll get a physical workout as a bonus. Cutting bushes down, mowing the lawn, and trimming weeds all burns calories. The more you do, the more calories you will burn and the better you'll feel because you got some exercise and a little sunshine to go with it!

Take the kids to the park and play on the durable equipment.

Take the kids to the park and play on the durable equipment.

Take the Kids to the Playground

NO! You are NOT too big or old to play on today's playground equipment!! Kids give you a great excuse for climbing, jumping, running and sliding - all super fun things to get you moving! You won't even think of it as a workout, you'll just be having fun while moving your body!

Swimming is a great low impact exercise

Swimming is a great low impact exercise

Swimming and Waterparks

Swimming laps would be great but for inactive people and people who are trying to exercise with bad knees, water walking is a great way to start! Play tag with someone in the water, maybe some water basketball, even getting into an inner tube in a lazy river counts. Every bit helps and if you've been inactive for a long time, seeing yourself in a swimming suit might be just what you need to get yourself motivated to get off the computer and do something else fun that doesn't involve hours of sitting.

Treat Yourself to Some New Swimwear

Nothing feels better than having some new swimwear to get you motivated. You are doing something to improve your life and you should be proud of it! Enjoy the new swimwear! Make sure that you find something that makes you feel great.


Every little bit helps!

Our goal here is not to become professional stair steppers or treadmillers. Our goal is to have FUN and to be able to tell our doctors that yes indeed, we are active! We need to work towards spending 30 minutes a day at least 3 - 4 times a week.

I would like to say that there are no rules but there is one: You must enjoy what you are doing!

Without thinking about it, some activities give you a great workout. What's your favorite one?

What FUN activities do you enjoy doing?

NibsyNell on November 26, 2012:

I love walking, dancing and jogging.

Jogalog on November 15, 2012:

Just dancing around at home to entertain my baby!

RinchenChodron on September 08, 2012:

I've never heard of Lasertag, but I do swim and do yoga. But, unfortunately, horses are out for me.

Jen withFlash (author) on September 03, 2012:

@anonymous: Yep! They sure are!!

anonymous on September 03, 2012:

I used to ride, I miss it. Horses are such wonderful animals.

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