Wellbeing

7 Ways To Exercise If You’re Not That Into Sports

Here’s a rundown of sports for people who aren’t really that into sports.

The way we see it, when it comes to sport the world is split into two types of people: those who leap out of bed in the morning, lace up their sneakers and are excited to sweat it out, and those who begrudgingly exercise because they know it’s good for them, but hate every breathless, painful minute of it. Some people just naturally enjoy sports, while for others it’s a real struggle – they’d rather curl up with a book and a cup of tea. But thanks to endless types of classes and activities on offer for just about every different type of person, there’s bound to be a sport that appeals to you – you’ve just got to look hard enough.

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Rock climbing

Rock climbing walls are springing up all over the place, and this is no bad thing. Turn exercise into a social occasion and grab a couple of mates to join you for an indoor rock climbing session. Not only will it build muscle and stamina, it requires an awful lot of concentration – in other words, a perfect distraction from your screaming arms and legs. Plus, if your friends are also beginners, there are sure to be a whole lot of laughs – and falls.

Image: Cliffhanger Climbing Gym, Altona North, VIC.

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Yoga

If you like to exercise your brain as much as your body, yoga might be your new go-to. With a focus on breathing, mindfulness, and requiring a nuanced understanding of what limbs go where, it’s ideal for those who love to overthink, but not overdo. People who love exercising often think yoga’s a cop-out; we think it’s perfect for stretching, toning and lengthening, with a minimal amount of sweat. Most of the time you won’t even need to shower afterwards, making it an ideal lunch break activity. Namaste.

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Martial arts

The advantages of learning a martial art are threefold: you’ll get fit, you’ll improve your hand and eye coordination, and you’ll also be smug in the knowledge that you’ll feel a bit safer walking home from the pub late at night. The great thing about martial arts including Karate, Judo and Muay Thai, is that, much like yoga, they’re about developing a skill, rather than pushing your body to the point where you want to throw up. Plus, if you stick with it, you’ll join the likes of Willie Nelson, Evan Rachel Wood and Sarah Michelle Gellar, who all hold black belts in various martial arts.

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Water aerobics

Regular aerobics classes are painful and sweaty. Water aerobics takes body weight out of the equation, making for a low-impact workout. Often there’s music involved, and classes come in many forms such as Zumba, water yoga, and underwater jogging. The body’s resistance against water is what provides the workout and, to us anyway, it feels almost like a day at the beach. It’s also great for people who have back, hip or knee pains, as there is less pressure on these areas than there is in traditional exercises such as running or cross fit.

Image: Kenny Holston/Flickr.

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Dancing

Whether you’re hitting the dance floor after a drink or two, or taking a Hip-Hop or salsa lesson, dancing is one of the best ways to stay fit without feeling like you’re actually exercising. Uncoordinated? Give No Lights No Lycra a whirl; these dance sessions allow you to get your groove on safe in the knowledge that nobody can see you in a pitch-black room. And whether you want to dance the flamenco or like Queen Bey, chances are there is a class for you (we even have a list of dance teacher-certified places to get moving in Sydney). Or, put on Spotify and have a bit of a boogie in front of your bedroom mirror – it all counts!

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Skateboarding

This one may involve a few more cuts and grazes than your average water aerobics or yoga class, but not only does it not really feel that much like exercise (the wheels do a lot of the work), it also just looks really, really cool (shallow, we know). The great thing about skateboarding is that you can do it almost anywhere. Just remember a helmet. And watch out for cars.

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Walking

A lot of us have been told that running is better for us than walking. And when it comes to weight loss, the jury’s still out – but if you’re looking to maintain your weight, or to step away from Netflix for an hour, walking might be for you. Put on the latest episode of This American Life and push yourself as hard as you like – anything is better than nothing. If you’re making this your primary mode of exercise, just try and make sure you aim for at least 10,000 steps a day.

Bonus: studies have shown that running is hard on your heart, affects your immune system and can cause injury to your body. So ignore the smug looks from runners on your next walk, your body might be thanking you for it.


Che-Marie Trigg is a freelance writer and full-time subeditor. Her work has appeared in Virgin Australia Voyeur, Collective Hub and GoPlaces with Toyota magazines among others, as well as on websites like Broadsheet and Junkee. Follow her on Instagram @chemariet.