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7 Easy Ways to Be More Active

Leading a more active lifestyle is the easiest way to lose weight. While diet is important as well, exercise is simple biology: burn more calories, shed unwanted pounds.

The biggest obstacles people face when trying to integrate physical activity into their current lifestyle are time constraints and lack of personal motivation. But you can overcome those obstacles by creating routines and finding activities that are mentally and emotionally engaging for you . And the best part is you don’t ever have to step foot in a gym!

Below you’ll find 7 easy ways to become more active without having to totally reshape your lifestyle. Choose one and dive in or give a few of them a try until you find the right fit for you.

1) Feel Good While Doing Good—Charity Events

5K road “races,” charity walks, bike rides, and pet walks are a wonderful way for you to overcome your lack of enthusiasm about exercise. By getting together with a group of motivated people, you can absorb some of their excitement while simultaneously taking your mind off the actual exercise. You do good for your neighborhood and your body at the same time. Plus, you’re left with a warm fuzzy feeling after the fact, not just sore muscles.

2) Forget the Classes at the Gym

Personal trainers and fitness coaches can be effective but many people find them frightening, abrasive, and annoying. Instead of signing up for spin class at the gym, find fitness-oriented community groups instead [1]. Depending on where you live you’ll likely find groups practicing Tai Chi in the park, Yoga on the beach, line dancing at the rec hall, or (in northern regions) simply walking around the mall when the days are short and the snow is falling. These amateur fitness groups tend to be more social and keep members engaged beyond the actual workout by building friendships rather than trainer/client relationships.

3) Take Up a Hobby

Hobbies keep us emotionally engaged—a powerful motivator for personal change. But you don’t have to become a bicyclist to get a regular workout. Look for hobbies in which the activity is secondary. For instance, photography can put you on hiking trails, in kayaks, and on mountain tops searching for that perfect shot. Not a budding photog? Try archery, dancing, painting landscapes, camping, or gardening. Just make sure you have fun doing whatever it is you choose to do.

4) Clean House

Sure it’s a chore but regular active house cleaning can be a great way to get in a little exercise every week. Bend, stretch, flex those muscles—all while sweeping the floor or running the vacuum! Plus, when you’re done, you have an impeccable house you can be proud of. Try to keep the pace up—raising your heart rate is important when it comes to fat-burning cardio exercise.

5) Play with the Pets

Pets need exercise too. Take yours into the back yard or to the dog park and play fetch, run around, tumble around the lawn, or just walk. It’s a wonderful bonding experience and good for everyone involved.

6) Leave the Car in the Garage

Cars are great for getting around but as with most “modern conveniences” they have contributed to our expanding waistlines. Looking for alternate transportation methods (like walking or public transportation) forces us to move a little more, stand a little longer, and burn more calories. While public transit may not always be the best option, there are plenty of opportunities to get out from behind the wheel. Walking paths, bike share programs, and more can get us where we are going while helping us become who we want to be.

7) Start New Family Traditions

Getting family members involved in your personal weight loss journey isn’t always easy (especially when changing up what’s cooked in the kitchen). But starting new, healthy family traditions like a walk after dinner or a trip to the park on Sunday afternoon can be a great way to get that extra exercise you need while building those special bonds and limiting your child’s screen time.

One pro tip: start when children are young—build these activities in to normal routines to avoid the inevitable resistance.

Life “On the Go” Can Be Healthy Too!

Right, more activity during an already busy day. Where does that leave your diet?

Think adding more activities to an already busy life leads to poor meal choices? Think again. [2] The Hollywood Cookie Diet® meal replacement cookies [3] are a great tool you can use to ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs even when you can’t spend time in the kitchen. Stuff one of these great-tasting portable meal replacements in your purse or backpack and you’re good to go.

Feel good knowing that even if you’re on the road or between work and the kids’ soccer games you don’t have to opt for fast food or gas station staples. Don’t let hunger get in the way of your new active lifestyle.