Tired of your ho-hum workout? Our expert tips will banish exercise boredom for good! Try these fast and fun ways to work out for a fitness plan that feels anything but routine!
Mother holding her child
Credit: Peter LaMastro

Too Bored to Work Out?

If you'd rather play tee-ball in the yard with your kid than run on the treadmill for exercise, you're in luck. Working out doesn't have to mean doing the same thing every day at the gym. In fact, if you're active as a family on the weekends, take the dog for a walk before work a couple of days a week, and then do a fitness video once or twice, all that activity can add up to a full-fledged exercise regimen, says fitness expert Ellen Barrett, creator of the Happy Baby, Fit Mama exercise DVD. Plus, if you keep switching things up you'll be less likely to get bored. Try combining a couple of the calorie burners below one day, and the next day following one of the exercise DVDs from the list below.

3 Fun At-Home Tone-ups:

Dance With Julianne: Cardio Ballroom

($12; gaiam.com)

Two-time Dancing With the Stars hoofer Julianne Hough offers easy-to- follow choreography.

The Firm: Pump, Jump 'n Jab

($12; gaiam.com)

Kickbox, lift weights, and even jump rope (no rope necessary!) with this cross-training video.

Hemalayaa: Bollywood Boogie Workout

($17; acaciacatalog.com)

Tone up with Bollywood dance moves set to infectious bhangra beats.

Surprising Ways to Exercise:

These activities can count as a workout -- really. Learn how much energy you can expect to expend in just 30 minutes.

  • Dancing freestyle with your kids: 153 calories
  • Raking the lawn: 137 calories
  • Walking the dog around the neighborhood at a relaxed pace: 159 calories
  • Biking at a moderate speed: 255 calories
  • Shooting hoops with your kids: 143 calories
  • Gardening: 127 calories

Originally published in the September 2010 issue of Parents magazine.

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