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  • Writer's pictureJillian Speck

10 Activities That Count as Exercise

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word exercise?

Probably all those Peloton people sweating it out on their bikes. Or maybe those crossfit people lifting a giant tire, or swinging those ropes. Confession time: I don’t even know what those are called!

Whatever you’re picturing in your mind, probably revolves around sweating, burning calories, and sore muscles. Am I right?

The word itself can feel intimidating. But moving your body isn’t about the amount of calories burned or the amount of sweat on your forehead. It’s about finding a form of physical activity that you enjoy!

I wanted to put together a list of things that you could already be doing, or easily add to your day to get in some exercise. Without worrying about hitting the gym.


Getting out in your garden can burn up to 300 calories for just 30-45 minutes. And you get to soak up all that Vitamin D with the sun on your face, and end up with a beautiful garden. I’d say that’s a win-win.


Shaking a tail feather can burn as many calories as jogging. So I say create the ultimate dance party playlist for yourself and get that booty shakin!

Meal Prep

Bet you didn’t know that cooking in the kitchen can burn up to 250 calories an hour! I know I already said it’s not about the calories burned, but I was shocked by the amount of calories we burn just doing the things that we do throughout the day!


Now you’re thinking, “I thought we were listing things that were fun?!” True. But I think some people like cleaning. And really we all have to do it. Maybe you could put on that playlist and dance while you clean to make it more fun, and sneak in more movement?


I told you the list was fun! We took a sharp turn from scrubbing toilets to gettin’ sassy in the bedroom. But I wanted to include this one so next time you skip a traditional workout to get in some quality time with your partner you can leave the guilt at the gym!

Horseback riding

Hoppin' into the saddle isn’t just a fun hobby. It’s been proven that it strengthens your core muscles, improves heart health, and works your leg and arm muscles. Plus… ponies!!! Right?

Beach volleyball

Next time you’re chillin’ on the beach, maybe you can strike up a match or two. Beach volleyball is a full body workout and something fun you can do together with friends.

Roller Skating

Roller skating mostly works the muscles of your hips and legs. Your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves will all benefit too! Plus, if you’re a kid from the 80s, you can bring back all your fancy moves from all those roller rink birthday parties!

Playing Frisbee

You can just enjoy some time outside at a park and toss one back and forth to a human friend or your four legged friend! If you want to amp up the exercise factor, gather up from friends for a round of ultimate frisbee, which is kind of like American Football, but without all the contact.


Hiking is a great choice because it can be as intense or as chill as you want it to be. Keep it flat and don’t rush if you’re a beginner. But head uphill at a faster pace if you’re looking for a challenge. It’s totally up to you, but again, you get that time in nature as an added benefit no matter what.

Like I said before, moving your body isn’t about the amount of calories burned or the amount of sweat on your forehead. It’s about finding a form of physical activity that you enjoy!

Sometimes we get so used to what we think we “should” be doing, like going to the gym, or getting on an exercise bike. When really, there are so many ways to move your body, that you can absolutely find ways that you truly enjoy!

Feel free to message me over on Instagram and let me know your favorite ways to move your body! I’d love to connect!

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