Three Ways to Make Exercise Fun

When you're struggling to lose weight, it's easy to get drawn in by purported quick-fix solutions that promise massive weight loss with little or no effort on your part. In reality, all those pills, fad diets, cleanses and magic machines simply don't work. The only healthy ways to lose weight, and keep it off, are to eat right and exercise.

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If you haven't exercised for months or even years, getting back into the habit can be tough. Luckily, getting back into shape doesn't have to be a pain. With the right exercises, toning up and dropping pounds can be downright fun. Here are a few ways to get your heart rate up and burn fat, no gym necessary.

1. Get nostalgic. Remember when you loved to do jumping jacks and play hopscotch and jump rope. It turns out those exercises aren't just for kids. They're great fat burners for adults, too. Jump start your workout with a few of your favorite elementary school exercises. Try doing 20 jumping jacks or jumping rope for five minutes. You'll be shocked at how good a workout these simple activities can provide. Not only will you get to take a trip down memory lane, you'll also drop pounds.

2. Take the scenic route. Running on a treadmill gets boring fast. For a better workout, consider jogging outside. Head to a park, beach, or walking trail. When you're running down a gorgeous parkway looking out onto the water, exercising won't seem like such a chore. Plus, you can set a destination for yourself, a bridge or some other landmark, that will give a goal instead of an endless cycle of the same treadmill routine.

3. Tap your inner athlete. If running for no purpose isn't your thing, consider giving sports a try. This can be something informal, like a Saturday game of Ultimate Frisbee with your friends, or something organized like a local kickball league. Either way, playing with a goal in mind can make exercising a lot more fun. If you're competitive, you'll likely find yourself so wrapped up in winning that you eventually forget you're even working up a sweat.

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