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How to Find an Exercise You'll Love

Find a new activity or way to play that will make moving fun.
By Laurel Leicht
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Anita Schroff, MD

girl swimming in pool

Pop quiz: What’s your favorite way to exercise? Don’t have one? Maybe that’s because you don’t think of exercise as something fun.

You can turn almost anything you like into a fun way to move. And if you enjoy it, you’ll be more likely to keep it up. You just have to know a little bit about yourself to get started.

Step 1: Think about what you like to do.

Make a list of all your favorite, fun activities. What do you like to do at recess or during P.E. class? How would you choose to spend a Saturday? They can be things that make you move, like walking your dog or skipping, but also some that don’t, like reading a book or listening to music.

Step 2: Pick one of these fun ways to exercise.

Once you’ve thought about what you like, check out these ideas. Which ones would you want to try?

If you like to play with friends: Call a buddy and do an activity that’s hard to do on your own, like playing catch or kickball or throwing a Frisbee.

If you like time alone: Try something that’s fun to do by yourself. Jumping rope is a great way to exercise. (A lot of grown-ups do it because it’s so good for you!) You can dance in your bedroom, play on a swing set, or shoot hoops with a basketball.

If you like music: Sign up for a dance class. “Dance is great because there are so many styles,” says Allie Beach, director of youth programming at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City. If you think ballet is too slow, you can try a tap or hip-hop class. “You might find you like one style more than others. As long as you enjoy the class and are having fun, that’s all that matters!”

If you like to be outside: Think about your favorite things to do at recess. Swinging across the monkey bars, climbing a jungle gym, and playing hopscotch are all fun ways to move. You can also climb a tree, ride your bike, or take a walk at a nearby trail or park. (Ask your parents to come with you!)

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