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Pair Exercise With Your Hobby

Creative ways to make your hobbies more active so you can exercise while you play.

The Perfect Exercise for Cooks

If cooking is your passion, put your energies toward eating local -- like from your own backyard. Remind yourself that good home cooking is worth some sweat equity.

Exercise Match: Plant a garden. Doing a half-hour of yard work a day can burn as many calories as dancing or riding a bike.

How to Stay Motivated: Collect healthy recipes to make with fresh ingredients after your harvest. Make a chart of vegetables and herbs for your garden showing what needs to be planted and harvested each season.

The Perfect Exercise for Musicians or Music Lovers

True music lovers often feel it inside -- the rhythms and notes move through them. You can use this feeling to get on your feet and moving.

Exercise Match: If you play an instrument, stand as you practice to burn 20% more calories. You can even move like a jazz player -- play to the left, play to the right, and march in place. If you just like to move to music, listen to an iPod while you walk or jog, or dance in your room.

How to Stay Motivated: Write down what you want to do next, such as "learn the latest dance move sweeping YouTube" or "take a Zumba class." Be specific. "Write down how many days a week, how many minutes -- not just 'I'm going to dance more,'" says Laura Alderman, an exercise physiologist and behaviorist in Fargo, N.D.

The Perfect Exercise for Video Game Players

If you'd prefer to be moving a joystick rather than moving your body, take heart. There are plenty of games that can pique your interest in exercise.

Exercise Match: Play games that get you moving, like tennis or golf on the Wii. When watching TV, make a regular date to watch it -- while you walk or jog on a treadmill at the gym or the local Y, or in circles around your house or living room.

How to Stay Motivated: Especially in the beginning, combine your exercise time with your screen time. "Do a give-and-take -- for instance, 30 minutes of screen time for 30 minutes of exercise," says Steven Stovitz, MD, the team physician for the University of Minnesota athletic department. Program your phone or your computer to ping you when it's your chosen exercise time.

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Reviewed on January 11, 2012

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