Riley Heruska
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We all know how important physical activity is. It can help you control your weight, decrease your risk of serious diseases, strengthen your body, and even improve your attitude towards life (thanks, endorphins). Unfortunately, most of us just aren't the kind of people who can willingly drag ourselves from the comfort of our couch to go run a mile or lift weights. Gyms are uncomfortable, especially if you don't feel confident in your fitness levels. I mean, who wants to spend an hour sweating bullets and comparing themselves to everyone around? No, thank you. In other states, we could probably turn to more outdoorsy exercise methods, but unless you want to melt into a puddle on the sidewalk, it's best to exercise inside during the summer months of Texas. 

If you are one of those people who can push themselves to hit the gym every day or get active in the blazing summer heat, then kudos to you! The rest of us, however, often feel like we're dragging ourselves to a dreaded workout that's time-consuming and just a little bit soul-sucking. It's especially hard to implement a fitness routine when you groan at the mere thought of lacing up your tennis shoes, and more often than not, the temptation to avoid exercising in general wins. 

So, how can you stay fit and avoid workouts that feel like a punishment? Here are a few ideas! 

Find Water-Based Activites That Are Actually Enjoyable 

We Texans love our lake sports and swimming pools, but not everyone has access to a jet ski or likes doing laps. Fortunately, there are tons of ways to get active around water, and most of them are pretty cheap. Rent a kayak and spend your day paddling around a river you've never explored. Check out one of the natural springs in Texas, like the famous Hamilton Pool. The goal is to find a body of water and do whatever floats your boat (I know, that's a terrible pun). The more you're enjoying exploring the waters, the less you'll think about the exercise you're engaging in. 

Embrace the Stairs As Your New BFF 

Tired of reaching the third floor and feeling completely out of breath? Well, every time you take the stairs, your heart rate leaps up a little and your body engages in core muscle building. It's no wonder the elevator often seems like such a good idea. However, the more you tackle the stairs, the more toned your body will be. Sure, it won't equate to lifting weights every day or anything, but it will make a small difference in the number of calories you burn each day, as well as the strength of your glutes and hamstrings. It's a simple way to make a healthier choice during your day-to-day activities. 

Find a Class That's More Fun Than Pain 

So maybe that spin class makes you dread Wednesdays with a passion, but there are so many options when it comes to taking an entertaining class. Experiment with a couple and find one that helps distract you from the workout your body is getting. There are tons of classes out there that will do the job, from intense dance courses to competitive weight-training instruction. Everyone enjoys different things, so try a few out and discover what gets your mind off of the discomfort of burning muscles and fast heartbeats. 

Forget That You Have a Car Whenever You Can 

In Texas, most of us rely on our vehicles for everything. It's not easy to get around the suburbs without a mode of transportation, and even our cities are difficult to navigate on foot. However, when you can, try to walk. If you're in the mall and the store you want to visit is on the opposite end, don't repark on the other side. Get moving and make your own way there! Speaking of parking, don't always try to get the absolute closest parking space. Sometimes, park a little further just to get your blood pumping. I'm not saying you need to start walking the 10 miles to work every day. Just try to walk whenever and wherever you can! It truly will make a difference. 

How do you get moving without heading to the gym? Leave your personal fitness recommendations in the comments below! 

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