If you're looking for some motivation to get active, sometimes looking at photos of people getting stronger and healthier through exercise can be all you need.
All the exercisers in these photos appear confident, and with good reason - vigorous activity increases endorphins and boosts mood.
Group Strength Class
Joining a weight lifting class (like BodyPump, Power, or Barbell) is a great way to introduce you to lifting weights in a safe, full-body workout. The combination of a motivating instructor and music coordinated to movement can make the time fly by in a class like this.
Pilates classes are a fun way to build strength if lifting weights is not your thing. Pilates and yoga exercises can lead to highly developed muscle tone.
This exerciser is reaching the weighted balls upward in a controlled motion, which increases both shoulder and core strength.
Extreme sports are just the right kind of exercise for some people. Although it isn't necessary to bike for hours or run a marathon if you just want to get in shape, for some people, extreme sports are the only way to go because of the fun and excitement they bring. If going to the gym bores you, find something a little more adventurous.
Skiing is another example of an exciting, outdoor sport that is tons of fun, but also excellent exercise. Cross-country skiing, in particular, is a great option for sustained cardio that targets most major muscle groups in the body.
Playing Is Exercising
Kids often don't know it, but what they consider ultimately fun often includes a fair amount of exercising. Whether swimming, playing tag, or playing a friendly game of dodgeball, they all include a lot of moving about, which is exercise. If you're at a loss for ideas for exercising, just watch your own kids (or any kids) playing on the playground or at the park. While you may not be able to repeat everything that they do, the things that you try will probably be enjoyable!
These exercisers are holding an ustrasana pose - also known as camel pose. Both strengthening and stretching, yoga poses help build balance and stability.
Running Alone or Together
The solitude of a workout can help clear your mind and either get you ready for the day or help you work through everything that transpired that day. Even if you have a buddy, you don't need to talk. Running, walking, and biking are good options for this type of exercise because the motions are so repetitive that not much thinking is required, which enables you to think about other things.
Getting some friends together or joining a sports team is a fun way to get exercise, skill, and enjoy some competition while you're at it. A team could be for anything from basketball to baseball, or for something like synchronized swimming, but whatever the team or group does together, exercising will be fun and you probably won't feel like you are exercising.
Dancing to Burn Calories
Dancing, whether you do it in a nightclub or in a ballet studio, can burn lots of calories and tone your muscles. Of course, it's also lots of fun! Whether you join a Zumba class, learn country line dancing, or simply dance at home when you have the time, dancing is a fun way to get your physical activity in.
Indoor cycling is another great form of exercise that is gaining in popularity. Join a class at your gym to learn how it works and to get motivated by the instructor, or purchase an indoor cycling bike for your home with or without instructional and motivational DVDs to go along with it. Reading indoor cycling bike reviews will ensure that you get the right bike for your level of expertise, as well as your budget.
This strong woman is doing a compound movement that combines a squat with an overhead press. Some people add a biceps curl to this movement to create a squat curl press, which takes strength and stability to execute.
Rowing machines provide a challenging cardio workout, which benefits the heart. It's important to hold the core tight while rowing and not allow your shoulders and neck to tighten up too much to avoid strain.
Battle ropes are deceptively challenging. Slam the ropes while keeping your knees soft and core tight. Some people add lunges, jumps, or even burpees to their rope slams.
Stretching Is Part of Exercise
These people are taking a break from their workday to do some stretching - something that's particularly important for people who spend most of their day in a seated position. Stretching can also help reduce the stress of the workday.
Resistance bands can offer a good strength workout without the use of heavy weights. There's no need for barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells when you can strengthen your upper and lower body with resistance bands.
Jumping rope isn't just for kids - exercisers turn to this activity to scorch calories and engage the entire body. This move gets the heart pumping and recruits a wide variety of muscles.
An ab wheel is one of the most effective, yet simple pieces of ab-focused equipment available. Grasp the handles and hinge at your hips while keeping your back straight. Reach your arms forward, pushing the wheel away from you. Beginners may not get far, but exercisers well-versed in the ab wheel can get their upper body parallel with the floor, including their arms above their head.
Not only is boxing a fantastic cardio workout, but it also targets core muscles more than most people realize. It's also a great way to work out the stress (and any aggression) from your day.