The experts at UCLA reveal…

The “secret” to making exercise fun

How changing up your workout will help you get off the couch!

Do you find it hard to get motivated to work out? Do you wish exercise was just more fun? If so, you’ll be happy to know about “10 Activities for Fitness & Fun,” a new guide from the experts at UCLA. This information-packed handbook contains 10 activities guaranteed to spice up your fitness routine.

Here’s a look at the 10 workouts. Whatever your age or fitness level, there’s an activity that’s right for you:

Yoga. Combining breathwork, meditation, and stretching, yoga offers gentle exercises with significant health benefits. In the guide, you’ll learn how to get started with yoga—for example, how to select the type of yoga that’s right for you, what to look for in a teacher, and what to expect in your first yoga class.

Pilates. With a focus on the core muscles, Pilates exercises deliver a low-impact, total body workout. “Fitness & Fun” introduces you to the machines and mat work used in Pilates, along with the six guiding principles that form the basis of all Pilates exercises. You also get tips on finding qualified instructors and studios.

Dance. Yes, dancing counts as exercise! Not only is dancing a good workout, it’s also good for your brain, as learning dance movements and interacting with your partner helps build new neural connections. The guide goes over different types of dance classes you can take, from Zumba to square dancing to ballroom dance.

Bands and Tubes. Bands and tubes are a great way to build muscle, because you work your muscles as you both lift and release the bands and tubes. This is called resistance training, and by strengthening your core muscles it also reduces fall risk. With “Fitness & Fun” you’ll understand the benefits of bands and tubes and know how often you should be exercising to achieve the best results.

Balls. As the guide explains, a Swiss ball—a large, bouncy ball you sit on—can do wonders for your balance and cardiovascular fitness. Bosu balls also boost your balance, while you can use smaller balls for strength training and massage. Medicine balls are designed for throwing, which is great for building muscle power. 

Foam Rollers. A simple foam roller offers a lot of health benefits. Like massage, foam rollers are ideal for breaking up tight connective tissue, improving blood flow, and restoring flexibility. “Fitness & Fun” goes over the different types of rollers available and how they can be used for both massage and exercise.

Just published! “Fitness & Fun” is brimming with useful information, such as:

  • Three questions you should ask before you start working out
  • How much protein you should be eating to avoid sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss
  • How many minutes of exercise you should be doing most days of the week
  • The positive effects of yoga on lower back pain and bone density
  • The six fundamental concepts of Pilates, from breathing to flow
  • How resistance training may boost mental function
  • Tubes vs. flat bands—everything you need to know
  • What you should never do when exercising with foam rollers
  • The minimum SPF sunscreen you should be wearing when working out in the water
  • 10 safety tips to keep in mind when cycling

Qigong. The slow, deliberate movements of qigong encourage meditation, deep breathing, and an awareness of the body’s position. Qigong has also been shown to benefit muscle strength and heart function. With the guide, you’ll understand what this ancient practice can do for your health as well as how to select a qigong class that’s right for you.

Water Workouts. Almost any of the exercises you do on land, you can do in the water. And thanks to the resistance water provides, you also get a more challenging workout. “Fitness & Fun” looks at popular water exercises such as aqua spinning, Aqua Zumba, and stand-up paddle boarding. You also get tips on creating your own water-based exercise routine, as well as the gear you’ll need.

Cycling. Cycling is a joint-friendly way of getting a great aerobic workout. You might enjoy the intensity of an indoor spin class, or prefer to cycle outside in the fresh air. If you’re cycling outdoors, the guide has you covered, with detailed information on choosing a bike and helmet, as well as helpful tips on riding technique.

Racket Sports. Unlike most other exercises, racket sports like tennis and badminton emphasize lateral movement, not just forward movement. This helps improve balance and reduces the risk of falls. Of course, racket sports also boost cardiovascular fitness and improve hand-eye coordination. “Fitness & Fun” gives you a complete overview of the many racket sports you can choose from, along with their health benefits.

“Fitness & Fun” includes four fully illustrated exercises with each activity, so you’ll know how to perform each exercise correctly and safely. You also get a glossary of terms and a complete list of resources you can turn to if you want to get more involved in the activities.

Besides the different workouts, the guide suggests three other ways to help you stay motivated about fitness—fundraisers, competitions, and active travel. For example, you could run a 5K race to help raise money for cancer research. Or compete in a triathlon or rowing event to put your fitness to the test. Or how about an active vacation, where hiking and cycling are as important as sightseeing?

If you’re tired of same-old, same-old when it comes to your workout routine, and are ready for something new, “Fitness & Fun” is the one guide you’ll need. Getting in shape has never been so enjoyable—order today!

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