40 Fun Ways to Be Physically Active
previous next

“40 Fun Ways to Be Physically Active,” New Era, May 2015, 32–34

40 Fun Ways to be physically Active

Fitness is not just for athletes.

40 Fun Ways to be Physically Active

Illustrations by Andrew Colin Beck

Is spending quality time with the couch your fallback plan on those days when you have some downtime? Playing video games, watching a cool show, texting your friends—all that can be fun, but sitting around the whole evening not really doing much makes you feel blah.

What if you want to be more physically active, but organized sports and hitting the gym aren’t your thing? Good news! You don’t have to be an Olympic sprinter or a champion bodybuilder to be active. There are fun, creative activities all around you that don’t require you to be an athlete to enjoy. So step away from the couch and make some awesome memories! Here are 40 fun activities that are too fun not to try.

On Your Own

  1. Be a tourist—in your own hometown! Walk around your neighborhood and explore places you’ve never been before. Take pictures of the cool things you see.

  2. Master a new skill! Perfect a swan dive. Try a new trick on a skateboard, figure out how to ride a unicycle, or learn a new gymnastics move.

  3. Learn a traditional dance from another country, like the Japanese bon odori dance, the Hawaiian hula, or the Russian tropak.

  4. Build something for your home, like a bird feeder or a bookshelf.

  5. Walk or ride your bike someplace you usually drive.

With a Group

  1. Play broomball—it’s like hockey but with brooms and a ball.

  2. Organize a photo scavenger hunt with your friends or Mutual group. Then race on foot to see which team can get them the fastest.

  3. Play group games: kick-the-can, red rover, hide-and-seek, sardines, capture the flag, etc.

  4. Play classic tag and then freeze tag, snake tag, reverse tag, even friendship tag.

  5. Join a local recreational league.

  6. Have a ball playing kickball! Use kiddie pools as bases and a slip-n-slide to splash into home.

  7. Make treasure hunts for each other by writing clues on sticky notes and placing them around your house, yard, or neighborhood.

  8. Do an activity scavenger hunt of things each team has to do, like singing a specific song to a stranger, blowing a bubblegum bubble, or finding a common last name at a cemetery.

  9. Break out your best beats and host a 30-minute dance party.

  10. Pull out your old jump ropes and challenge your friends to see who can learn the coolest trick.

With Your Family

  1. Turn your yard or nearby park into an obstacle course for you and your siblings: hula-hoop 10 times, run to the tree, do five cartwheels, go down the slide, crab-walk to the swings, etc.

  2. Make up your own sport!

  3. Build a fort out of blankets and boxes for an indoor bunker.

  4. Play charades backwards—one person guesses while the rest of your family acts out the clue.

  5. Lend a hand with household projects. Stain a fence or deck, paint a wall, re-caulk a shower, or help with another project.

  6. Learn a game from another culture and teach it to your family. You could start with Ampe, a game from Ghana, or Di Bi Di Bi Dip, a Korean game.

40 Fun Ways to be Physically Active

Seasonal Activities

  1. Have a water balloon fight or a snowball fight.

  2. Go fruit picking and make a pie together.

  3. Hike to a waterfall.

  4. Build a sand castle or a snow fort.

  5. Plant a garden and take care of it.

  6. Go swimming. Learn how to dive, try out different strokes, or play pool games like sharks and minnows.


  1. Find videos of yoga, aerobic kickboxing, or other fitness activities that you like, and follow along at home.

  2. Rearrange the furniture!

  3. Stretch a little while you’re reading a novel or playing video games, or lift weights while watching TV.

  4. Make bread by hand.

  5. Go to a museum.

  6. Dance to your favorite music while you do your chores.

  7. Race your friends up the stairs instead of taking the elevator.

  8. Take up ballroom, country swing, folk, or another style of dance.

40 Fun Ways to be Physically Active


  1. Help someone in your neighborhood with their yard, or go pick up trash at a park.

  2. Organize a mini Olympics for the kids in your neighborhood!

  3. Volunteer to take your neighbor’s dog for a walk, or visit your local animal shelter or humane society.

  4. Help build stuff in your community, such as a new play area in a park or school nearby.

  5. Participate in a local fund-raising run.