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By Brianna Siciliano

Exercising can be fun and something you look forward to, or it can be boring and dreadful. Many of us want to work out and see results in our health and body, but we have days (sometimes many days) where we don’t want to go to the gym for an hour. Luckily, there are tons of creative, sneaky ways to burn calories without feeling bored or tired.

Walking is a fantastic way to exercise without feeling like your exercising. Some people enjoy walking on the treadmill, but others need to walk without being on equipment. The great thing about walking is that we walk everywhere, whether it’s from our bedroom to the bathroom, from our bathroom to the car, from the car to work or to class, etcetera. One of my favorite things about walking is that you can walk with a buddy, whether it’s a family member, a friend, a neighbor, or a pet. If your walking buddy does not live close to you, take advantage of the technology we have. Talk to your buddy on the phone, whether your conversation is through a phone call, a video chat, or text messages. Change up where and how long you walk; one day you can walk around a local park, the next around the mall, and the day after that, walk around your neighborhood.

Yoga is another great way to sneak in exercise. Instead of lifting heavy weights or trying desperately to pick up the pace on an exercise machine, yoga practicers utilize their body weight. There is no need to be intimidated by yogis (males who practice yoga) or yoginis (females who practice yoga) because there are different exercises for different skill levels. Yogis and yoginis do not worry about competing with others during their workouts because when in the yoga mood, there is no time to worry about what anyone else is doing. All that matters is you, your balance, and your form. With options to pursue yoga at home by yourself, with the company of a buddy, or in a class with others at the same skill level, there is no reason to not give yoga a chance.

If you love being in the water, and you have access to a pool, use it to your advantage. Whether you swim at a leisurely pace, swim at a moderate to fast pace, do water aerobics, or participate in aqua zumba, you are burning calories. Swimming is an efficient way to burn calories without dealing with an overwhelming amount of sweat dripping down your body.

Spending time participating in activities with kids and pets is yet another fabulous way to sneak in some time to burn calories. Playing tag, hide and seek, and practicing sports with kids are exercises that can leave you breathless, but unlike running on the treadmill, this kind of breathless is less painful. Yes, you may be gasping for breath sporadically if you are playing with a fast child, but that’s a good thing! You want to push yourself and even more than that, you want to spend time with the child (whether the child is your child, your niece or nephew, your grandchild, or a family friend) and build a close bond. The same thing goes for pets: playing fetch, chasing each other, and going on walks are great ways to bond and keep a close relationship. Exercising does not need to be dreadful, and it does not have to feel like a chore. Try out these sneaky ways to burn off some calories and watch your health and body change (in positive ways).