Alternatives to Exercise

Everyone knows that the key to great health is a well balanced diet and exercise. However, sometimes fitting gym time into our schedule can be nearly impossible. There are also some of us who prefer unconventional forms of workouts.

If you have limitations that don’t allow you to exercise or perhaps you are not a fan of working out, we are uncovering some activities that will be great alternatives to the common forms of exercise!



One of the best ways to exercise without realising it is through dancing! Essentially, dancing is exercise. By definition, dancing is a rhythmic movement of the body. It may not sound like it but dancing contributes to your physical fitness in many ways. Plus, it’s fun!

Cardiovascular health

According to an article on Health Hub Singapore, “Dancing has a wide range of physical benefits. These include improved muscular strength, coordination, flexibility, increased aerobic fitness and spatial awareness, to name a few. Many types of dancing are full body workouts, where you utilise different muscle groups.”

What is great about dancing is that you can begin at your own pace and work your way up. The better you get at dancing, the more cardio benefits you will get. Even at its most basic movements, you still get incredible benefits for your fitness.

As dancing makes you happy, your emotional wellbeing is boosted too. This is why dance is one of the activities that is incorporated in most senior homes. Dance is something that can benefit the cardiovascular health of almost everyone, no matter if you’re 6 or 60!

Improves balance & strength

Dancing incorporates movements on all planes of motion from all directions. The movements in dance, whether it’s ballet or hip hop, requires you to stretch your physical limits which is a great way to enhance balance, stability, flexibility and strength.

According to professional dancer Jonathan Tylicki, “Movements that we typically do in our daily life, like walking, taking the stairs, and common workouts like treadmills and cycling, occur in the sagittal plane, but dance works your body from all planes, including lateral and rotational, which turns on and conditions all muscles, meaning no muscle is left behind.”


Sporting Activities

While it may still seem like an exercise, sports is actually more of an activity. However, one thing they do have in common is that they both give you the benefits of a workout and boost your physical fitness.

Full respiratory development

Sports is an activity that gives you a well balanced, holistic improvement. Much like dancing, your heart rate is elevated when you engage in sporting activities. The movements and actions in sporting activities are usually very fast paced or thrilling which will increase your heart rate.

This will help you strengthen your heart muscles and develop your respiratory system. The result is you become more fit and capable of withstanding higher intensity “workouts”.

Social skills

An article from The Fun Social Singapore said “Participating in sporting activities in Singapore has numerous benefits for both physical and mental health, as well as an opportunity to socialise and make new friends.”

When you involve yourself in sports, you are more likely to find yourself in wider social circles. Some sports require you to play in teams, thus giving you a chance to form a network of friends who have the same interests and goals as you do.

Agility, Force & Strength

Sports require a lot of skills. These sets of skills are acquired through lots of practice and analytical thinking. To move and make quick decisions when you are in a game of basketball or soccer increases your agility.

Other sports may require you to be strong or forceful. Sports like bowling, though do not entail too much aggressive movement, would need you to control your strength and force. It takes just as much strength to hold back as it is to go full swing.


Leisure Activities

Seems unlikely but did you know that there are many leisure activities that can be considered an exercise? Let’s see what some of them are!


Mundane day-to-day tasks are often overlooked to bring any benefits to our physical fitness but in actual fact, they do!

Simple tasks like grocery shopping, gardening, or even painting your house can help you burn calories. It will be even more beneficial when these tasks are performed throughout the day. This means, all the chores you have done not only helps you complete all the tasks in your to-do list but will amount to significant calorie burns.

Hiking, walking & biking

If you are a big fan of sightseeing or photography, hiking and walking are just some activities you can incorporate in your hobby and get physically fit as well. Walking or hiking on elevated paths will increase your heart rate and help you get that much needed exercise without going to the gym.

Riding the bicycle is also another activity that will help you get that extra workout in. Riding your bicycle around your neighbourhood at least 20-30 minutes a day is not only beneficial for your fitness but also to your mental health. Getting some fresh air and some time in the sun for a short period of your day will do wonders for your overall well-being.

While some of us prefer to stick to routines and workout at the gym, some of us can try these fun alternatives. It is important to note that whatever physical fitness activities we choose to practise, it should go hand in hand with a well balanced diet.

Try some of these activities and bring along your family, friends or even neighbours to add more fun into it. You know what they say, a healthy community is a happy community!