Few of us are lucky enough to associate workout ideas with joy. Generally speaking, maintaining a sense of happiness throughout a workout is challenging. But it doesn’t have to be that way. And fortunately for us, joy-focused workouts are becoming incredibly popular all over the world. After all, as you’ve heard a million times, laughter is the best medicine!
The most effective workouts are always going to be the ones that bring you some sense of joy and elation by the end of it. While physical exertion isn’t meant to be easy, it shouldn’t be something you ultimately associate with anger, resentment, or frustration. It should make you feel good.
These ten workout ideas are all created with one particular idea in mind—sparking joy. One workout at a time, these activities turn the focus away from exhaustion and on to joyfulness!
What is more joyful than laughter? Laughing is one of the purest, most natural examples of experiencing levity and joy, which is part of why this unique branch of yoga has become such a cultural phenomenon.
First formalised in 1995 by Dr. Madan Kataria, laughter yoga involves prolonged, voluntary laughter, which tends to evolve into involuntary, side-splitting giggles.
Studies have repeatedly shown that laughter plays an integral role in releasing endorphins, burning calories, and supporting the immune system. If you’re looking for a playful yet effective way to engage with your body while having a great time, laughter yoga is a great place to start.
Learn the 6 ways Laughter can improve Children's Wellbeing
Capoeira is a type of Brazilian art movement that combines dance, combat, and flow. Through Capoeira, people are called to practice flexibility, aerobics, and strength training while synchronizing with rhythmic music, activating several major muscle groups while maintaining that sense of joy.
With Capoeira, you not only have the opportunity to release a flood of endorphins through intense, flowing movements, but you also tap into the intuitive part of a movement that feels like play.
There’s a reason so many kids (and many adults) love to bounce on a trampoline. The buoyant, playful motion of jumping up and down feels liberating. So, why not use it as a foundation for exercise?
Trampoline fitness, also known as rebounding, is a great medium for joyful exercise. Jumping mainly engages the calf, abdominal, and glute movements, giving your body a thorough workout while still allowing you to enjoy the elation of bouncing up and down.
But don’t be fooled. Trampoline workouts are tougher than they look. However, you’ll come out of each session feeling lighter, brighter, and full of natural bounce.
Sometimes, the type of exercise you’re doing doesn’t matter nearly as much as who you do it with. Working out alone can feel stressful and isolating, which can lead to an unfulfilling workout.
Group fitness is a great way to maintain high energy throughout your session and share encouragement with the people around you. Turning exercise into a social occasion is one of the most effective ways to introduce joy to your workout regime.
It’s high time society changed its views on what pole fitness is all about. Far more than just a saucy dance style, pole fitness requires a high degree of physical discipline, flexibility, and strength.
The combination of twirling around on a pole, dancing to upbeat music, and doing it all alongside other people makes taking part in pole fitness classes a huge amount of fun. With pole fitness, you enhance your arms, legs, core, and glutes while improving balance and flexibility simultaneously.
Learn the 6 ways Laughter can improve Children's Wellbeing
Always wanted to join the circus but aren’t sure where to start? AcroYoga has got your back, quite literally. Another fun form of group or partnered exercise, AcroYoga combines acrobatics with yoga to create a unique branch of physical activity that centres around balance, flexibility, and strength.
A big part of AcroYoga is about conjoining moves or stances with one or more partners at a time. This makes it a great team-building exercise, and one that people from a wide age range can equally enjoy.
Aerial silks are another fun way to connect with your joy while getting a serious workout. The graceful sport involves suspending your body in various positions by holding flowing silk fabrics from the ceiling, allowing you to cultivate balance, strength, and mobility.
You might have seen some aerial silk action at Cirque du Soleil, but you needn’t be a professional to get things started. There’s nothing quite like the sensation of swaying above ground on soft, elegant silks.
While it’s true that this is a two-person workout, it’s also one that should spark joy for you both! Sex, like laughter, gives you a rush of endorphins, and it’s a great way to get a little sweaty at the same time.
Not only is sex a good workout that leaves you feeling great, but studies have also shown that it can improve your longevity. So, not only are you burning calories, you’re extending your lifespan too.
Doga is a contemporary branch of yoga that involves practicing the sport alongside your canine companion. What better way to spark joy than to stretch, sit, and play with your furry friend and to build up some strength at the same time? Doga deepens the bond you share with your dog, bringing joy and relaxation.
If you don’t have a dog, look out for goat yoga at local farms. This type of yoga is guaranteed to make you smile, too.
Life is more joyful on wheels. Rollerblading is a surprisingly effective form of exercise that comes neatly packaged in a lot of playfulness and fun. You can glide on rollerblades (or roller skates) through most public parks and piers, making it a social sport that anyone can enjoy.
Rollerblading is a lot like ice skating, except you can do it all year round. Gather a few of your friends and head to the rink, or simply wheel around the neighbourhood.
When it comes to exercise, you’re much more likely to make progress if you’re having fun. Picking any of these joy-sparking fitness forms is sure to get you out of your head and into the heart of health, a smile at a time.