6 Simple (and Fun) Exercises to Inspire You

Here’s a fact: I don’t exercise as much as I used to. I rarely have time to get to a gym. But I am very active. I’m always moving, not sitting on a couch. It’s more of a European mentality.

So I’m not going to be hypocritical and tell you to go to a gym every day. Some people just don’t have the time or the desire to do that. I used to take a spin class every day, but now my life feels like a spin class and I don’t have time to add any more spinning! I actually wouldn’t mind going to the gym more often, but I just don’t have the time.

Obviously, exercise is good for you, but my point is that exercise comes in many forms. Pick what works for you, what you enjoy, and what you will actually do, even if that’s just going for a walk every day, walking to work, taking a yoga class, or working in the garden. Or just try some gentle stretching. If you like going to the gym–I know a lot of people who do–then great, do that. Exercise calms you and quiets your food noise.

Don’t let exercise–or food–rule your life, but incorporate both into your life in a calm way, with you in the driver’s seat. Get outside. Breathe. Move. It’s good for you. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

Try yoga. There are many types of yoga, from gentle stretching meditative forms to more active forms that raise a sweat. Talk to yoga teachers near you to find a style you like, if yoga appeals to you. Some yoga centers offer classes in a variety of styles.

Walk. Humans are built to walk, not to sit in desk chairs all day. Walking is free, it’s relaxing, and you can walk fast or slowly depending on your fitness level and how you feel on any given day. Walk every day, and it will get to be easier and more fun.

Ride your bike. Why drive when you can ride and not have to fill up the gas tank? Riding a bike is not only more economical and eco-friendly, but also a great exercise–and it puts you out there in the world in a much more interesting way than staying safely sealed inside your car.

Swim. If you have a pool nearby and you love the water, try swimming a few times a week. Swimming is great exercise that puts no stress on your joints. Some people don’t like it, but for others, there is no better exercise.

The gym isn’t so bad. Some people love going to a gym, where they can be around other like-minded exercisers. These days, gyms usually have many options. For inspiration, you can take exercise classes, from easy to challenging. You can get on a stationary bike and take a spin class, or you can relax or get sweaty in a yoga class. There are also weights, the treadmill, and sometimes even pools. If you try going to the gym, you might find out that it’s fun.

Play sports. Some people would rather play a game than “exercise.” Sports are great exercise, though, so if you can find one you like, go for it!

This is an excerpt from Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel, available on