Get started tip: Take the plunge for the first time.Walking
It doesn't get much easier or more natural than walking. You can walk outdoors, indoors or on the treadmill. It doesn't really matter where you are as long as you get moving. Research shows that walking may help just about every health ailment you can think of. It reduces heart attack risk, manages weight, controls blood pressure, lengthens life span and reduces your risk of breast cancer—just to name a few. The other great thing about walking is that it can be as intense as you want it to be. You just want to make sure that you're walking at a fast enough pace to be slightly out of breath while still being able to hold a conversation. As long as it's not 80 degrees outside or in your climate-controlled health club, you shouldn't break much of a sweat.
Get started tip: Read up on SparkPeople's comprehensive Walking Guide.Cleaning the House
Doing chores around the house definitely feels like work, but did you realize that it could be considered a workout, too? Talk about multitasking! Light housework such as dusting, taking out the trash, organizing and changing the sheets burns about 170 calories an hour for a 150-pound person. Heavier, more intense chores such as sweeping the floor, washing windows, scrubbing the floors and cleaning out the garage can burn more than 250 calories an hour. And it doesn't just have to be in the home. Working in the yard can burn serious calories, too. Pushing a power mower for 20 minutes burns about 95 calories, and raking can burn 137 calories in 30 minutes.
Get started tip: Turn house cleaning into a home workout.Tai Chi
As mentioned in the study above, Tai Chi is a very gentle, meditative activity that is rooted in martial arts. One 30-minute session of Tai Chi burns about 84 calories for a 150-pound man or woman and can result in both fitness gains and stress reduction. The ancient Chinese form of exercise promotes balance, coordination and stretching—all good things for your health!
Get started tip: Check your local health club, martial arts studio or community recreation center for a beginning Tai Chi class to see if it's the right activity for you. You can even purchase or rent a Tai Chi workout DVD!Strength Training
On SparkPeople, we often tout the benefits of strength training. After all, lifting weights builds muscles, boosts metabolism and helps you to do everyday activities more easily. But the best part of strength training to those who don't like to sweat? It doesn't have to take a lot of time or a lot or perspiration to get your lift on. In fact, by doing a few push-ups, squats, lunges and triceps dips, you can get a full-body strength workout in less time than it takes you to shower—which you won't need to do if you take a quick 30-second break between moves to keep your heart rate down to a no-sweat level.