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7 Ways To Get And Stay Fit While Having Fun With Friends

Updated on October 2, 2011

Do you like to spend time with your friends or socialize with other people a lot? Do you also try to either lose weight or stay in shape?

If so you may feel like you don't have enough time for both. Don't worry as the best way to solve your dilemma is to join both activities in one.

Instead of sitting in the pub over a pint or in Starbucks drinking your Frappuccino with your friends, you may suggest alternative way of spending time. It doesn't mean you all need to go to the gym or take part in the fitness classes. There are many others possibilities and some of them are listed below. Feel free to choose whatever suits you the best or maybe it will give you an inspiration for something else.

Narrows boats on the canal
Narrows boats on the canal | Source


Every town has a swimming pool. Pick one that is offering a lane swimming. Even if it sounds more appealing to you, don't pick a lagoon or Jacuzzi as you would end up sitting there and chatting instead of using your muscles.

Lane swimming gives you the opportunity to really stretch your muscles. It's also one of the best activities if you don’t exercise much as it's gentle on your joints and can be adjusted to your fitness level. Still it gives a lot of room for a social interaction as you can chat for a while anytime you and any of your friends finish at the pool edge.

If the weather is good and you prefer to spend time outdoor, swimming in a lake is your best choice. The water in a lake is usually quieter than in the sea so the swimming is much easier and more pleasurable. Unless you are an expert swimmer though, please ensure you swim in dedicated areas with a lifeguard on duty, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Pedal boats

Once you get bored with swimming at the lake, there are other possibilities. The pedal boat is a great choice as it gives you the opportunity to have a proper chat with your best friend, get tan, and do some leg workout at the same time.

It's much more enjoyable than spending an hour in the gym using the stationary bicycle. It’s true that the results are less spectacular, but you can hardly treat a pedal boat as an exercise machine. It doesn't feel like workout and it's a lot of fun, yet your muscles are being used and your body stretched.

If your legs get a little tired or your group is bigger than two people you may choose a canoe boat instead. It will be a great workout for your arms along with the opportunity to discover new attractive sites. You can also have a race against another group of friends if you fancy a bit of competition.

It's also a great idea for a date with your loved one - the quiet lake, beautiful nature and the Sun is shining down on two of you being lost somewhere in the middle of the wild waters - perfect scenery

Trekking the countryside

If the water is not your element, then you may prefer walking instead of swimming. There are many beautiful spots, forests, meadows and river banks. If you live in UK, you can choose from hundreds of national trail paths and discover the most amazing places. Many of the paths take you along the canals or rivers when you can have a chat with friendly people travelling on narrow boats or watch the lock opening.

The life is slower in the countryside, air smells better and you an easily find the peace and joy of life. In fact it is not only a workout for your legs but also a rest and relax for your mind.

You can also take part in geocaching. It’s a treasure hunt type game using GPS navigation to find targets. The global Geocaching website is a place to go to check how to play this game and to boast online about your findings. It’s a great fun for all gadget and outdoor lovers.

Airsoft Games - an activity for outdoor fans
Airsoft Games - an activity for outdoor fans | Source

Paintball game

Have you ever wanted to join the army or were running around with plastic gun when you were a kid? Now you can have the experience for real but perfectly safe if you follow the rules. It's a great team activity that will get you running and you will feel your muscles the next day.

Just find a paintball games zone close to you and book a place in the event. Most of the sites offer several game scenarios, each having a certain goal like to take over the helicopter or to find and defend survivors. It requires tactical thinking and playing as a team. It gives adrenaline rush as well as a lot of fun. And it's not for boys only - girls make brilliant snipers. They don't rush into the battle but prefer to keep the distance and they choose their target wisely without unnecessary shooting around.

If you fall for this activity but would prefer to do the same thing without a mask and paint then you might be interested in Airsoft games. This is more about strategy and creating realistic scenarios. The clothes and gun replicas look very alike the real stuff and you get real pros there sometimes.

In ASG plastic pellets are used instead of balls with paint so there is no need for whole head cover - the safety goggles are enough. The pellets are less painful than paint balls but the system relies heavily on fair play rules rather than marks made by paint. So when you are hit by the pellet, you raise your hand shouting that you are hit and go to the revival zone.

Racquet sports

For unplanned meets, they are a good choice as many sports centres have several racquet sports courts. Depending on your level of fitness and preference you can decide to have a go in tennis or more demanding squash. It will most likely leave you and your playing partner out of breath for a long while unless you do it regularly.

If you are new to these activities and are a bit worried you don't know how to play them, go for a good old badminton. I'm sure you've played it more than once as a kid. You may think it's an activity for children only but you might be actually surprised once you start playing against your friend. Don't expect to have an easy life - I'm sure that in order to win, you both will be running like mad around the court, being out of breath and on weak legs before the end of first game.

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Night in the club

If you cannot live without going out in the evening, choose night clubs with great music and dancing floor over noisy pubs. Dancing all night is the best way of shedding off the extra weight. Your whole body is moving and your heart rate is between 60% and 80% of your maximum rate. It's the best one to burn fat according to personal trainers. And guess what - in a great company you will dance for hours without even realising you've done it.

If you become a real addict, you can also sign up for dancing classes which would give you new skills that you could show off later on the dance floor.

Bowling or billiard games

If none of the above sounds appealing to you as you really hate to move, you lack the skills or weather is not good for outdoor then at least do something different than just sitting in your chair.

Bowling is a great past time for a group of friends, everyone can play and take part in the competition. It doesn't require any special skills and it's a great opportunity to socialize with bigger group of people. It doesn't make you slim but at least will allow you to move a bit after a long day at the desk.

If there are only two of you, you may prefer to play the pool or snooker. Both are games where strategy and good eye are your best friends. The more you play the better you become. In fact if you fancy it you may join a local club and once you become good enough - enter the tournament. Not only it will make you do it more often but also you will meet many new people and make some new friends.

Start moving your body today

There are many other ways of being active which will keep you in shape till old age. There is no need to go to the gym regularly if you don't enjoy it unless you are training to have a perfect body. Mind that in previous centuries there were no gyms at all, but people used to be much more fit than we are nowadays, from the activities they were doing all day long.

Any activity that will get you going will do, as long as you enjoy doing it. Having fun is a key factor as it allows us to chill out, forget about the hard day and relax our brain. It keeps us younger for longer and when we laugh - 53 muscles are used in our face - none of the gym equipment can do that for you.


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    • Ania L profile image

      Ania L 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      You are very welcome and judging by your photo I can say you are using your face muscles a lot - keep smiling :)

    • Treasuresofheaven profile image

      Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

      Great ideas! I love your ending, "53 muscles are used in our face," when we laugh. So glad you mentioned that the main thing is to get moving. I do like bowling - thanks for the encouragement.