Exercise with a difference that makes you smile


Don’t look for motivation. Find your WAY and then NO excuses will come between you and your GOALS

Help!! I need to exercise but don’t know what to do. I’m a  little tired with all the usual run of the mill options. Is this you?

Exercise, exercise, exercise!! Since childhood, we have taught that exercise is the best thing for us, which is very accurate. However, trying to find something to suit that doesn’t include sweating at the gym, using home exercise equipment you see as just a chore, or maybe paying a PT to kick you into shape but not loving what you’re doing, what else can we do?

Here are just a few suggestions to give you your mojo back with a fun element too!


Walking is a great way to get out in the fresh air by taking the dog for a walk or quality time with the family. However, try to jazz it up a bit. Walk for a minute and the last 10 seconds of the minute increase your pace and repeat until eventually you increase the brisk pace and decrease the slower pace. I

If walking with the children/grandchildren, introduce a scavenger type hunt, collecting things on the way, deviating from your usual route to create a fun activity. Maybe rougher terrain, slightly uphill, downhill slopes are fantastic for controlling your speed, and it works the calf’s too. There are also loads of Walking Motivation Apps you can download from the App store.


Dancing is fabulous for exercise, using muscles all over the body depending on how energetic you are! I for one dance when I’m vacuuming—sidestepping away, pushing and pulling that vacuum vigorously. Just put my earphones in, crank up my iTunes special playlist and I’m out.

A lot of us are also communicating with friends and family via Zoom. My family have a quiz/bingo night every Saturday and when we have finished on goes the music and we all dance remotely listening to loads of golden oldies. I burnt over 300 calories on Saturday night having a good old boogie. Fun and a great form of exercise.


Hula Hooping

 Fab way to enjoy a bit of exercise. Great for the core, waist, fitness and a throwback to our younger days. You can buy these from Amazon (adult weighted) from as little as £12.00, and there are loads of YouTube dance workout sessions from 5 to 25 minutes. Easy to follow with various ability levels.

Join a team sport

I’m very much an advocate of team sports as very often these go hand in hand with social events, meeting new people, stepping out of your comfort zone, increased confidence, and is so good for your mental health and well-being. Even if you do not want to participate, you could become a volunteer helping out where needed before taking the plunge and trying something new. Try out that sport you always wanted to do as a child and give it a go.

Having played netball for 40 years, I speak from personal experience achieving quite a high standard (well I think so!). I am also a qualified England Netball Level 2 coach and umpire. Meaning I can coach all ages from primary school to octogenarians and beyond if they are willing. 

There are various levels of netball available from individuals that have played before and want to get back into netball to those who have never played before but want to try something different.

I coach Back to Netball sessions currently twice a week and am looking to introduce a Walking Netball session once the current climate improves. These sessions take place locally to Aldridge so right on most of your doorsteps. The buzz you get after is tremendous all done in a fun, friendly environment.

Netball Group


Roller Skating

I loved roller skating when I was young and attended roller discos with the local youth club. It’s a great form of exercise with the bonus of an excellent old disco. I discovered sessions were available at Oak Park Active Living Centre, Walsall Wood (before the pandemic) and my youngest daughter asked me to take her along. Well not only did she love it, so did I! You can hire out the boots, and the sessions last for 2 hours, although you don’t have to stay for 2 hours!! I am sure they will resume as soon as things return to normal but as an option skating is right up there as an alternative to the run of the mill forms of exercise.


open/cold water swimming

The beneficial effects of cold-water swimming include increased metabolism, better circulation, reduction of stress and enhanced mood, better sleep, skin conditions, etc. It also has a social side and is a form of exercise commonly associated with menopausal ladies.

Click here to read a lovely article about Open/Coldwater swimming and the benefits it can offer to menopausal symptoms;


There are two venues locally that provide open water swimming;



bike riding

Bike riding is one of the best fun activities you can have outside. Even if you haven’t ridden a bike since childhood doesn’t worry, it will soon come back to you. As the saying goes “it’s as easy as riding a bike”.

Start slow in your garden just relearning the basics, progress to a leisurely bike path, grow your confidence, and who knows where you will end up! You may find that you enjoy climbing those heart raising hills or even off-road trails!

Google local bike paths, and it returns some great routes, and you can even choose what sort of course, e.g. flat, hilly, quick, long etc.



Whatever you decide to remember exercise is good for the mind, body and soul


With thanks to Pauline Madden for writing this piece. Pauline can be contacted here or on the Netball Facebook Group.

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