10 Fun Ways to Get in Shape Without 'Working Out' (PHOTOS)

10 Fun Ways to Get in Shape Without 'Working Out' (PHOTOS)

woman with hands up happyGoing to the gym and doing some cardio? SO 2014. These days, strength training is just as important as burning calories. And the way to do that is a little something called "functional fitness."

Functional fitness gets you in shape by simulating movements you'll also do at home or work. Not only does it work your lower and upper body, but there's a strong focus on core stability.

Sounds complicated but it's not. Click through to see all the easy, efficient, and yes, FUN ways you can torch some calories and build up muscle without once hopping on the StairMaster.

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Images via paultarasenko/shutterstock; StudioFI/shutterstock

  • Make Fido Your Personal Trainer

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    Image via andresr/shutterstock

    Your dog wants -- scratch that, your dog NEEDS -- daily exercise and lots of it. And lucky for you, he will never understand, "I'm too tired." Taking your pooch on morning and evening walks or runs totally counts as exercise. Even better, play a game of active fetch. Toss the ball, and you BOTH sprint after it.

  • Hit the Stairs

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    Image via lzf/shutterstock

    Want to condition and tone your legs while building arm muscles? Walk or run up a flight of stairs while holding a pair of 5- to 8-pound weights. No need to do curls. Pretend you're carrying groceries. Try for 5-10 reps to get your heart pumping.

  • Get Your Wobble On

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    Image via Halfpoint/shutterstock

    A wobble board is a disc-shaped board you stand on to improve balance and core strength. One easy exercise to get started: Stand on your board, feet apart, and rotate it around so your feet are in touch with the floor at all times. Your goal is to keep going  for 2-3 minutes (although we bet you'll want to do more).

    More from The Stir: The Perfect Amount of Exercise Finally Revealed

  • Have a Seat

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    No, not in a chair. Against the wall. Or in an invisible chair. For 30 seconds. Until your thighs burn. Then follow up your wall sits with 30 seconds of jump rope. Because you know, you CAN.

  • Work Out at the Playground

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    Image via Warren Goldswain/shutterstock

    Trust us, you DON'T need a gym when you can work out on a playground. Jump rope, pull yourself up on the monkey bars, scramble up the slide, navigate the rock wall -- just don't forget to have your kids play along.

  • Take Up Boxing

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    Image via Jacob Lund/shutterstock

    We don't mean the kind that will break your nose and knock out your teeth. We mean "The Box Jump," where you jump from the ground onto a box. (Not cardboard, FYI, but something sturdy that can take your weight.) The higher the jump, the more intense the workout. Did we mention you have to do far more than just one?

  • Chop Wood

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    Image via Jacob Lund/shutterstock

    You: holding a sledgehammer, repeatedly hitting a tire positioned on the ground. It's called "chopping wood" or "hammer strikes," and your arms and shoulder muscles will hate you at first. The payoff? Next time you need to chop wood for a fire, you can be all like, "Step aside, honey. I got this."

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  • Toe the Line

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    Image via Matej Kastelic/shutterstock

    Ever heard of slacklining? It's a fun new fitness trend you can do in your yard. Imagine walking across a long, stretched-out seatbelt that's a foot above the ground. Buy a kit, attach the line between two trees in your yard, and you've got an instant way to improve your balance by working your glutes and the stabilizing muscles in your legs. Plus, you'll have the coolest lawn activity on the block.

  • Get On the Ball

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    Image via 1759443 Ontario Incorporated/shutterstock

    Bosu balls look a little silly (imagine an oversized ball sliced in half and attached to a base). But you'll appreciate how much they work your balance when you try to stand on one or, say, rest your elbow on it as you hold a side plank. Or flip it over and try some pushups. Hello, core!

  • Unplug the Treadmill

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    Image via Viktoria Gavrilina/shutterstock

    Not ready to say good-bye just yet to a gym workout? Lucky for you functional fitness studios are popping up all over. Inside you might find monkey bars, tires to push around, kettle bells -- even a treadmill that's not powered by electricity, but by YOU. Not only will it work you harder (about 30 percent more, according to experts), but it will also allow you to realistically control your speed.

    More from The Stir: 5 Useless Gym Exercise Machines and What to Do Instead (PHOTOS)

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