20 fun ways to get 30 minutes of physical activity today

Mature aged women in dance class with older gentleman behind her in background

When you were a kid, you moved your body while playing; you didn’t think about exercising. Swinging from the monkey bars, running around the park, and playing sports with friends were par for the course of an active childhood.

As adults, it can be easy to lose touch with the fun aspect of activity and to even stop prioritising daily movement altogether. If the thought of breaking a sweat breaks your spirit, it might be time to think about fun ways you can get active, just like when you were a kid.

It’s recommended that adults do 150-300 minutes (2½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity a week. That’s just 30 minutes a day. However, no one wants to spend that time slogging it out doing something they dislike. You’re more likely to maintain good habits by engaging in physical activities that you enjoy.

Below are some ideas to get your heart pumping while adding a bit of fun into your schedule at the same time.

1. Dance party

How long has it been since you had a dance to your favourite music? Let your hair down, draw the curtains if you’ve got nosy neighbours, pump some beats, and let loose. It’ll only take about 8 songs for you to get your 30 minutes in, so make sure you choose your best bangers to get your heart rate up!

2. Flying disc

Flying disc is a quick and easy way to get moving with a friend or your kids. Count how many times you can throw the disc back and forth without dropping it and make it more of a challenge by making each other run for it.

Young man throws a flying disk over grass in a public park

3. Gardening

Good news for those with a green thumb! Gardening can be a form of moderate intensity physical activity, especially if you’re bending down and standing up frequently, pushing, sweeping, raking, lifting, or carrying heavy items. For many people, gardening is an excellent way to look after their mental wellbeing too.

Older man gardening

4. Walking meetings

If your workplace demands a lot of meetings, suggest making one each day a ‘walking meeting’. Head outside to a nearby park or follow a footpath and pound out a few steps while you talk business. Don’t forget to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide when you’re outside during the day!

5. Hiking

Getting out and about in the great outdoors is a wonderful way to stretch your legs and see some of our state’s amazing scenery. Visit the Queensland National Parks website for some inspiration about where to go, including wheelchair accessible experiences!

Photos taken behind a man in a wheelchair, rolling along an outdoor walking path in the rainforest with his arms in the air

6. Rock climbing

Build your strength and develop better hand, feet, and eye coordination through rock climbing. Visit an indoor climbing centre, find a local park with climbing walls or climbing nets, or take a good old-fashioned walk in an area with rocks and boulders to scale.

7. Water gun battle

For some people, the best way to get active is to make it a competition. Gather some friends, fill up some water guns and try to stay dry! Play on some grass or in a garden area to water the plants at the same time.

8. Take your dog to a doggy meetup

Lots of Queenslanders get their steps in by walking the dog each day. If you’re a dog owner, spice up your routine by taking your dog along to a dog meetup, where you can meet other likeminded canine-lovers and go for a walk, run, or hike together.

9. Practice a yoga flow

If you think that yoga is all about stretching and deep breathing, think again. There are plenty of yoga classes available for free on YouTube that will move your body and get your heart pumping. Doing what’s called a “vinyasa” practice will take you through a series of poses, from standing to being down on your mat, using every muscle in your body to develop strength and stamina.

Woman practicing yoga in her home on a blue yoga mat, dressed in workout wear

10. Build a home workout

If getting to a gym class, or paying for one, is putting you off working out, don’t worry – you can get the same benefits from a home workout. Use our ready-made home workouts to challenge your body in new ways, or build your own routine using these individual exercises.

11. Walking/running outside

Going for a walk or a jog is an easy and accessible type of physical activity that gets you out in nature. However, taking the same route each time can get boring quickly. Try mixing it up by taking a different route, going to a different neighbourhood, or getting your steps in before or after work around your workplace. Putting on a podcast, listening to your favourite music, or connecting to the sounds of nature is a great way to pass the time. 

Of course, walking or running can also be a great time for social connection. Consider joining a local walking group or running club in your area. For those looking for an indoor or low impact option, why not consider joining a local shopping centre walking group? (Yes, they’re a thing!)

Woman walking up some outdoor stairs, the photo is zoomed in on her sneakers climbing uphill

12. Dance class

Swing dancing, tap dancing, ballet, or salsa – there are so many different styles of dance that will raise your heart rate. While you might feel more comfortable dancing in your living room, there is something splendid about dancing with others. Being around other people while dancing is a great way to boost your mood and your social connectedness to others.

Contact your local council to see if there are any free drop-in classes available in your area or contact a local dance school. You can also find free classes on YouTube to dance from the comfort of your home.

13. Catch and kick

Gather the family together and head to your local park to kick a footy or throw a ball back and forth. Once everyone’s practised their kicking, throwing, and catching skills, take things to the next level by asking them to throw or kick long and make you run for it.

14. Try a new sport

How long has it been since you tried something new? While starting a new sport or class may be daunting, changing up your routine might be just what you need to get excited about physical activity again. Make a list of all the things you thought would be fun to try as a kid – skating, fencing, judo, jazz, dragon boat racing – and then pick one to try.

Playing sport as part of a team can help you get active while making friends and feeling part of your community. Find a sports club in your local area or use the My Community directory to search for your sport of choice.

Women playing netball on an outdoor court

15. Make date night active night

Date night (or any time you hang with loved ones or friends) doesn’t have to be spent sitting at a table or in front of a screen. Get active on your next date by going bowling, playing laser tag, paintball, squash, or something else!

16. Orienteering

Orienteering is a cross country navigation activity done on foot or bike, that requires participants to locate and travel to different areas on a map as fast as possible. While learning navigation skills, orienteering also provides the opportunity for a great outdoor workout that can be done by people of all ages.

Orienteering Queensland coordinates clubs and events across the state.

17. Shopping

You might not think it counts towards your daily physical activity goals, but shopping can add a lot of steps to your day. Next time you need to buy a few things, take the long way between shops. Bonus points if you park your car further away from the entrance or walk to and from the shops.

18. Bounce on a trampoline

Get back to a favourite childhood pastime by bouncing on a trampoline. Jumping up and down repeatedly works your heart, pumps blood throughout your body and improves aerobic fitness. But best of all, it’s loads of fun!

If you have a trampoline at home for the kids, take a turn yourself (being mindful of weight limits), or consider investing in a small exercise trampoline for home. You can also search for indoor trampoline centres near you (they’re not just for kids) for some free jumping time or a structured class.

19. Rollerblading

Rollerblading is a fun activity that can be done indoors or outdoors, while building your fitness and strengthening your lower body. Glide around your local neighbourhood, hit up an indoor skate rink, or skate along a dedicated bikeway or cycle path.    

20. Bike riding

Bike riding is one of the best activities you can do outside, and kids know it. If you haven’t ridden a bike since childhood, don’t worry, it’s just like, well, riding a bike! Start off slow on an easy bike path, quiet road, or flat trail and as you regain your confidence you can graduate to heartrate raising hills or more challenging trails.

Search online for where to ride in Queensland, from everyday rides to trail bike tracks.

Family of four riding their bikes and wearing helmets

If you have been inactive for a while, have heart disease, a close relative with heart disease, any other major health problems, injuries or are pregnant, please check with your GP, an Accredited Exercise Physiologist or other health professional before engaging in physical activity.