Here’s a table of some of the many ways to train and be physically active. The goal is to find those that make us stronger, smarter, and happier. Consider trying different ones, using combinations, and finding good coaching or other support.

Cardio ClassesSpinning, aerobics, Zumba, step, slideCommunity, low-impact options, fun musicLimited ability to build general fitness, annoying music, access and gym costs
Daily Moving TricksParking farther away than necessary, taking stairs, moving during TV commercialsEfficient use of time, convenience, availability for little or no costLack of community-building, limited ability to build general fitness
DancingBreak/bboy, ballroom, tap, ballet, LatinCommunity, fun, increased body awareness/coordinationLimited ability to build general fitness, other people’s issues (partner dances), class/coaching costs
Endurance TrainingRunning, biking/spinning, inline skating, swimming, rowing, walkingEase of access/convenience, community within the sportsLimited ability to build overall fitness, sport-specific injury risk, large time commitment
Fitness TrainingCrossFit, P90X, Gym Jones, boot camp, other mixes of strength and cardio training typesCommunity, maximal overall fitness, efficient use of timeEquipment or gym dues, quality coaching costs, exercise-specific injury risk
Free Weight TrainingBarbells, dumbells, kettlebellsStrength (including bones, joints, and musclesMovement-specific injury risk, gym or coaching costs, dealing with an occasional meathead
GymnasticsBars, trampoline, rings, floor exercisesBody awareness, muscular strength, mental focus, overall athleticismClass/coaching costs, joint injury risk, access to facilities
Individual SportsTrack and field, triathlon, skiing, snowboarding, CrossFit, tennis, weightlifting, skateboardingSelf-direction/reliance, community within the sportsEquipment, travel, sport-specific injury risk, limited ability to build overall fitness (some exceptions)
Manual WorkDigging, moving loads, chopping wood, farmingEfficient use of time, money, contributions to communityNot always super fun, job-specific injury risk, limited ability to build overall fitness
Martial ArtsKarate, jujitsu, kempo, tai chiCommunity, mental focus, overall athleticism, body awarenessClass/coaching costs, limited ability to build general fitness (varies by type)
Outdoor Adventure SportsIce or rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, surfingCommunity or solitude (depending on style), awareness of natureAccess to level-appropriate trails/rivers/waves, limited ability to build general fitness
PilatesExamples TBDBody awareness, coordination, core strengthClass/coaching costs, access to equipment, limited ability to build general fitness
PlyometricsBounding, jumping rope, box jumps, depth jumps, sprints, tuck jumps, power skippingCoordination, agility, speed, convenience, low equipment costsClass/coaching costs, movement-specific injury risk, limited ability to build general fitness
Resistance BandsAnd other self-supported strengthening devicesConvenience, low purchase costs, some strength (muscle and joint) developmentLimited ability to build maximal muscle or bone strength, not always super fun
Team SportsVolleyball, kickball, football, basketball, soccer, dodgeball, field hockey, ice hockey, cheeringCommunity within the sports and teams, peer support, shared incentive to achieveEquipment, travel, other people’s issues, sport-specific injury risk, limited ability to build overall fitness
Weight MachinesNautilus, Total Gym, machines at gymsEase of use, muscle (and some bone) strength developmentGym costs, limited joint strengthening, limited use for preparing for real-life situations
YogaPower, Bikram, IyengarSpiritual health, breathing/body position awareness, community, convenience, little equipmentLimited ability to build general fitness, class/coaching costs
OtherMade-up games with throwing/jumping/etc., sleddingConvenienceLimited ability to build general fitness