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The debate around classifying working out as a hobby is an intriguing one. While often viewed as an obligatory means to an end, exercise doesn’t have to feel like a chore. With the right perspective, fitness can become a genuinely enjoyable leisure activity.

This article explores whether working out meets the criteria of a hobby, the upsides to cultivating a “hobby mentality,” tips for making exercise fun, examples of engaging workout formats, and advice for moving toward a sustainable lifestyle. 

Reframing physical activity as a rewarding pastime rather than a drudgery can redefine your relationship with fitness and bring new motivation.

What Constitutes a Hobby?

Many people have hobbies that they enjoy doing in their free time. Hobbies are activities that people engage in purely for pleasure and enjoyment. Unlike work or chores, hobbies are voluntary activities that people are intrinsically motivated to participate in.

Some key characteristics of hobbies include:

  • They are done during leisure time or free time when not working. Hobbies are a fun way to fill time when not occupied with other duties or obligations.
  • They are intrinsically rewarding and enjoyable. People pursue hobbies simply for the sake of enjoyment, relaxation, and satisfaction.
  • They allow for active or participatory engagement. Hobbies usually involve some level of active participation, engagement, and physical involvement by the hobbyist.
  • They provide a break from routine. Hobbies give people a chance to take a break from their routine and responsibilities.
  • They provide an opportunity to learn and develop skills. Many hobbies enable hobbyists to expand their knowledge and abilities.
  • They offer a chance for self-expression. Hobbies allow people to tap into their creative potential and express themselves.
  • They provide social connections. Shared hobbies form a basis for connecting with other people who have similar interests.

Does Working Out Qualify as a Hobby?

With the key characteristics of hobbies in mind, does working out qualify? There are good arguments on both sides of this debate. Here is an analysis of whether working out meets the definition of a hobby:

Arguments That Working Out Is a Hobby

  • Working out certainly does not feel like work to many people. It is an enjoyable leisure activity.
  • It provides intrinsic satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. Completing a good workout session provides a nice feeling of success.
  • It requires active engagement and physical exertion. There is no passive participation in working out.
  • It provides respite from daily stresses and routines. Exercise can function as an energizing break.
  • It facilitates skill development around different exercises, techniques, and fitness plans.
  • It allows people to express themselves physically and push their limits.
  • It creates social connections, for example at gyms, classes, and races/events.

Arguments That Working Out Is Not a Hobby

  • For some, working out feels more like a chore or obligation than a leisure activity.
  • The primary motivation is improved health and physical appearance, not just enjoyment.
  • There are elements of routine and discipline to maintaining a workout schedule.
  • It requires significant physical exertion, more than most hobbies.
  • For serious athletes pursuing competitive goals, working out crosses into more of an area of work and achievement focus.
  • The enjoyment comes from the results of working out, not just the activity itself.

Benefits of Making Working Out a Hobby

While the debate about classifying working out as a hobby continues, there are clear benefits that come along with approaching fitness with a “hobby mindset”:

  • It makes working out more fun and sustainable when it feels like a recreational outlet rather than an obligation. Approaching it as a hobby adds enjoyment.
  • It provides motivation to stick with it even during difficult training periods since hobbies are by nature intrinsically rewarding activities.
  • It offers opportunities for mastery and skill development over time. Hobbies allow for growth and advancement.
  • It facilitates connecting with a recreational community of those who share a passion for fitness and working out.
  • It provides opportunities for creative expression through trying new exercises, fitness challenges, training for events, etc.

Overall, purposefully cultivating a “hobby” attitude toward working out can transform fitness from a chore into an enjoyable, lifestyle activity.

Making Working Out More Enjoyable

For those seeking to make their workout regimen feel more like a rewarding hobby, here are some tips:

  • Mix up your workouts to add diversity and prevent boredom. Try new exercises, formats, equipment, and classes. Look for creative ways to engage different muscles and skills.
  • Train for an event like a marathon, CrossFit competition, or charity fun run. Having a tangible goal adds motivation and a sense of purpose.
  • Work out with friends to add camaraderie and playfulness. Having an exercise buddy makes fitness more social and fun.
  • Add music that energizes and motivates you. Create workout playlists to match your routine. Good tunes enhance the enjoyment factor.
  • Track progress to feel a sense of growth and achievement. Seeing fitness milestones helps highlight the skills you’re developing.
  • Make rest and recovery a priority. Listen to your body to prevent burnout. Proper rest enables you to come back feeling excited.
  • Focus on consistency, not perfection. Don’t beat yourself up for missed days. A sustainable hobby is about regular engagement over the long haul.

Making Working Out More Challenging

Incorporating challenge into a fitness routine transforms it from mere exercise into a rewarding hobby focused on growth. Here are tips for adding challenges:

  • Set specific goals like increasing your squat weight or run speed. Concrete goals give a sense of purpose.
  • Sign up for advanced classes to take your skills to the next level through increased difficulty.
  • Learn new skills like handstands, Olympic lifts, or dance moves. Learning new techniques prevents plateaus.
  • Vary your training with cycles of higher and lower intensity. Periodized training provides mental and physical challenges.
  • Compete in local races and fitness challenges. Competition motivates you to expand limits.
  • Intentionally add difficulty like increased weight, speed, or repetitions. Small spikes in challenge build fitness.
  • Use fitness tracking to monitor progress and performance. Quantifiable metrics highlight development.
  • Follow advanced training programs designed to drive progress through variation.

Deliberate challenge transforms working out from mere maintenance to a hobby focused on growth and achievement of peak potential.

Examples of Enjoyable Workout Routines

Working out doesn’t have to feel like a chore. By exploring creative formats, you can discover types of exercise you genuinely look forward to doing regularly. Here are some examples:

HIIT Classes

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has become popular for its ability to deliver a time-efficient, challenging workout. By rotating short bursts of intense exercise with rest, HIIT keeps the heart rate up while providing variability. Popular HIIT formats include Orangetheory, Barry’s Bootcamp, and CrossFit, among others. The group energy and motivation of a HIIT class make the time fly by.

Outdoor Adventure Workouts

Take your workout routine outdoors for increased engagement with nature and exploration of new environments. Examples include trail running, cycling, open water swimming, sports like beach volleyball or soccer, and outdoor boot camp-style workouts. Exercising outdoors adds sights, sounds, and sensations that make workouts more multifaceted.

Group Fitness Classes

Group classes like spin, martial arts, dance, yoga, and boot camps allow you to work out in a communal environment. Having an instructor guide the session helps the time pass quickly. Classes also enable trying new formats in a structured setting. The group energy provides natural motivation to work hard and have fun.

Functional Strength Training

Programs centered around developing full-body functional strength like lifting, bodyweight exercises, gymnastics, and calisthenics emphasize skill and capability. Moving progressively toward tougher movements provides intrinsic motivation. Seeing concrete markers of strength like performing a first pull-up brings a profound sense of satisfaction.

Multisport Training

For those who get bored easily, programs like CrossFit and triathlon training incorporate diverse exercises together into one workout. Combining strength, endurance, and skill training enhances overall athleticism while preventing boredom. Variety ensures you develop competence across multiple fitness domains.

Finding the Right Workout Routine

With so many options for working out, it can take some exploration to discover the types of exercise you find genuinely engaging. Here are some tips for finding routines you look forward to doing regularly:

  • Identify your goals – Do you want to build strength? Improve endurance? Lose weight? Different goals may require different approaches.
  • Determine your schedule and time constraints – How many days can you realistically work out each week? For how long is each session? This will shape options.
  • Establish your level – Are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced? This will dictate what intensity and challenge is appropriate.
  • Consider if you prefer group or solo workouts – Many thrive off group energy. Others prefer exercising alone.
  • Think about equipment needs and access – What is available? Do you need a gym membership or can you train at home?
  • Reflect on types of exercise you enjoy – Have you liked certain formats in the past more than others? Lean into preferences.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment – Trying new styles often reveals unforeseen interests. Allow yourself a trial period.

Stay open, experiment, and don’t get discouraged if a routine doesn’t click right away. With consistent exploration, you will eventually discover fulfilling workout styles.

Making Exercise a Sustainable Lifestyle

For those seeking to move to a consistent lifestyle rather than just a fleeting phase, here are tips:

  • Schedule workouts instead of just trying to fit them in when possible. Consistency requires planning.
  • Start slowly if you are new to working out. Attempting too much too soon increases injury and burnout risk. Build up gradually.
  • Focus on enjoyment, not pressures or unrealistic expectations. Guilt and obligation will sabotage motivation over time.
  • Vary your training to prevent boredom and overuse injuries from repetition. Periodization prevents plateaus.
  • Listen to your body and take rest days when needed. Pushing excessively hard leads to burnout.
  • Fuel properly with whole foods to feel energized. Proper nutrition provides the resources for training consistency.
  • Buy equipment if possible like home weights, quality running shoes, a bike, etc. Equipment access facilitates regular workouts.
  • Connect with others who share your passion for fitness. The community provides mutual motivation and accountability.

With the right mindset and habits, it is possible to make training not just a phase but a lifelong, enjoyable hobby promoting health.

See Also: How To Make Time for Hobbies – No Matter How Busy You Are

Can Working Out Be Considered a Hobby?

Engaging in regular physical exercise can certainly be regarded as one of the hobbies for a fulfilling work-life.

For many individuals, working out not only enhances physical health but also provides mental and emotional benefits.

Whether it’s practicing yoga, weightlifting, or going for runs, incorporating exercise into your routine can bring joy, balance, and a sense of accomplishment to your daily life.


While debate continues whether working out technically qualifies as a “hobby,” there are certainly compelling arguments on both sides.

Ultimately, the benefits of intentionally cultivating a “hobby mindset” around exercise seem clear, from making fitness more fun and sustainable to providing opportunities for continued challenge and growth. With some effort and exploration, it is possible to discover types of training you genuinely look forward to regularly, whether it be HIIT classes, adventure workouts, martial arts, or any activity that becomes a passion. Moving to a consistent lifestyle does require intention and commitment, but with the right perspective, it is certainly achievable.

So don’t be afraid to experiment, focus on enjoyment, and find ways to make physical activity a rewarding, lifelong hobby.

FAQs about Is Working Out a Hobby?

Is exercise considered a hobby?

Yes, exercise can be considered a hobby if it’s an activity that you enjoy and engage in regularly for personal fulfillment rather than professional obligation. Many people enjoy exercising as a way to stay healthy, relieve stress, and improve their physical fitness.

Is weight-lifting a hobby?

Weight-lifting can certainly be a hobby for those who enjoy it and engage in it regularly. Weight-lifting is a form of exercise that can help improve strength and overall physical fitness, and many people find it enjoyable and fulfilling.

How do you put fitness as a hobby on a resume?

When putting fitness as a hobby on a resume, it’s important to highlight the skills and qualities that it demonstrates, such as discipline, dedication, and physical fitness. You can mention any relevant certifications, training, or accomplishments related to fitness, and explain how it has contributed to your personal growth and development.

Is personal fitness a hobby?

Personal fitness can be a hobby for those who enjoy staying active and taking care of their physical health. It can include activities such as running, swimming, hiking, yoga, and weight lifting, among others.

Can I say gym is my hobby?

Yes, if going to the gym is an activity that you enjoy and engage in regularly, you can certainly say that it’s your hobby. Many people find going to the gym to be an enjoyable way to stay active, relieve stress, and improve their physical fitness.

How do I turn my gym into a hobby?

To turn your gym routine into a hobby, try to approach it with a mindset of enjoyment and personal fulfillment, rather than obligation. Experiment with different exercises and activities to find what you enjoy most, and consider joining a fitness community or club to connect with others who share your interests. Additionally, setting personal fitness goals and tracking progress can make it feel more engaging and rewarding.

Tom Velasco

Tom Velasco

I'm just a regular guy who loves hobbies. I'm also the creator of Hobbyist To Riches, where I've spent the last 15 years trying out all kinds of hobbies that make life happier and financially rewarding. My adventures have taken me around the world to immerse in different cultures and their diverse pastimes. I love sharing this journey of discovering new passions!

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