I believe the one of biggest obstacles that we need to overcome when it comes to health and weight loss is finding joy in exercise. For many, exercise is torturous, painful, tiring, and generally unpleasant. However, if we take time to really experience exercise, we will see that it is not as bad as we think it is. It can be just like any other activity or hobby that we enjoy. If you are struggling to enjoy your workouts, then here are eight ways to make exercise fun.
1. Pick an Activity You Enjoy
You might not like working out because you force yourself to do an activity you do not like. If this is the case, then you should think about what physical activity you enjoy the most. Do you like swimming, running, walking, or dancing? Don’t be afraid to try out different activities. Only by trial and error will you find the exercise that truly appeals to you. And once you find that, you will discover that exercise can indeed be fun.
2. Play Games
Exercise can be fun if you think of it as a form of a game. The introduction of Wii fitness games has done a great service to many exercise newbies because it makes working out fun and interactive. You can also join learn a new sport or martial art if you are up for a challenging but fun workout.
3. Focus on the Benefits
When we think of exercise, the things that come to our minds are its short term, negative effects. How about trying a different strategy? Try thinking of exercise in terms of the long term benefits: weight loss, fitness, better quality of life, improved health, and even new friendships. I think it is will be easier to love exercise if you look at it in a positive, rather than a negative, light.
4. Don’t Make It Complicated
If you can’t enjoy exercise because of complicated equipments and elaborate moves, then why don’t you try to keep things simple? There are many exercises that are uncomplicated and very easy to do. You might be more likely to stick to an exercise that is simple and minimalist.
5. Don’t Fall into a Routine
Once you fall in love with a certain activity, you will find yourself doing it over and over again. However, things can get monotonous, thus making you feel unenthusiastic about exercise. Interject different activities into your regular workout routine to keep things exciting. You should also change your workout or increase the intensity if you feel like you are getting too comfortable at your current level.
6. Vary Your Location
Sometimes, you can get sick of exercise if you do it in the same venue for too long. Change it up every several weeks. If you always work out at home, then maybe you can sign up for group classes. If you always run the same route, then maybe you can plot a different one. If you are always at the gym, maybe you can take things outdoors for a change.
7. Exercise with People
If you are an extroverted person, then you might enjoy working out if you do it with other people. You can join group classes or team sports to bring the social factor to your exercise. You can also exercise with friends or family.
8. Add Sound/video to Your Workout
Music, especially the kind with an energetic beat, is a very good exercise motivator. You can try listening to music during your workouts to pump you up. Video is also helpful in breaking the monotony of work outs. You can watch television shows or movies if you exercise at home or at the gym.
9. Buy New Clothes or Gear
You don’t really need to buy new gear or clothes to enjoy your workout. But these things do provide motivation when you don’t feel like working out. You are more likely to feel excited to exercise so you can wear your pretty new outfits. New clothes and gear are also great incentives when you reach a fitness or workout goal.
10. Keep Track of Your Improvement
You will enjoy exercise more if you can actually see the results. Aside from seeing changes in the mirror, you will feel that your clothes fit you better. But a more concrete way of tracking your progress is by using a measuring tape. Take down measurements for key areas such as arms, chest, waist, hips, buttocks, and thighs. Don’t rely too much on the scale, though, because that doesn’t take into consideration the muscles you’ve developed.
Remember that exercise is supposed to be something that makes your life better. You should stop seeing it as the bane of your existence. It is something that everyone can enjoy and love if only we give it a chance. I hope that with the tips I’ve given, you can finally experience the joy of exercise.
Top Photo Credit: Lindsay_NYC