Exercise regularly as an essential element of living a healthy lifestyle, though exercise may seem daunting at first. Many fail to commit themselves to their workout regimen and their routine becomes less consistent over time.
But there are ways to make exercising more enjoyable: 1. Select an activity you enjoy doing
Find an Activity You Love
No matter if it be in a gym or on a treadmill, how you perceive exercise is paramount to its motivational value. If it feels like work instead of enjoyment, chances are it won’t stick as an exercise routine.
If you’re having difficulty starting, think back to your childhood and remember what physical activities brought joy to your life. Reviving those memories can help reframe working out as more of a fun activity than an obligation that must be completed.
Discover ways that activities fit with your lifestyle. Exercise doesn’t need to take place during one structured session – instead, look for ways you can incorporate physical activity into daily tasks and routines, such as walking to work, taking walks at lunchtime or during coffee breaks, dancing while cleaning house, etc.
As another way of keeping workouts interesting, try mixing up your activities to avoid boredom and reduce injury or overuse in one area. Strength training with friends while playing tennis or walking laps around an air-conditioned mall could all make for exciting combinations – this way, boredom won’t become an issue and injuries caused by overuse won’t occur as easily.
Reward yourself as part of any fitness plan. While long-term benefits like increased energy or better rest can motivate us, short-term rewards that provide instantaneous motivation are also helpful. Try setting up an exercise reward system so that every time you meet a goal or finish a workout you get something small as an incentive – such as chocolate!
If the only reason you dislike exercising is feeling insecure about how you look while doing it, perhaps joining a sport or activity that offers socialization rather than competition might help make exercising more fun. Joining a sports team, for example, could turn an ordinary game into an enjoyable social gathering rather than simply an exercise session.
And if you don’t feel the need to join an in-person group, there are countless online options that make fitness social. You could meet people to go running with regularly or join a yoga class to make new connections while improving your health.
Change Up Your Routine
Exercise doesn’t have to be all or nothing; if dreading going for a run makes you miserable, try reframing your perspective of exercise; consider it more as a volume knob instead of something you must complete or not complete.
Don’t focus on how much time you are spending at the gym; rather, think about how much physical activity is part of your weekly routine. If your current workout doesn’t satisfy, consider increasing frequency and intensity gradually over time; there is no need to start from zero and move through to 100!
If you can’t alter your exercise regimen, add some excitement by recruiting a workout partner. Both parties can hold each other accountable while making it more enjoyable – find someone with similar fitness goals as yourself who shares similar humor; you could compete to see who can run faster or do more pushups!
Listening to music or watching a favorite TV show while walking, jogging or exercising can make time pass more quickly. And if you’re already behind on your shows, recording or purchasing them on DVD so you can watch while exercising could also speed things along.
Reward yourself after each workout by giving yourself something that feels good: taking a relaxing shower, enjoying some hot chocolate or simply lying on the floor to close your eyes and relax are all wonderful rewards for exercise.
Dieting and exercise are key components of living a healthier lifestyle, and if you can find ways to make exercise enjoyable, that will encourage continued participation for years. But if it becomes painful or monotonous, don’t push through it; take a break, and return feeling revitalized to your old activities when the time is right – although remembering that if you stop moving altogether it could take more time before getting back into a routine when returning.
Have a Goal
Many people struggle to maintain their exercise goals because there is no end in sight. A goal will provide motivation to keep going – for instance, set a target time in a race, or see how far you can ride without stopping on an outdoor bike ride. Join a fun run, cycling or tennis tournament with friends to meet other training partners!
Another option is to find an online workout buddy or join a fitness class. Working out with friends can make exercise more fun, especially for highly competitive individuals who find accountability difficult to achieve on their own. Exercising alongside someone at least increases accountability in the form of shared gym memberships or sharing classes together.
Tracking your fitness progress with a pedometer or smartphone app is one effective way to meet and achieve fitness goals. A tape measure may also provide useful insight into how your body has changed over time. Keeping written track of accomplishments – for instance when completing new workouts – helps demonstrate progress while giving something tangible to be proud of.
At the end of your routine, why not add some fun by using an engaging app or game? Playing a game or listening to music can take the edge off exercise, making it feel less like a chore. Try adding your favorite throwback song to your workout playlist or trying the One Workout Exercise Bingo Game (or check out another fun one here)!
As always, the key is taking it slowly and being aware that habits take time to form. While it may take several weeks to become used to your new routine and start experiencing its advantages, over time you will be able to integrate it into your lifestyle and form part of a healthier routine.
Find a Community
Finding an exercise community that resonates with you is the key to maintaining a fitness regimen. Your workout buddies can help hold you accountable when motivation dips, provide supportive network during setbacks, and celebrate wins together – you may find this community anywhere from in-person classes and forums to apps!
Bulvanoski recommends visiting the group’s social media pages and website in order to gain an idea of its culture, including whether interaction and engagement are encouraged and whether its values align with those of you joining the community. Furthermore, taking at least one class before making up your mind could also help give an accurate snapshot of whether this particular fitness community fits with what you need or want.
As it can be uncomfortable to exercise with strangers, taking advantage of free classes or specials is the only way to know if a community fits you perfectly. Once you find a few groups that seem ideal, make an effort to meet its members!
If you can’t locate an in-person fitness community, creating one online is possible with apps such as Vingo that help meet new people in an inclusive, judgment-free community.
Maintaining an exercise routine can be challenging for those unfamiliar with physical fitness. But by changing up your routine and seeking support, exercise becomes more enjoyable – helping to support a healthier life! No matter if cycling, running, or yoga are your preferred methods – there is sure to be one suited to everyone!