What are some ways to make exercise more fun?
- Play music
- Include a friend
- Get outdoors
- Learn a new skill
- Set goals
- Keep a journal
- Reward yourself
You know the benefits of exercising: You will improve your cardiovascular health, gain muscle strength, improve your sleep, reduce your stress, and feel better about yourself. However, even with all of these benefits, many people still find it difficult to exercise. Why? It’s because many of us have been conditioned to think of exercise as something we have to do rather than as something we want to do. The key to looking forward to your workout is to find ways that make exercise more fun. Check out this list of 10 tips to make exercise more fun.
1) Blast Your Favorite Music
What kind of music do you secretly love bopping around to when you are vacuuming or washing dishes? Golden oldies? Rap? Hip-hop? Maybe you like 80s artists such as Journey or Whitney Houston. Whatever it is, you can pump up the volume while you’re getting your heart pumping. Throw on some headphones, fire up Spotify, and let the music sing to your soul as you work out your body.
2) Bring a Friend Along
If you find it hard to get into your workout when you’re all alone, the best way to remedy this is to ask a friend to join you. Many gyms offer guest passes for members; some, such as YouFit and Planet Fitness, even offer a membership type that allows you to bring a friend every time. Having someone sweating alongside you keeps you motivated and helps pass the time. Get into a good gossip session as you walk on the treadmill or talk about last night’s game while lifting weights, and your workout time will fly by.
3) Enjoy the Fresh Air
Depending on where you live, you might feel relieved in the spring as winter finally packs up and leaves and then again in the fall, when the hot days of summer begin to dissipate. If you live in a warm climate, winter weather might be perfect for exercising; those up north might prefer their mild summers. When it’s your favorite time of year, be sure to get outside and enjoy nature. Go for a hike, go skiing, go swimming, or just walk down the road to take advantage of the beautiful weather.
4) Sign Up for a Class
Have you always wanted to learn Zumba? Maybe ballroom dancing or water aerobics are more your style. Peruse the offerings at your local recreation center and see if there’s a class that appeals to you. You can learn a new skill while getting in your physical activity; it’s a win-win!
5) Incorporate Movement into Your Day
A workout doesn’t have to mean getting into workout gear and performing a specific set of exercises for a precise amount of time. If you think about it, you probably get at least some movement in each day just by going about your normal activities. Think of ways you can add to that. Maybe you can do some squats while folding laundry or jump rope down to the mailbox and back. If you can squeeze in 30 minutes of physical activity, even if it’s in chunks, you’ll be getting the amount of activity the CDC says adults should strive toward.
6) Set a Goal
If you’re working toward a goal, you are more likely to be aware of the benefits of each workout. You might have the goal to lose a few pounds or maybe you want to run a 5K in three months. Make sure your goal is measurable, specific, and time-constrained. Rather than saying, “I want to look better in a bathing suit,” say, “I want to lose two inches on my waist and three inches on my hips by July 4,” for example.
7) Engage in Some Healthy Competition
Try challenging a coworker to see who can get the most steps in over a seven-day period or issuing a friendly challenge to a neighbor to see who can run a mile the fastest 30 days from now. Knowing that you might stand to lose a competition can give you the incentive you need to want to get to those workouts each day.
8) Catch Up on Your Favorite TV Shows
Do you feel guilty when you veg out in front of the television after dinner? Try combining it with some exercise! Set up your treadmill or elliptical machine in the living room or den and make a deal with yourself that you’ll only watch your favorite show if you’re exercising at the same time. Of course, you won’t want to do this during a four-hour Netflix marathon, but if you’re watching one 30- to 60-minute show each day, that’s the perfect amount of time to spend on aerobic activity.
9) Journal Your Successes
Sometimes it can feel like the exercise you’re doing isn’t adding up to much, but try writing down what your workouts consist of and how you feel. You can also keep track of your weight or your measurements. Looking back a few weeks or months will show you how much more stamina and strength you have once you started exercising on a regular basis.
10) Set Up a Reward System
Finally, make sure you’re rewarding yourself, especially if you don’t feel like exercising on any given day. Maybe you can tell yourself that after your run, you’ll take a bubble bath or that if you make it to the gym 15 times this month, you’ll pick up a piece of decor or a new shirt you’ve been eyeing. You might be able to bribe yourself to get started; chances are good that you’ll begin to enjoy yourself once you get in the habit of exercising regularly.