For many people, exercising seems like a daunting chore. Waking up early or coming home after a long day of work just to work ourselves to exhaustion.. Sometimes we set up a workout schedule, even become excited about it, and then 3 days later want to throw the schedule and our dumb bells out the window. Exercise becomes another dreaded task on the to do list. But it does not have to be this way! Once you find the right exercise and schedule that works for your personality and get into the right mindset, exercising can actually be fun!
There are few people in the world that are extremely disciplined when it comes to exercise, and will workout even if they don’t particularly enjoy it. But for the majority of us, that just isn’t going to work. Just like strict diets feel restricting and increase cravings, working out too strictly can have the opposite effect and repulse you from working out for long periods of time.
Here are some practical tips to help make working out more enjoyable.
Get into the right mindset
As soon as you start thinking of working out as a difficult and monotonous chore, that is exactly what it will become. Instead, think of working out as an opportunity to relieve stress, have fun, and achieve your goals. We all choose to exercise for different reasons, so figure out why you want to exercise and remind yourself of that before you get active. Come up with a mantra before you exercise, and evaluate it every few days or so to see if that mantra still applies to you. For example, if you want to workout by dancing, your mantra can be: “I’m excited to have fun and relieve some stress.” Or, “I can’t wait to get better at dancing so I can perform one day.”
Think also about how you like to exercise. What are your exercise preferences and what structure works best for you? Does working out in the morning help you feel more focused and productive during the day? Does exercising at night help you wind down for the day? What kind of exercise do you like to do?
Find something you like to do
Hiking, biking, yoga, swimming… there are countless ways to get a good workout. If you really have fun exercising, you may even find that you’ve forgotten you’re working out!
Here are some fun workout ideas:
- Join a weekly class or just find a zumba workout on youtube.
- Learn a dance on youtube
- There are hundreds of dance tutorials on youtube! Think of a song you love and see if there is a dance tutorial for it.
- Bike riding
- Find a trail near your home, or try biking to work or the grocery store sometimes.
- Find a trail near your house to explore!
- Try an app or follow a Youtube video. Yoga with Adriene is my favorite!
- Hooping is a great workout, hobby, and for some people a lifestyle. It can take lots of practice but there are tons of video tutorials on youtube that can help you get started, and it’s really fun to learn! Deanne Love is one of my favorite YouTubers for hooping tutorials.
Make sure to mix up your workouts if you find yourself getting bored of one thing.
Work out with friends
Working out can be enjoyable when you have a few friends there to help keep you motivated! Do any of the above activities with them and maybe even plan to meet up once or twice a week for hiking, dancing, or whatever you choose to do. You can even try joining a gym together and going to the different classes they offer. Having a scheduled workout time together can help you stay accountable for each other and provide a fun bonding activity you can look forward to!
Don’t compare yourself
Comparing yourself to other people’s bodies, intense workout regime, or workout habits can bring you down and you may even find you lose motivation to workout. This negative self talk also makes for a negative workout experience instead of a positive one. Instead of focusing on how everyone else is doing, think about how proud of yourself you are, and how much fun you have working out.
Listen to music
Depending on the type of music you listen to when you work out, listening to music can be very motivating when you’re working up a sweat. Listening to up beat and music with a faster tempo can help keep a steady pace when running, lifting, or dancing.
Cool tip: If you use Spotify, there is a whole genre called “running” where you can find music to match your running tempo. There are a few playlists custom made for just running. Just press “start running” on one of them, and it will detect your tempo as you run, and match the song’s BPM to your running speed.
Listening to music during workouts makes your workout a more self-determined behavior with intrinsic rewards, because the music creates a more fun environment as you exercise. Music puts your mind into the current moment instead of thinking of the more extrinsic rewards of working out. Music also serves as a source of distraction and enhances endurance. Of course this all depends on what type of music you listen to. As long as it is enjoyable to you and upbeat, music can greatly enhance your workout experience.
What fun things do you do to stay motivated to work out?