Does exercise feel like fun to you, or do you think workouts really suck?
Do you struggle to get motivated to exercise?
Here’s why: you think it has to be hard.
When you’re challenging yourself, exercise can feel difficult.
It’s a choice.
You get to choose the type of workout that you do. And there are zillions of different ways to move your body, each with its own benefits.
Yesterday was Sunday and I was taking an active rest day. I went to the beautiful spot pictured above (the beach to the right of it, actually) with Greg.
I swam through the water as hard as I could for the best part of an hour and a half, stopping only to catch my breath (and to bask occasionally in the gloriousness of the summer morning, of course).
By the time I got out of the water, I’d had a huge workout and my heart was overflowing with joy.
Did it get difficult sometimes? Yes, it did. I challenged my muscles, my cardiovascular endurance, and my lung capacity.
But was it hard? Did I need to be “motivated” to do it? Did I hate doing it?
No! Being in the ocean makes me the happiest little clam (pun intended).
It felt like a joy to move my body. And I can honestly say that every workout I’m doing at the moment makes me feel this way.
I get to do it, and I do it because it feels good.
Here’s what I learned.
The workout you’ll stick to is the workout you enjoy. When exercise is fun, it becomes a natural part of your day, rather than something you have to motivate yourself to do.
Sure, a plyometric bootcamp session full of burpees and jump squats might burn 960 calories an hour, but if you hate doing it, you’ll probably skip out on it more times than following through.
On the other hand, that kickboxing class you love might only burn 450 calories an hour, but you LOVE taking it and wish you could do it every day. You never skip out on it, because it feels as much like fun as it does a workout.
Always pick the form of exercise that feels like fun. You’ll burn more overall calories doing the kickboxing class consistently three times a week than you will by signing up to the bootcamp class but only showing up once a fortnight because it’s the worst.
(Note: you might love bootcamp, just using it as an example.)
Choose a form of exercise you find fun and you’ll never have to work out a day in your life.
Here are my top three tips for making exercise fun by creating a workout routine you love (and will stick to for good).
Tip #1: Get Experimenting
Every time a friend invites you to try out a new type of workout class, go! Try it out and see if you enjoy it.
Working out with a friend can be super enjoyable, and is a great way to socialise at the same time.
Many group workout programs have a “bring a friend free” program, trial period or first class free pass so you can try before committing.
You may have to kiss a few frogs, but who knows? Maybe that $25 a week for gym membership is better spent on a group workout class with your buddies.
Tip #2: Make a list of sports you loved as a kid
Were you into any sports as a kid? Maybe you played on your school’s basketball team, or had tennis lessons after school.
Make a list of all the sports you used to love doing as a kid and rediscover them as an adult. You might just rekindle the flame of an old passion!
Tip #3: Make a list of activities you always wanted to try
Ballet, ballroom dancing, Pilates, aerobics, synchronised swimming, horse riding, aerial acrobatics, pole dancing – brainstorm all the things you’ve always wanted to try and give yourself permission to try them out!
You can scout some classes in your local area (many councils offer low cost or even free activity programs), or you could look up some beginner moves on YouTube for certain activities to see if it’s something you’d like to pursue.
Release yourself from the pressure of thinking that your workouts have to be unenjoyable to be endured, and look outside the box for enjoyable ways to be active daily. A passion for fitness can be found in the most unlikely of places!