Northeast Times

Some helpful hints to make fitness more fun

We all know that ex­er­cise is good for us, but some­times it’s just not at the top of our “To Do” list.

The chal­lenge is get­ting mo­tiv­ated and find­ing ways to make fit­ness fun. It’s a known fact that if you stick to something for a mere 21 days, it is more likely to be­come a habit. 

By ad­opt­ing the fol­low­ing tips for mak­ing fit­ness fun, you can make it a reg­u­lar habit in your life, and one that you ac­tu­ally look for­ward to each day.

Re­define Ex­er­cise

Ex­er­cise can take many dif­fer­ent forms. Some of us be­lieve it must take place in a gym, in­volve lift­ing weights, or re­quire a struc­tured ex­er­cise class. In real­ity, ex­er­cise can be defined as any phys­ic­al activ­ity and move­ment in­ten­ded to keep a per­son fit and healthy. 

Change your defin­i­tion of ex­er­cise and un­der­stand that any­thing that gets your muscles mov­ing, your heart pump­ing, and your blood flow­ing is con­sidered ex­er­cise. 

Walk the steps in­stead of tak­ing the el­ev­at­or, get out and work in the garden, or take a brisk walk around your com­munity — they all count as ex­er­cise.

Get Fit With Friends

Ex­er­cising with a friend is an­oth­er way to make fit­ness fun. It’s a great mo­tiv­at­or, es­pe­cially on those days when the tempta­tion to skip a workout creeps in. Hav­ing a set day or time to work out with a friend helps to en­sure that you’ll stick with your plan. Know­ing that she or he is wait­ing for you helps to en­sure that you’ll fol­low through. 

Hav­ing a buddy to work out with also helps to beat bore­dom and it gives you the op­por­tun­ity to be so­cial as well. Hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion while work­ing out does won­ders for mak­ing the time and dis­tance pass quickly. It also dis­tracts you from any dis­com­fort of the activ­ity. 

Why not make a wager or set a goal with your workout buddy? The first one to skip a workout buys lunch…or bet­ter yet, the first one who reaches their fit­ness goal gets treated to lunch.

Dis­tract Your­self

Time flies when you’re hav­ing fun, right? We’ve all said it at one time or an­oth­er. The same holds true for ex­er­cise. There are many ways to dis­tract your­self while ex­er­cising. Go win­dow shop­ping while walk­ing at the mall. Pho­to­graph nature while walk­ing in the park. 

Tech­no­logy makes it easy, too. Listen to an au­dio book, watch a pod­cast or a movie while us­ing car­dio equip­ment or walk­ing on the tread­mill. In­stead of look­ing at the clock and walk­ing for a set amount of time, why not put on some mu­sic and com­mit to walk for three or four songs in­stead?

Find Your Fit­ness Style

An im­port­ant part of mak­ing ex­er­cise fun is find­ing your own fit­ness style. If you’re a morn­ing per­son, get up and get mov­ing first thing, or if you’re the op­pos­ite, save the workout for later in the day. 

If you’re a mu­sic lov­er, search out a dance class that in­cor­por­ates the type of mu­sic you like. Are you a so­cial but­ter­fly? A group ex­er­cise class might be per­fect for you, or maybe you could or­gan­ize a walk­ing group with your friends or neigh­bors. 

If you prefer solitude, swim­ming laps in the pool or do­ing an ex­er­cise video at home might be right up your al­ley. If you love the out­doors, take your workout out­side — play golf, take a nature walk, or play catch with your grand­chil­dren. 

Multi-task­ers can catch up on the news while walk­ing on the tread­mill; add some squats and lunges to their clean­ing routine; or lift some weights (soup cans and bottles work great) while watch­ing TV. Find­ing the right match for your fit­ness style is bound to help make fit­ness more fun. ••

An­drea Snyder is a fit­ness co­ordin­at­or at Wes­ley En­hanced Liv­ing.

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