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.
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.
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.