Exercise does not need to mean “run on the treadmill for an hour in complete agony”! If you’re not LOVING your exercise (or simply aren’t doing it at all), these tips are for you!
First, let’s note that exercise can be any movement that causes your heart rate to go up, challenges you physically, and builds you stronger mentally. The following seven ways to make exercise FUN can be applied to your life with little to no effort, and transform exercise from being viewed as something you “should be doing” into a time for YOU- something you just cannot wait to do! #rhymetime
Let’s get started 🙂
1) Put yourself in the right mindset on the way to the gym.
I’m talking about pumping the jams, singing along, and bouncing around in your seat. Driving to the gym in silence or with a news station on the radio is a huge bummer, and a surefire way to have a less-than-exciting workout. I find it very difficult to get myself into a place mentally where I’m ready to give a workout my all without taking time beforehand to focus on my intentions!
2) Learn something new during your warm up- This is YOUR time, after all!
Walking on a treadmill to warm up can seem tedious. BUT, this is the prime time to learn about a topic which you wouldn’t otherwise invest time in… hop aboard the BRAIN GAINS TRAIN! The channels of learning are limitless.
Some ideas include:
• TED Talks
• “The Great Courses” downloads – This company allows you to learn about absolutely anything under the sun. I’m a marketing student and my family has roots in Germany and Transylvania, so I’m currently listening to a course on adapting to different cultures. Super fascinating!
My friend Lauren and her team recently evaluated dozens of treadmills on the market under the following categories: best for runners, best for walkers, best for training, and best entertainment features. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect home treadmill, see this guide 🙂
3) Exercise for the sake of HAVING FUN.
I’m all about goals. They target your efforts and make your use of time efficient. The goal in exercising, however, is ultimately to improve your quality of life. Recognize this, and know that you’re doing something wonderful for yourself by moving your body!
Maybe you exercise to build body confidence, to lose fat, to gain muscle, as a preventative measure, or as a method of healing. Usually, it’s an external desire which drives us into the gym. Whatever your purpose for exercising may be, why should benefits be limited to what happens outside of the time you spend exercising? Who says the actual time spent “in the arena” can’t also improve the quality of your life as well?
The time physically spent in the gym is a time for YOU. It’s a time for you to experiment with new exercises, weights, or programs, get excited, gain energy, and challenge yourself. The gym is basically a playground for adults.
Adopt the mentality that the act of exercise itself improves the quality of your life. Exercise is FUN 🙂
4) Buy yourself a new outfit.
Fresh gym clothes are fantastic. Even if it’s something as simple as a fresh pair of socks. I don’t have any science behind this one and why it causes such a spike in motivation; simply the undeniable fact that it works!
5) Update your playlist regularly.
When we’re listening to music that we love, our brain activity actually increases in regions which control movement, which are also responsible for dopaminergic transmission (dopamine is a chemical which encourages happy feelings and motivation).
So, if we choose to listen to our favourite music while exercising, dopamine increases, and we experience distraction from the muscular fatigue which our body is going through. This decreases the amount of effort we believe we’re exerting, making the overall experience more enjoyable.
Also, tapping your toes to the beat is fun. Guilty as charged!
6) Try a new type of exercise.
Here’s a list of potential avenues to dabble in! Pick one and try it at least once in 2018:
• Laser Tag
• Ballroom Dancing
• Skating (I go to noon skates at my local arena!)
• Wii games (Ex. Just Dance, Wii Fit, Dance Dance Revolution)
• A pick-up sport (Ex. Basketball)
• Yoga (You can even find videos on YouTube to try at home!)
• Jump rope
Even if you’re currently active in and loving the gym, it’s crazy how your training can transfer into an ability to perform well in other sports. And you might just have a riot doing it!
7) Track your progress using a fitness tracker.
I use a Polar wristband to monitor my heart rate during training, and it has tripled the fun factor. Being able to see your heart rate and having access to a timer opens up so many new opportunities- from more effective HIIT (High Intensity Interval) sessions to gaining an awareness of which exercises challenge/fatigue you the most, a heart rate monitor can be an incredibly fun gadget to have on hand and experiment with.
Happy Saturday, my friends- I genuinely hope that you have a FUN weekend!