There’s just no getting around the fact that exercise is key to a healthy mind and body. But for some, making time for exercise can seem like an absolute dreaded chore. In fact, it often (and woefully so) falls to the very bottom of our “To-do” list each week!
Let’s go ahead and say it… some people just hate working out. And if that sounds like you, you certainly aren’t alone. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy or unmotivated, and it certainly doesn’t mean you’re defected. However, you are probably missing out on phenomenal health benefits that come from routine physical activity. But don’t worry, there are creative ways around that problem.
Exercise: Your Perspective
First, let’s address what is most likely your biggest barrier. For many people who hate to exercise, the process feels like punishment. It’s something you have to do because you’re struggling to drop some pounds or you’re trying to offset a specific meal or type of food that you ate. When you think about exercise as punishment, you have no motivation to get down to it and begin moving!
Exercise certainly isn’t punishment. At its core, exercise is a way for your body to stay strong, healthy and durable as you move through life and navigate all that it encompasses. So instead, think of it as an opportunity to release endorphins, strengthen your joints and bones, build lean muscle, regulate your metabolism, alleviate stress, improve organ function and much more.
Helpful Tips to Actually Enjoy Exercise and Make the Habit Stick
Can you learn to love exercise if you’re a self-proclaimed hater of all things workout-related? Absolutely! Consider these tips to overcome your mental battle:
- Explore Real Interests – So maybe you will never be a fan of the gym. That’s okay. But do you love to dance? Do you enjoy spending time in nature? Learn to adapt exercise to meet those things which actually interest you and satisfy your free time.
- Find a Partner – Humans are social creatures, and exercising alone can admittedly be boring. Grab a family member, friend, co-worker or support group confident who also wants to exercise more. The extra company is not only fun, but motivating!
- Set a Challenge – Who doesn’t like a good challenge to prove something to ourselves (and maybe even others)? Turn your workouts into a personal competition or game. Then work hard to meet that challenge and claim your reward!
- Bump up the Music – Don’t let a single workout go by without turning up the volume on your favorite motivating songs! Music is a great way to turn something drab into something fun, inspiring and energetic. Always have a playlist on-hand.
- Distract Your Brain – Sometimes we focus too much on the workout itself. If not using music, distract your brain by studying a certain topic, counting to a certain number, repeating a favorite mantra, memorizing a poem, etc.
- Keep a Workout Journal – There’s nothing like personalizing your own journey, decorating it to be inspiring and writing down your goals so they’re always there to encourage you. Use this journal daily and log your workouts after every session.
- Focus on Changes – Instead of focusing on the concept of exercise, focus on each change you experience such as improved mood, greater energy, boosted confidence, better posture, greater strength and increased flexibility. Reap those benefits!
You won’t reap the benefits of exercise to their fullest potential if you think of exercise as a necessary evil. Consider it a challenge, a blessing and an opportunity to improve your health and quality of life! It’s not something to be avoided at all cost. It’s something to be celebrated, and it’s very possible for you to enjoy exercise at any stage of your fitness journey.