According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), less than 30 percent of adult Americans are getting the recommended amount of daily exercise. We know that exercise is essential to our well-being, so why aren’t we making the time to be physically active?
You Need a Long-term Strategy.
Maybe it’s because popular perceptions of exercise see it as a labor-intensive chore and something to be dreaded or avoided. How often have you skipped it altogether because the thought of a grueling workout was enough to send you running in a different direction?
Attitude is everything, especially when it boils down to your health goals. If you’re trying to lose or manage weight long-term, gain energy, increase your endurance and build lean muscle mass, you need to find the FUN in fitness and add some spark to your workouts.
Tips for Finding FUN in Fitness
You’re more likely to stay consistent with exercise and crush your goals if you enjoy what you’re doing. Consider these tips for learning to ENJOY your workouts:
Take it Outside
The great outdoors is known to be an endorphin booster. If you’re tired of exercising behind closed doors, reap the benefits of a change in scenery and hit the “refresh” button. Exercising outside is also stimulating because it gives you a lot more to look at and take in.
Invest in Feel-food Workout Clothes
Consider ditching the sweats and plain white tee for a fun new style to motivate more movement. Patterned workout wear and clothing with funny, inspiring or meaningful text/imagery can make you feel empowered, thus also adding power to your workouts.
Exercise is healthy, but it’s possible to do too much. Over-training can lead to both physical and mental fatigue, but it can also prevent your body from necessary recovery. You need time to rest, rejuvenate and make time for other things you love and care about.
Work Out for a Cause
If you’re interested in 5K’s and other races or sporting events, consider signing-up for those giving back to your favorite causes. Many marathon races support non-profits that benefit from monetary fundraising. A good cause can keep you motivated.
Grab a Group or Partner
You know what they say…we’re better together! Exercising with a consistent workout buddy or group of buddies can not only keep you entertained and make time pass quicker, but also push you and hold you accountable to your plans.
Blast an Energizing Soundtrack
Turn up the volume on your favorite workout songs to distract from the physical struggle and drown out stimuli around you. Add songs to your playlist with a moderate-fast tempo and lyrics that push you to keep moving, even if you’re exhausted.
Choose Workouts You Truly ENJOY
If you find no inspiration on a treadmill inside the gym, take your workout to a local park or hiking trail. If jumping jacks don’t cut it, dance to a Zumba or similar soundtrack. Choose exercises you truly enjoy doing because you’ll be more motivated to keep it up.
Try an Accountability App
Many apps and weight management programs offer incentives, such as money or donations made to your favorite non-profit, for exercising and reaching weight-loss goals. These social apps/programs can motivate you to try harder for a promising payoff.
Consistency Makes a Difference
Just like permanently weight-loss requires lifestyle changes beyond a temporary diet, getting fit requires an ongoing commitment to exercise. You’re much more likely to keep moving and stay challenged if you’re having fun. Don’t get stuck in the cycle of dreading your next workout. Instead, make it something you genuinely look forward to and can’t miss!