Have you ever noticed how little importance we place on making exercise ‘fun’?
We insist on creating consistency, progression, frequency, and specificity for reaching fitness goals, but we rarely discuss enjoying the process.
In fact, for many people, a lack of enjoyment is the focal reason for avoiding exercise altogether!
When we enjoy what we do motivation and adherence come naturally, even on the toughest of days.
So, how do we make workouts fun again?
Below, we’ve got 5 ways to keep the dread at bay when it comes to exercise so that you can put the fun back into fitness.
- GET CREATIVE
As we age, we tend to lose the playful and curious side of life.
And the same goes for exercise!
While we still require structure and direction to achieve both short and long-term fitness goals, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ourselves along the way.
Try to think outside the box and discover new ways to feel stimulated by exercise; this could involve trying a new class, moving the time or location of a workout, or even just dancing around the kitchen to good music.
After all, variety is the spice of life! We’re happier when life is interesting and engaging!
- LEARN YOUR LIKES AND DISLIKES
What we don’t try, we can’t learn from.
Being open to new experiences helps us shape our future choices and better learn what we do and don’t enjoy- as with all things in life.
If you don’t like HIIT, you don’t have to do it!
We spend far too long focusing on what we think we should be doing rather than exploring what makes us happy.
If you’re feeling a sense of dread for an upcoming workout- it isn’t for you!
Give yourself permission to let go of expectations and feel inspired by new possibilities.
- COMPILE A WORKOUT PLAYLIST
A great playlist can ramp up productivity, mood, concentration, and performance, helping us to kick it up a gear when we feel like the tank is empty.
The perfect workout playlist should be tailored to the type of workout you’re doing and change in tempo, intensity, and rhythm.
For example, saving your favorite upbeat and motivational songs for high-intensity cardio days or sprint finishers can be the powerful lift you need to get you over the line.
In contrast, calm and soothing music on the yoga mat encourages us to unwind and let go.
Compile a playlist of your favorite beats and add new songs frequently to keep it fresh.
- MAKE IT SOCIAL
Sharing your fitness journey with others can improve accountability and adherence.
Group training also brings a sense of belonging, connection, community, and fun to exercise.
Whether this involves joining a sports team or signing up for a new class, some of the best friendships are made (and sustained) from this type of training.
A workout with friends and family can also reduce the emotional intensity of exercise, such as overwhelm or fear!
Many fitness facilities even provide healthy and fun competition in the form of fitness apps, heart rate monitors, and leader boards to pump up members.
- GET YOUR R&R
It is easy to overlook the benefits of rest and recuperation when there’s so much pressure to constantly move our bodies!
However, overtraining can expose us to a far greater risk of injury and exhaustion- both big exercise deterrents!
Don’t be afraid to add active recovery (such as walking in nature or swimming) and rest into the mix; this promotes balance and keeps us happy, grounded, motivated, and rested.
Trust us, your body will thank you!