According to President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, less than 5 percent of U.S. adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity daily. Many of us have good intentions and start each year off with making healthy exercise goals, like enthusiastically heading to the gym and nibbling on carrot and celery sticks. However, we often find our well intention-ed plans unraveling after just a few weeks. The problem is, for many of us, exercise can be quite boring and repetitive. But it doesn’t have to be!! Finding a way to make exercise fun is the key! If it doesn’t feel like exercise then you may be more motivated to do it!
Here are 10 ways to make exercise more fun:
1. Include a friend – Exercise is always more fun when you have someone to do it with! That person can also act as your accountability partner and help you keep your exercise consistent by “cracking the whip” when you don’t show up!
2. Try something NEW – The same repetitive exercise can definitely get boring over time. Especially if your gym routine has been to jump on the treadmill or elliptical for 30-60 min every visit. No one likes to feel like they are going nowhere, so try something new!
Here are a few suggestions for fun ways to exercise: go to a local trampoline park for a fitness class, take up kickboxing, learn a new dance routine or simply dance around the house to your favorite songs.
Another option: try a HIIT exercise joint (i.e. Crossfit, F45, Orange Theory, etc).
3. Crank up the tunes – Nothing gets me more amped up to exercise than listening to some of my favorite tunes! Music can actually improve performance and makes us think the exercise is not as strenuous as it actually is! Think about what music gets you pumped, make a playlist and get to work!
4. Head outside – Nothing can be more motivating then soaking in a little nature and breathing in some fresh air with some hiking, trail running or mountain biking. Exercising outdoors decreases feelings of tension, anger and depression, while at the same time making us feel more energized!
5. Download an app – There are so many apps these days that can help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals. Try downloading an exercise app to help guide you on your fitness journey. Apps like the C25k for those wanting to run a 5k or Sworkit that provides you with custom workouts!
6. Engage in healthy competition – Signing up for a local race can be exciting and can give you something more tangible to work for! Become involved in a community sports recreation league. Find a sport that you used to “play” when younger and take it up again (basketball, tennis, soccer, softball, etc). Choose a team sport when possible to add some socialization. This can help you get out of your comfort zone and help you grow mentally and physically!
7. Exercise without “exercising” – Want to get your sweat on but not feel like you are exercising? Try one of these fun ways to exercise: hiking, rock climbing, roughhousing with the kids, martial arts, clean, exercise video games, put together a childhood game like tag or dodge ball or do some yard work!
8. Track your progress – Keeping track of your progress can motivate you to keep going. If you know you are seeing results, you will be less likely to stop. Suggestions of things to keep track of are your body weight, how long it takes you to walk or jog a mile, or do a push-up, pull-up or squat challenges!
9. Reward yourself – Treat yourself to reaching small goals! It may be just to go to the gym 5 days one week or complete a month of consistent exercise. Whatever it is, reward yourself!
Some reward ideas: new workout clothes, a Fitbit, new water bottle, tickets to your favorite sporting event.
10. Stop the excuses – Even though this is last item on the list, it is probably the most important! When you stop making excuses on why you “can’t” exercise, you will progress forward, see results and you will change your perspective on exercise!
Need more ideas for exercise ideas? Check out our Blue Sky MD Blog for a variety of fun workout routines. We promise exercise will help you achieve your weight loss goals! So get out there, choose and activity and HAVE FUN!!