Having a consistent exercise routine is a key element in weight loss and staying healthy, but many of us often have a difficult time finding what works for us and sticking to it. Having to work out can often seem like a chore and something that we tend to force ourselves to do. How can you make your exercise routine more fun, so you can look forward to it and stay committed?
Below are some tips to help make your exercise routine fun and enjoyable, so you can stick to it:
- Get a workout buddy: If you think working out can get a little dull and boring, you might want to find a friend who works at the same pace as you and has similar goals, so you can motivate one another. This does not mean you have to do the same thing every time you hit the gym. You could go to the gym together, but do your own thing. You could also try taking a workout class together to try out something new. Having a workout buddy also means you can hold each other accountable if your commitment to staying in shape waivers.
- Set some goals: Setting huge goals at the start of a lifestyle change is a surefire way to set yourself up for failure. Big goals can seem insurmountable and you will likely feel defeated and give up if you cannot achieve it as soon as you expect to. Try setting smaller, realistic goals for your workouts, so you can see progress more quickly and stay motivated. If you are a competitive person, this is a great way to keep an exercise regimen interesting. Instead of competing with others, however, compete with yourself to push yourself further.
- Let music help fuel your workout: For most individuals, the right music can get them through a workout, even when they are not in the mood for it. Hearing your favorite song while running on the treadmill or using the elliptical can make all the difference.
- Try not to think about it: If you frequently debate with yourself about what you should do at the gym or when you should do it, you might find yourself going less often than you should. Make your exercise regimen become a habit. Doing so will ensure that you get it done rather than debating the logistics of it with yourself.
- Be realistic: If hitting the treadmill is not your thing and you hate it, but you tell yourself that you have to run 5 miles every other day, you are undoubtedly going to fail. Moreover, you are not even going to enjoy it. Instead of forcing yourself to do something you dislike, find something that you like doing, is appropriate for your skill level, but still presents opportunities for you to challenge yourself.
- Mix it up: Doing the same activity day, no matter how much you love it, will wear on you at some point and you will likely get tired of it and abandon it altogether. To keep this from happening, try to find more than a few things you enjoy doing at the gym and mix up how often you do them. You should also continue to try new things and explore other workouts you might enjoy.
- Do short bursts: People often say there is never enough time for them to have a steady workout routine. Remember, there is no rule that says your workout needs to last a full hour. If you have limited time or lack the attention span for it, start off with some baby steps. Set 5 to 10 minutes aside for physical activity every day and work your way up. Obviously, a 5-minute workout is not ideal, but you have to start somewhere.
- Turn it into a game: Formal exercise is not for everyone. If using free weights, running on a treadmill, or taking a spin class is wrong for you, consider engaging in physical activities that provide the same benefits of a formal exercise routine, such as a game of basketball, tennis, or volleyball. Sports are an excellent way to have fun while staying active.
- Consider exercise as “me time”: Exercise is about so much more than just improving your health or shedding weight. Carving time out of your day to focus on yourself is also immensely beneficial for your mental health and, for a moment, can help lift the stressful burdens of everyday life.
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