Exercising as Fun Rather Than Drudgery

We all know exercise is a vital part of creating a healthy life, but often, we see exercise as another chore we need to finish. Following are some ideas to help you play and have fun with exercising instead of putting it off or dreading it. No matter which exercise you choose, set realistic goals for yourself and focus on fun.

exercisePlay. Do what you enjoy.

If you pick an activity you like, you’ll look forward to doing it regularly, and you’ll be more likely to stick with it long term. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you’re moving, so be creative. Is there a sport you’ve always wanted to try, or perhaps a form of dancing you enjoy? Did you love to roller skate as a kid? There’s no reason you can’t learn a new sport, dance, or roller skate now.

If you prefer being indoors, you might like weight lifting, yoga, swimming, or Zumba dance. If you’re an outdoors person, try rock climbing, skiing, bicycling, or simply walking. The more you love what you’re doing, the more often you’ll do it, and the more benefits you’ll reap from it.

Make a fun date with yourself.

Decide which time of day you would most enjoy moving, and schedule it in writing. Be realistic—if you’re not a morning person, don’t plan a 6 a.m. workout. Would you enjoy going to a yoga class after work, or taking the dog for a walk after dinner? Decide which days and times suit you best, and start there.

Think of this time as “I get to . . .” instead of “I have to . . .” because your attitude before you exercise will dictate your frame of mind while you’re doing it.

Take it easy at first, and then challenge yourself to do just a little more.

Don’t expect miracles the first day or the first week. Again, be realistic with yourself. Start slowly, and do what you can. If five minutes is your limit today, great—you might be able to go just a little longer tomorrow and do 5 ½ or 6 minutes. By starting slowly, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment without hurting yourself by doing too much, too soon.

Find an exercise buddy.

If you have a friend who makes you laugh or is fun to be with, maybe he or she would like to exercise with you. If you’re going for a walk, take the dog, or walk with your spouse or children. Exercise time can double as family time, and it’s easier to stay motivated when you have other people to exercise with.

Variety is the spice of life.

Nowhere does that saying apply more than to exercise. Varying your workout with new activities will not only keep you motivated, but changing your routine also works different parts of your body. Try something new once a month, and have different activities for the seasons.

What do you do to keep exercise fresh and fun?