Fitness is an important (and essential) thing. The American Heart Association recommends anywhere from 150 minutes of moderate exercise to 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. To break it down, aiming for 30 min of movement 5 days per week helps decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke and improve cardiovascular health.
For some people, this comes naturally. Waking up to sweat before work or winding down afterwards with a yoga class is something that becomes part of a person’s routine — but only if it’s something they enjoy.
For others, exercise can seem like a daunting chore that is impossible to start or even schedule in the day. For those people, it’s important to find ways to enjoy fitness so that they are able to maintain it and incorporate it into their lives.
If you’re in the second group, don’t lose hope. There are several tips and tricks that you can try to establish an exercise routine that you can stick to. Read on for some ways to enjoy fitness instead of dreading it.
Find something you enjoy
The actual activity you choose is crucial to you enjoying your workout. If you’re constantly forcing yourself to run when you hate running, you’re going to dread it and ultimately stop running at some point. Just because a certain class is all the rage doesn’t mean you’re going to like it. You need to find what works for you.
Try different types of workouts — running, yoga, swimming, cycling, high-intensity classes — and see what you get the most enjoyment from. If you’re doing a workout you actually enjoy, chances are you’ll look forward to it the next time.
Do it with friends
My friends and I are on an email chain where we share with each other what our workouts are for the week and where we will be. If we can meet up with each other, it’s always much more fun than working out alone. Communicating has gotten me excited to try new things and even to work out on Saturdays which were normally reserved for sleeping in.
Accountability is key when starting and maintaining a fitness routine. Having someone to go with you not only helps pass the time, but also helps ensure you make it there in the first place!
Reward yourself after hitting a goal
Set a goal for yourself. Maybe it’s to make it to just one class this week. Once you hit that goal, treat yourself to something like a manicure, new exercise apparel, or whatever makes you feel good about yourself. Once those early goals get easy to hit, try making them harder such as 3 or 4 classes a week or hitting certain strength or speed goals.
One word of caution is not to reward yourself with food. Food and exercise can be tricky when locked into a reward system and can actually reinforce negative thought patterns in some people. Also remember not to beat yourself up if you miss your goal. Simply acknowledge it and try again!
Find the right time for you
Some people are morning exercisers and some people prefer to sweat in the evening. Try both and figure out which one you are. Working out at the appropriate time for YOU means the difference between an exciting workout and one where you are dragging and tired.
Ultimately, it’s important to find something you enjoy or the likelihood that you’ll want to continue is slim. Start out by trying to exercise one to two days a week. The better you feel, the more likely you’ll want to keep up the things that make you feel that way!
If you’re looking for ideas or ways to mix things up, make sure to check out all our upcoming Reside Athletics events!!