I’m by NO means an exercise nut. The idea of a runners high doesn’t get me up in the morning. I am absolutely the person always thinking to myself I need to go to workout more often. And no shame (maybe a little shame), but most years I have the New Years resolution to be more active. So, perhaps I’m not the absolute best person to be giving exercise related advice. However, I do feel like I’ve found a few little ways to make exercise a little less sucky and a little more enjoyable, which can hopefully help you too! I figured this was as good as time as any to share, for my fellow repeat-resolutioners like me out there, or anyone trying to get themselves to be a bit more active in this New Year, and need some ideas on how to enjoy exercise more.
Find An Activity You Enjoy
This sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s something I often have to remind myself. I think people can often get stuck in this mindset that if they’re not working out in a particular way, they’re not doing it right. Maybe you have a friend who frequents the gym every week, so you feel like if you’re not doing that, it must not be good enough. But, the gym really isn’t for everyone! Maybe going on a hike is more your thing, doing an at-home workout, or taking a dance class. There are a million different ways to be active, don’t feel like you need to do what everyone else is doing! Also, if you are trying to go to the gym more, try out EVERYTHING they have to offer. Plenty have a wide variety of machines, both cardio and weight-lifting, plus workout classes, and various other options. I’m not going to promise that you’ll find something you 100% love, but I think there’s a type of activity that everyone can enjoy at least a little.
Stop Staring At The Clock
Seriously, just stop. Unless you need to keep track for your workout, then look away. It’s only making it drag on, and feel like it will never end. Cover up the clock in front of you! If I’m on a cardio machine, I often grab one of the towels provided by the gym (most provide them), and cover up the little countdown that seems to slow down every time I glance at it. It also helps you to be a bit more present, which we all could use a little help with.
Find Something Amazing To Listen To Or Watch
So many options! Make a playlist, listen to an already made playlist, find a podcast, watch a tv show, watch a YouTube video,. Find something that either motivates you to keep pushing through your workout, or something that is enjoyable enough to make the workout fly on by.
Here are some seriously awesome jams to get you started!
Don’t Set Unreasonable Goals For Yourself
If you’re currently not at all active, don’t set out to workout every single day of the week. Allow yourself to ease into it, and figure out what is actually reasonable with your schedule. Don’t feel like you need to start out doing the max! All that will accomplish is burning yourself out, and probably not reaching your goals. It’s okay to start out small and work your way up because that way you’d have a much better chance of the habit actually sticking. Maybe in January you set your goal to 1-2 times a week, then see how that goes, and readjust for February. You need to give your mind the chance to make it a permanent habit, so easing into it can help with that.
Building a habit takes time, some say 14 days, other say 30. Let’s go with 30, to make sure the habit really sticks, but once you’ve gone the entire month of January sticking to your exercise goal, give yourself a reward! Doesn’t need to be anything extravagant, or it can, because #treatyoself, but either way give yourself a little something to serve as a reminder that you’ve taken some seriously awesome steps in the right direction!
Get Exercise Clothes You Feel Excited To Wear
Don’t go out any blow all your money on new exercise clothes, but I think there is something to feeling good in what you’re wearing. Just a little way to make the entire experience a little more enjoyable and positive! This can kinda go along with rewarding yourself, because maybe one of your rewards can be some cute new exercise clothes!
PS – lay out your workout clothes in advance so when you wake up in the morning, or come home from work, they are right there waiting for you, and reminding you, to go exercise!
Find An Exercise Buddy
This helps to make your exercise a bit more fun and something to look forward to, and also your buddy can be your accountability partner to help you stay on track! Maybe someone at the gym you’ve seen around and are familiar with, I know it may be nerve wracking, but I’m sure most people would be happy to have someone help keep them on track towards their goals! Or could be a friend, co-worker, relative, or anyone who you think would make your chosen activity more fun, and keep you goal-oriented.
Don’t Focus On The Scale
I know weight typically goes hand in hand with having an exercise goal, but it really shouldn’t be all about the scale. Build the habits, increase your activity level, that is most important, and result will follow. Sometimes they happen slower than they want, but this isn’t a quick fix, this is a long term, lifestyle change. It’s much better to lose weight slowly, because it’s much more maintainable. Besides, those numbers don’t always show you just how much progress you’re making! Muscle weights more than fat, and everyones body is different. It’s okay to track your weight, but don’t let it be how you judge your progress. Build the habits!