We all know that keeping fit is good for us and that regular exercise is essential for good health. But not everyone enjoys working out and for some of us, it can feel like a dreaded chore. The problem with this is that if you hate exercise, you’re unlikely to keep up with a regular routine. Or even if you do, you’ll be miserable while you do it.
So if you want to get fit but find yourself dreading your workout sessions, here are a few of our top tips to help you fall in love with fitness.
Find an activity you enjoy
Exercise does not have to mean running marathons or sweating it out in the gym. There are hundreds of different ways to keep fit and if you hate working out, it’s likely you just haven’t found the right activity for you.
Try out as many different things as you can until you find one (or several) that you enjoy. When you forget that you’re working out and start looking forward to your activity as a fun hobby, you’ll know you have found the right one.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Swimming, either outdoors or in a pool
- Walking or hiking
- Yoga or pilates
- Dancing (try jazz, street, Zumba, tap, swing…)
- Winter sports such as skiing or snowboarding
- Aerial or circus arts such as silks or hoop (pictured)
Have a look at what activities are available in your local area, and ask your friends and family for their suggestions. Once you’ve found the right activity or activities for you, you’ll start to love your workout.
Invest in the right equipment
Exercising without the proper equipment can leave you feeling frustrated and demoralized, as well as putting you at an increased risk for injury. One of the simplest ways to make your workout more pleasant is to invest in some good equipment.
This might be a quality pair of running shoes, some new yoga pants, a set of dumbbells, or anything else that will help to make your workout both enjoyable and effective.
If you’re often sore after your workout, some scientifically proven recovery wear can help to sooth those aching muscles and have you feeling ready to go again sooner.
Exercise with someone else
Working out is more fun when you turn it into a social occasion. Making arrangements to exercise with someone else also means you are more likely to put the appointment in your calendar and stick to it.
If you have a partner who also wants to get fit, they can be a great workout buddy. Try swapping out an evening of takeout and Netflix for a fun date night activity such as taking a dance class together.
Friends also make great exercise partners. Try taking a hike together and talking while you walk, challenging each other on a shared run, signing up for a new class together, or going to the pool at the same time and then catching up over coffee afterwards.
If you don’t have anyone in your life who wants to exercise with you, try joining a group or club. There are walking groups, running groups, and all kinds of different fitness activity clubs in every major town and city. You’ll have fun at the same time as getting fit and you might even make some new friends.
Pay attention to how you feel
Even if you do not enjoy working out in the moment, it still provides numerous benefits for your physical and mental health. Start paying attention to how your body feels when you move it and afterwards.
You might find that you have more energy, sleep better at night, or find it easier to get out of bed in the morning. Persistent aches and pains might lessen or even vanish entirely with regular exercise. You might lose weight, tone up, build muscle, or just feel better in your own skin. You might also find that you feel calmer, less stressed, less anxious, and more positive in the face of life’s ups and downs.
When you notice all the benefits regular exercise provides for your body and mind, you’ll want to keep doing it.
Stick with it
For some people, the fitness bug takes some time to acquire. So once you’ve found the exercise routine that works for you, make a commitment to stick with it for a period of time (at least 3 months is ideal). Sticking with an old habit is easier than starting a new one and, once you’re into a regular routine, it becomes much easier to keep to it.