Let’s Keep Looking Forward to Working Out
We all know that exercise has a myriad of health benefits, both physical and psychological. However, studies show that while more than three-quarters of the U.S. adult population say exercise is “very important” to them, only a third exercise regularly and nearly half admit they are not active at all.
Most Americans cite lack of time, lack of energy, or lack of funds to buy special workout gear, equipment, or become a gym member. And even if we start the year with positive fitness goals, these well-intentioned plans could start unraveling after just a few weeks. The problem is that, for many, exercise can be boring and repetitive.
Here are 5 ways of boosting your enthusiasm for your workouts so it doesn’t feel like a chore:
Find an Exercise that Fits Your Personality
No single exercise routine is going to work for everyone. For example, if you are an introvert, open gym sports like basketball or volleyball might not appeal to your personality. Or if dancing gives you stress pangs, then a Zumba class might not be your cup of tea. The key is to find a workout routine that sticks to your strengths and interests. Stay within your comfort level. Find a class or a gym that suits your own personal skills.
You can’t just hop off your coach and run a marathon without training. You have to start small. Mayo Clinic advises that you assess your fitness level before starting an exercise routine. By assessing and recording your baseline fitness score, it can give you a benchmark against with which to measure your progress. Most gyms offer these assessments when you start a training program, though some may charge you an additional fee above the initial membership rate. You can also ask your primary care physician for a physical or you can use this guide designed by the Mayo Clinic. But don’t let this hang you up. If you’re just itching to get moving, go ahead and see tip number 1 (see above). The most important thing is that you have fun moving your body and the rest will fall into place.
Test Drive a New Gym or Workout Class
Some gyms or studios offer a free trial or a class pass so you can try one class before buying a membership or a class-package. Gym members often get guest passes they could pass on to a friend or family member. Try out different workouts that strike your curiosity and chat with others you meet. Ask them how long they’ve been coming there and why they like that particular workout. It will give you a better idea of whether the gym or class is something that would suit you long-term.
Think Beyond the Gym
You don’t need a gym membership to workout. The key is to find anything that pumps up your heart rate and gets you moving. Consider learning a new sport or taking up a dance class such as jazz, tap, or ballet, or you may just take regular walks around the neighborhood. Learn a new skill like snowboarding or skiing or mountain biking. You’re likely to be more present and mindful when you’re learning something new, so while it may not burn as many calories as a typical gym class, it becomes less of a burden and more of a fun activity.
Turn your Chores into a Workout
In the same vein as the “if you can’t beat them, join them” mentality, if you can’t stop thinking of your workout as a chore, then turn your chores into a workout! Turn vacuuming into a lower body workout by taking a step forward while pushing a vacuum cleaner by inserting a lunge with every step. For a good arm workout, strap on weights on your wrists while you’re dusting or sweeping. Adding on an extra 2-3 pounds of resistance and get those arms burning with every swipe. There are many creative ways of including workouts into your daily routine. From doing squats while folding laundry to doing abdominal twists while working on doing desk work. Just have fun!Working out regularly is a great habit to develop, and it doesn’t have to feel like work. By finding a routine that fits your personality and allows you to have fun and let loose, you’re more likely to make exercise into your friend.