Making Exercise Fun


OK, Maybe Don’t Do This…

No matter how much you think you may dislike exercising, the fact is that you need to do it.  The benefit of exercising vs not exercising is too clear cut, there is just no argument to be made for not doing it.  The problem is that many people, including myself in the past, find exercise to be scary, painful, intense, and something to avoid at all costs.  The reality is that this negative association with exercise can lead to a much lower quality of life and even prove to be life threatening in the long run.  The secret to finding success with exercise is making exercise funThat’s it.  You find a way to make it fun, and you will do it.

Making Exercise Fun

First of all, don’t expect for it to be fun overnight.  When you go from a state of inactivity to increased activity, your mind and body will protest a bit.  This is temporary and if you can merely hang in for a week or two while these mental and physical walls crumble, you will find suddenly that moving your body has a much different effect on you then it did starting out.  Dare I say enjoyable?  The number one tip for making exercise fun, is hanging in there past the initial, somewhat difficult and painful phase.  The good news is that this is very temporary, and you can actually fight off years off inactivity with only a couple of weeks of consistent exercise.

A second key tip in making exercise fun is consistency.  You have to do it most everyday for a while to get your metabolism up and the endorphins flowing through your body.  I recommend 5-6 days a week.  This will keep your energy up during your waking hours and help you to sleep like a dead rock at night.  If you can exercise 6 days a week for two weeks, I promise you will feel much differently about exercise at the end of two weeks than you did in the beginning.

Think about variety.  A major key to making exercise fun is having variety in your routines.  Variety is the spice of life and if you are doing the same thing every day, you are much more likely to get bored and end up quitting.  Personally, I like to mix in home programs like P90X with running, rock climbing, surfing, and anything else I want to try.  I have a full workout schedule and have to continuously turn down exercise opportunities because there is no limit to the variety of options.  Now I may a freak… but you can use SOME variety to keep things fresh and exciting for you.  Find sports and things that will get you engaged in fitness.  Go to a workout class or yoga class.  Fitness doesn’t mean using a treadmill or working out to P90X 100% of the time!  Variety.

Friends.  Find friends that want to get in shape and share some goals.  Train for running or bike races together.  Take a class together.  Join a social group.  You know what you need, so give it to yourself.  I have always been a very good self exerciser, but in the last year I have found a ton of ways to make my fitness more social.  And guess what?  I enjoy it even more than before!

Approach fitness with a sense of humor.  I have heard people say that they don’t like P90X because the trainer (Tony Horton) is a cheeseball.  I think it’s kind of hilarious that I am collapsing on the floor and he is cracking jokes.  Nothing is fun, ever, without a little humor.  Wear wacky outfits to events, make your courses social crawl events, find ways to make it interesting…  all great ways of making exercise fun.

Reward yourself.  At the end of a big day or hard workout… pat yourself on the back and give yourself something that signifies you have earned a reward.  For me, it’s my sweet tasting recovery drink and supplements after a workout… it really feels like I am getting a “cookie” for good behavior.  There are times that I reward a long run with a couple of beers with friends or running buddies.  Whatever you have to do, making exercise fun!

Eat.  If you are working out, guess what?  You get to eat more!  I’m not talking cheeseburgers and pizza (although the occasional spurge is completely acceptable in my book).  I mean eat more real food and forget about any old learned habits… like losing weight means starving yourself.  If you learn to exercise regularly and eat right… you will  never be hungry again, just happy.

Making Exercise Fun

It’s not all about race times, seriousface, and how big muscles can get.  It’s about learning to find the fun in something that is good for you.  This will make a permanent habit, and not a temporary one that leads to failure.  Making exercise fun is the best way to ensure success, create a new habit, and improve the quality of fitness and health in your life.  Then everything else follows.

Go out there and have fun!  Don’t forget your giant sombrero.

Ryan GillespieRyan Gillespie
P90X Certified Trainer / Diamond Beachbody Coach

I currently live in sunny San Diego California and work with people around the country and Internationally on their health and fitness goals. Join my Free Beachbody Team, follow me on Facebook, or friend me on Facebook to join my Free Accountability and Support group. Start today!

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